Ferri, Delia. (2005) EU Participation in the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Some Constitutional Remarks. EDAP paper, 3/2005. [Working Paper]
Culture, in its prescriptive definition, is crucial concept for building a peaceful and open Europe as envisaged in the EC and EU Treaties, as well as in the Constitutional Treaty. For this reason, just after the third phase of intergovernmental negotiations that took place from 25 May to 4 June 2005, and with regard to the complexity and changing dimensions of this issue, it is important to underscore the significance of cultural diversity for European polity. More precisely, it seems useful to consider more deeply what is happening in the UNESCO seat in the context the EU/EC as a “cultural democracy” through analysis of the present juridical status of competence within the European system in the cultural field. First, however, special attention should be paid to this Convention because it seems to represent an important step towards unified international action, also within the sensitive and peculiar field of culture. After a critical overview, this article focuses on the participation of the EU/EC in this negotiation, regarding it as a paradigmatic example of European action in an international forum and, at the same time, as a factor for the restructuring of competences within the European Community/Union system. The paper argues that the substantial re-allocation of competences in the cultural field emerging during these negotiations points towards a more pluralistic shape of the EU/EC, and can easily represent a new trend in cultural action, characterized by the dialectical tension between cultural regulation and freedom of culture.
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