The societal value of culture and the impact of cultural policies in Europe
Culture has been an important element of public policy for social, cultural and political cohesion and inclusion throughout European history, and its potential could be significantly enhanced. Although it is often seen today from the angle of economic value added, culture generates additional societal value in terms of well-being and by promoting identity and belonging, inclusiveness, tolerance and cohesion. Culture is also a source of creativity and innovation. The challenge is to develop new perspectives and improved methodologies for capturing the wider societal value of culture, including but also beyond its economic impact. Improved cultural value measurements and case studies also need to be developed in support of effective and inclusive policies and institutional frameworks that offer a convincing vision for citizens to cope with current cultural and societal transformations. In order to contextualise the debate on the societal value of culture, part of the challenge is to comparatively study the visions that underlie cultural policies as held by policy-makers and as embedded in institutions responsible for designing and implementing these policies at European, national and local levels.
Proposals should assess and develop appropriate methodologies and perform comparative qualitative, participative and statistical analyses at national and EU level to map the various forms of cultural engagement, assess the role of cultural participation as a source of wellbeing, and identify the benefits of cultural engagement across population segments. The historical role of culture in integrating and dividing Europe should be addressed with a view to learning more about the specific conditions in which cultural integration occurs. The nature and degree of the contributions stemming from cultural engagement to intercultural dialogue, cultural identity and community building should also be assessed. On the basis of innovative approaches and a representative geographic coverage of different parts of Europe, proposals should explain how cultural values are constructed in the age of social media, internet and television across different socio-economic groups. They should also investigate how urbanisation, spatial and social segregation, gender and rising diversity in European societies influence the formation of cultural values. In addition, proposals should assess the goals, strategies and effectiveness of cultural policies and institutions in evoking, transferring and maintaining cultural value, as well as addressing issues such as diversity and inclusion.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The action will provide new methodologies for capturing the societal value of culture in contemporary societies. It will improve statistical data and methods for capturing cultural impacts in cooperation, when appropriate, with national statistical institutes, relevant international organisations, networks, research infrastructures and Eurostat. It will also equip policymakers with effective tools for measuring, understanding and enhancing the impact of cultural policies. Participatory and co-creation approaches involving a wide range of stakeholders will contribute to innovative scientific and policy results.