Cultural and Scientific Co-operation

One of the main goals of the ERICarts Institute and its network of cultural researchers is to facilitate sustainable co-operation and dialogue in the field of comparative cultural research by:   building research teams comprised of experts from all over Europe; organising international workshops and debates among research, policy, arts and media professionals and;   publishing information and data on key actors involved in cultural affairs in Europe. In this sense, the work of the ERICarts Institute and Network itself can be seen as a model for cultural and scientific cooperation.

The ERICarts Institute also studies different concepts and forms of "cultural co-operation" and their related policy implications on the mobility of individuals and groups in the cultural labour force, the movement of "intellectual capital", the trans-national movements of cultural goods and services throughout Europe and well as intercultural dialogue.

Results from the Institute's studies show that since the early 1980s, European cultural co-operation has steadily evolved into a complex organisational field, composed of different systems of meaning and with multiple patterns of interaction. This development has led to an increased diversification of interests and activities. Consequently, the number and type of public and private actors participating in cultural co-operation activities has grown.   Their respective institutional forms and internal priorities mean that the motivations for cultural co-operation differ.   For example:

  • One of the main goals of the Council of Europe as well as of UNESCO over the past decades has been to facilitate cultural cooperation mainly through the exchange of information and experience and the sharing of good policy practice on a wide range of issues.   Some of their main activities have been the evaluation and analysis of national cultural policy approaches and appropriate tools for all levels of government to promote creativity, participation, diversity and cultural identity. However, a number of more specific programmes also exist (e.g. "Cultural Routes" or the "World Cultural and Natural Heritage List").
  • Cooperative action pursued or funded by the European Union is often described as being more "instrumental" with regard to the main economic and political goals of that trans-national institution. The "European Capitals of Culture" programme and, more recently, demands of the European Parliament and the "Open Method of Coordination" (OMC) with member states experts and NGO's added instruments to cultural cooperation that departed a bit from previous formal procedures and restricted viewpoints.
  • National governments have developed general bilateral strategies, programmes and projects aimed at what is also labelled as "cultural co-operation".   The goals are generally to promote one's own cultural and identity abroad.
  • Trans-national networks of individuals, institutions, cities and regions engage in more action-oriented projects to achieve their goals of cultural co-operation.

National policies and regulations can both encourage and discourage cultural co-operation from the point of view of mobility and exchange whether it be people, intangible assets, goods or services. Among the relevant instruments and measures are:   social and tax regimes, foreign policy agreements, awards and scholarship regulations, labour laws and union rules, language policies, quota regulations or copyright royalty schemes.