A Vision of Europe Through Culture: A Critical Assessment of Cultural Policy in the EU’s External Relations

  • Stuart MacDonaldEmail author
  • Erik Vlaeminck
Part of the The European Union in International Affairs book series (EUIA)


This chapter offers a brief stock-take of the EU’s way of writing and talking about culture in external relations. It addresses two key aspects of the development of a successful strategy: the definition of the field, and the need for a shared discursive framework within which the many policy, cultural and other actors involved can generate a shared sense of purpose and shape strategies. Language poses a significant challenge to the EU in culture in external relations. The critique is that the terms used, often reflect the need to produce texts which can be agreed, rather than systematic terminology which is subject-field driven. In the case of culture in external relations, this paper shows that there is still a high level of confusion about definitions. This gap therefore hinders the EU’s ability to develop effective mechanisms for strategy development and collaboration.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Cultural Relations LtdLondonUK
  2. 2.University of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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