European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)
Through its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the EU works with its Southern and Eastern Neighbours to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration.
16 countries are covered by the ENP. These are: in the South - Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine [this designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue], Syria and Tunisia; and in the East -Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in the East.
The ENP is a key part of the European Union's foreign policy, and builds on common interests and on values — democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and social cohesion. Building bridges between people, facilitating mobility and fostering intercultural understanding are among the most relevant aims for the culture sector.
Recent events have required a new approach and a re-prioritisation. Therefore in November 2015 the High Representative and the Commission presented a Joint Communication "Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP): stronger partnerships for a stronger neighbourhood".
The ENP Review recognized that ''in many neighbourhood countries ethnic, religious and cultural identities and traditions play a crucial role as regards the way society functions'' and that ''cross-cultural dialogue, such as that promoted by the Anna Lindh foundation, will be key''. It also highlighted that ''the EU will continue to foster a realistic and fair narrative on migration and to combat vigorously all forms and manifestations of racism and discrimination promoting intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and mutual understanding''.
There are EU-funded cultural programmes under the ENP in both the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, described in more detail below.
The ENP is chiefly a bilateral policy between the EU and each partner country. Bilateral Action Plans or Association Agendas are negotiated between the EU and each ENP partner. These set out an agenda of political and economic reforms with short and medium-term priorities of 3 to 5 years. Cultural provisions, including the promotion of the implementation of the Convention, are also part of these agendas.
The ENP is complemented by regional and multilateral cooperation initiatives, notably the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean Partnership.
In the context of the Eastern Partnership, “Platform 4 – contacts between people'' fosters cooperation in the fields of education, youth, culture and audio-visual, through policy dialogue and dedicated programmes (in the field of culture, mainly Creative Europe and the Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity programme). The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum serves as a civil society and people-to-people dimension of the Eastern Partnership. Its Working Group “Contacts between People” deals with the main issues on the agenda of EaP Thematic Platform 4 of the same name.
In the Southern Neighbourhood , the EU has supported the work done by The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), an intergovernmental organisation enhancing regional cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The major actor in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue in the Mediterranean is the Anna Lindh Foundation, active since 2005. It is an inter-governmental institution, co-financed by 42 countries of the UfM and the EC, aiming at bringing together civil society and citizens across the Mediterranean to build trust and improve mutual understanding.
A number of regional and bilateral programmes in the Southern Neighbourhood are specifically dedicated to the development of culture as a vector of economic, social and human development. For more details see below.
The Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity programme is expected to contribute to:
- developing and further strengthening cultural and creative industries;
- creating synergies between public and private actors;
- enhancing the contribution of civil society to cultural policy development and reform in the region;
- strengthening the capabilities of EaP countries to facilitate their participation in international culture cooperation initiatives, including the EU Creative Europe programme;
- enhancing cultural heritage protection at local level.
The Media and culture programme for development in the Southern Mediterranean region (2014-17) supports activities expected to foster cultural policy reform and reinforce the capacity of cultural policy makers, as well as promote investment and the development of cultural operators' business capabilities.
The MedFilm programme (2015-17) is expected to promote freedom of expression, notably among female filmmakers, by allowing them to tackle sensitive issues on a regional level.
In addition, two important bilateral cooperation programmes dedicated to Culture worth mentioning are:
In Tunisia, where the EU is supporting the redefinition of cultural policy and cultural sector in order to assert its strategic role as driver for economic and social reforms. This programme is expected to promote freedom of expression and diversity, and to support Tunisian cultural production as an element of social cohesion, economic development and tolerance.
In Syria, where the EU supports the UNESCO-run Action Plan "Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage". The expected result is to contribute to restoring social cohesion, stability and sustainable development through the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage.
Eastern Partnership Culture Programme I (2011-2015): 12M €
Eastern Partnership Culture Programme II (2015-2018): 4.9 M €.
Media and culture for development in the Southern Mediterranean region (2014-17): 9 M€ for Culture.
"Development of Clusters in Cultural and Creative Industries in the Southern Mediterranean" (2013-2018): 5M€
MedFilm programme (2015-17): 4.5 M €.
Tunisia: EU support on culture: 6M €.
Syria: EU financial support to UNESCO-run Action Plan "Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage": 2.5M €
EU support to the Anna Lindh Foundation: phase III (2012-2014): 10 MEUR (7Mio EUR for the functioning of the Foundation, 3 MEUR for the programme “Citizens for Dialogue”; phase IV (2015-2017): 7 M EUR.