The New Agenda for Culture as a Tool for European Integration

In May 2018, the European Commission published ‘A New Agenda for Culture’. Acknowledging the social and political challenges Europe faces today, through this communication the Commission aims at contributing towards European cohesion and integration through culture. The array of instruments in the field of culture conceived by the EU seems to have been counterproductive: rather than helping achieve social aims, they seem to have contributed to further alienation in part due to the self-serving purpose of these instruments (Barnett 2001; Valentine 2018). This paper argues that cultural projects, including Creative Europe flagships such as the European Capital of Culture, have turned efforts at participation and engagement into matters of self-satisfying bureaucratic merit and achievement.

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