Summary: This briefing paper provides critical reflections on the European Commission Communication: u0091a European agenda for culture in a globalising worldu0092 of 10th May 2007. It highlights some potential points of progress that have been proposed to improve the EUu0092s difficult and faltering attempts to deal with u0091cultureu0092 since the Treaty of Maastricht, while also identifying important issues that require greater clarity. Culture is both a means and an end. The focus of the documentu0092s proposed actions is on instrumental applications of culture, although its language sometimes seeks to imply concern for the value of culture for its own sake (where policy and action are very constrained under Article 151 of the Treaty). Apart from what some might consider to be exaggerated claims for the results of the EUu0092s small-scale cultural programmes, the Communication does not concern itself with the arts or heritage in their own right. There is an inbuilt elision (or confusion) of the non-commercial contemporary arts and creativity with culture which is produced and disseminated on an industrial scale.
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