The EU seeks to preserve Europe's shared cultural heritage and help make it accessible to others, as well as supporting and promoting the arts and creative industries in Europe.
A violinist at Varna's international music festival, Bulgaria.
The EU supports the arts and creative industries through:
Many EU policies are linked to culture:
The EU helps restore Europe's cultural heritage.
Creative Europe helps European cinema and the arts and creative sectors contribute more to jobs and growth, building on the successful MEDIA, MEDIA Mundus and Culture programmes.
With a €1.46 bn budget for 2014-2020, Creative Europe
The EU supports prizes in the areas of cultural heritage, architecture, literature and music, thereby highlighting the quality and success of Europe's artistic achievements.
Every year, 2 cities are chosen as European capitals of culture.
The title gives them a unique opportunity to celebrate their European identity, step up cooperation with cultural organisations in their own country and abroad, and further revitalise the local arts scene.
Being a capital of culture brings proven long-term benefits, social as well as cultural.
Updated in November 2014
This publication is part of the 'European Union explained' series