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Cultural policies of the European Union: Wikis

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There is some EU cultural cooperation. Cultural cooperation between member states has become a community competency since its inclusion in 1992 in the Maastricht Treaty.[1] Actions taken in the cultural area by the EU include the Culture 2000 7-year programme,[1] the European Cultural Month event,[2] the Media Plus programme,[3] orchestras such as the European Union Youth Orchestra[4] and the European Capital of Culture programme — where one or more cities in the EU are selected for one year to assist cultural development of the city.[5]

In addition, the EU gives grants to cultural projects (233 in 2004) and has launched a Web portal dedicated to Europe and Culture, responding to the European Council's expressed desire to see the Commission and the member states "promote the networking of cultural information to enable all citizens to access European cultural content by the most advanced technological means."[6]

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Sport

Sport is largely the domain of the member states, with the EU mostly playing an indirect role. Recently the EU launched an anti-doping convention. The role of the EU might increase in the future, if (for example) the Treaty of Lisbon were to be ratified by all member states.[7] Other policies of the EU have had an impact on sports, such as the freedom of employment which was at the core of the Bosman ruling, which prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with EU nationality.[8]

Citizenship

In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty introduced the Citizenship of the European Union.

This citizenship transfers from a former national citizenship — one holds the nationality of an EU member state and additionally becomes a "Citizen of the Union".

EU citizenship offers certain rights and privileges within the EU; in many areas EU citizens have the same or similar rights as native citizens in member states. Such rights granted to EU citizens include:

  • the right of abode
  • the right to vote and the right to stand in local and European elections
  • the right to work in any position (including national civil services with the exception of sensitive positions such as defence).

EU member states also use a common passport design, burgundy coloured with the name of the member state, national seal and the title "European Union" (or its translation).

Union citizenship continues to gain in status and the European Court of Justice has stated that Union citizenship will be the "fundamental status of nationals of Member States" (see Case C-184/99 Rudy Grzelczyk v Centre Public d'Aide Sociale d'Ottignes-Louvain-la-Neuve, [2001] ECR I-6193, para 31). The European Commission has affirmed that Union citizenship should be the fundamental status of EU nationals.

Educational policies of the European Union

EU-funded educational, vocational and citizenship-building programmes help more than 100,000 EU citizens each year take advantage of opportunities which the EU offers its citizens to live, study and work in other countries. These opportunities make a major contribution to cross-cultural understanding, personal development and the realisation of the EU’s full economic potential. EU-backed improvements in national education and training quality and compatibility between educational and vocational training systems facilitate individual mobility and are important for jobs and growth.

According to Art. 149 of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Community "shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States", through a wide range of actions, such as promoting the mobility of citizens, designing joint study programmes, establishing networks, exchanging information or teaching languages of the European Union. The Treaty also contains a commitment to promote lifelong learning for all citizens of the Union. Therefore, the Community has a complementary role to play: to add a European dimension to education, to help to develop quality education and to encourage lifelong learning. All the recent European summits (from Lisbon 2000 on) underlined the contribution of education in setting up the "European knowledge society".

The European Union has recently worked on various harmonisation projects including the Bologna Process.

The purpose of the Bologna process is to create the European higher education area by harmonising academic degree standards and quality assurance standards throughout Europe.

Languages

The languages of the European Union are languages used by people within the member states of the European Union.

They include the 23 official languages of the European Union plus many others.

EU policy is to encourage all its citizens to be multilingual; specifically, it encourages them to be able to speak two languages in addition to their mother tongue. The reason for this is not only to promote easier communication between Europeans, but also to encourage greater tolerance and respect for diversity.

A number of EU funding programmes actively promote language learning and linguistic diversity. The content of educational systems remains the responsibility of individual Member States. Further information can be found at Language Policy.

Politics

The European Union or EU is a supranational union of 27 European states. It has many activities, the most important being a common single market, consisting of a customs union, a single currency (adopted by 15 out of 27 member states), a Common Agricultural Policy and a Common Fisheries Policy. The European Union also has various initiatives to co-ordinate activities of the member states.

The EU, considered as a unit, has the largest economy in the world, with a 2002 GDP of €9.613 trillion. The EU economy is expected to grow further over the next decade as more former communist countries join the union. There is also a trend of moving towards increased cooperation in terms of common defence and foreign policy.

The union has evolved over time from a primarily economic union to an increasingly political one. This trend is highlighted by the increasing number of policy areas that fall within EU competence: political power has tended to shift upwards from the Member States to the EU.

See also

References

External links

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