N° 56, 2017/2 – The European Politics of Culture


Special Issue: The European Politics of Culture 

Edited by Oriane Calligaro and Antonios Vlassis

Oriane Calligaro and Antonios Vlassis – Introduction

La formule de Jean Monnet « Si c’était à refaire, je commencerai par la culture » est devenue un lieu commun dans la bouche d’hommes politiques et d’acteurs de la scène artistique et culturelle. Bien que son caractère apocryphe ait été révélé depuis longtemps, elle continue à être citée, dans le but de demander, avec le soutien posthume du père fondateur, une intervention communautaire renforcée dans…

Oriane Calligaro – Which culture(s) for Europe? The contrasted visions of the Council of Europe and the European Union from 1949 to today

This article analyzes in the long term and in a comparative way the contents promoted in the cultural programmes of the Council of Europe and of the EU. Both organizations initially highlighted the common European cultural heritage. The Council of Europe subsequently put the emphasis on cultural diversity and on the socio-economic potentials of culture. Although the EU’s cultural policy is now characterized by an economic approach, European heritage as catalyst of common identity remains one of its objects. The EU also integrated diversity in its cultural policy but the spectrum of the cultural expressions eventually promoted is limited.

Dario Verderame – Strategies for a cultural Europe. Framing and representing the Europe-culture nexus in a local context

The aim of this article is to offer a contribution to the understanding of what occurs when ‘culture’ and ‘Europe’ meet in a local context. Specifically, the subject of study is the Festival of Europe (Festival d’Europa), a biennial event dedicated to European themes held in the city of Florence (Italy). The article analyzes the origins of the Festival, the idea of culture embraced by its organizers, and cultural performances staged by local actors during the 2015 edition, combining top-down and bottom-up perspectives. The article provides evidence-based reflections on how European-centered cultural repertoires are developed and experienced using qualitative methods of data collection and analysis.

Céleste Bonnamy – The Writer and the Single Market. The mobilisation of French writers’ representatives towards the European copyright reform project (2014-2016)

This article analyses how the redefinition of artistic property by the EU to build a digital single market affects the mobilisation strategies of two associations of French writers’ representatives. The article identifies a double phenomenon: the conservation of previous modes of action due to a path dependency logic and a lack of European social capital; and a transnationalisation of the action as a resistance to a possible supranationalisation, which is the result of the refraction of the Eurocracy field’s logics upon the French literary field.

Antonios Vlassis – The review of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Many political voices for one digital Europe?

Today’s European Union (EU) agenda on audiovisual goods and services is dominated by the review of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The new AVMSD – proposed by the European Commission in May 2016 – aims at setting governance norms for the audiovisual media services in the profoundly changing digital context. The article’s scope is, hence, to analyze why and how non-state actors such as digital and communication companies and associations, as well as organizations of culture professionals, deal with the governance of the audiovisual media sector and with the appropriate mechanisms regulating the sector in the digital context.

Lilian Richieri Hanania – Cultural action in the EU external commercial policy: securing the specificity of cultural goods and services in the digital era

This article addresses the “trade and culture” interface in the European external trade policy, with emphasis on the digital environment. It examines the various aspects of the legal treatment of the audiovisual sector and digital issues in European bilateral and regional trade agreements in order to identify how the European Union acknowledges the specificity of that sector and its strategy in maintaining its cultural policy space in those agreements. The article compares it to the strategy adopted by other European Union trade partners, while considering the principles and objectives recognized within UNESCO, notably under the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Ben Garner – Towards a European strategy on culture and development : Learning from the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement

This article examines the EU’s recent attempts to formulate a policy position on culture in its external relations, and in particular in the area of development cooperation. The paper focuses on the blueprint for this that was set out in the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) completed in 2008. The content and record of implementation of the EPA’s cultural provisions are examined and situated within broader debates concerning the “instrumental” role of culture in development. Some of the lessons learned from the EPA are then used to draw out some critical reflections about the EU’s emerging strategy on culture and development.

Book Reviews

Damien Pennetreau – Florence Delmotte et Denis Duez, Les Frontières et la communauté politique : faire, défaire et penser les frontières, Bruxelles, Presses de L’Université Saint-Louis, 2017, 248 pages.

Simon Tordjman – Leila Mouhib, L’Union européenne et la promotion de la démocratie. Les pratiques au Maroc et en Tunisie, Bruxelles, Éditions de l’ULB, 2017, 256 pages.