Culture: Yet Another Omission from the EU's Thoughts on the Future of the Eastern Partnership

Maria Alesina

Op-ed No. 19/2020

The recent Joint Communication of March 2020 outlined how cooperation with the EU’s Eastern partners may be envisaged after 2020, which in May was followed by Council Conclusions. In contrast to the EU’s May 2018 Joint Communication on culture in the framework of its international relations, the cultural component is almost neglected in these most recent documents. In the Communication, cooperation in this domain is limited to a short remark, which laconically acknowledges the potential of culture and creative industries ‘as engines for sustainable social and economic development’, and asserts the EU’s intention to support its partners in maximizing this (p. 8). Added as a final note to the sub-section on the sustainable economy, particularly related to investing in people, it provides no details on specific dimensions, objectives, and instruments of the EU’s engagement. The Council Conclusions generally ignore this question as such. Such a brief (if any) attention is especially striking in the light of the strategic importance of cultural for the overall EU influence in the region.


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