The EU's commitment to cultural diversity in relation to its competences

In order to comprehend the EU's commitment to cultural diversity a short overview of EU primary law is necessary to illuminate the competences of the EU in the audiovisual and online sectors.

Cultural competences

Pursuant to Article 167(4) TFEU, EU actions shall be guided by the respect and the promotion of cultural diversity. Article 167(2) TFEU carries a specific competence for the EU to encourage cooperation between member states and, if necessary, to act in support of artistic and literary creation, notably in the audiovisual sector. This competence is subsidiary to national cultural policy and does not extend to EU actions that would affect institutions in the audiovisual sector of the member states (cf. Schmahl, 2008: 253). Moreover, Article 167(5) TFEU prohibits verbatim EU actions in the pursuit of primarily cultural objectives through the approximation of laws and regulations in the member states. As discussed in detail in the first part of this volume, in the field of culture the assigned EU competences are marginal.3

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