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Brussels, 18 March 2002

"Europe and culture": a new EU culture portal

The new European portal dedicated to cultural policies will be presented at the informal meeting of Culture Ministers to be held on 18 and 19 March in Salamanca, the 2002 European capital of culture, by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission with special responsibility for Education and Culture. This portal provides easy access, free of charge, to information on the EU's many cultural measures, which was previously spread across various sources. The portal highlights the variety and scale of the EU's activities, which make it an important partner of the cultural sector.

"The European Commission did not wait for the Maastricht Treaty to give the European Union powers in the area of culture before taking action in this field via policies on social and regional development, research, the internal market, international cooperation, etc. The action taken by various European Commission departments lacked the visibility which will from now on be provided by this portal", said Viviane Reding.

The "Europe and Culture" portal is intended for all those who are active in the field of culture and anyone else who is interested. It lists the EU's cultural activities by type of action (regulation, cooperation, international relations, etc.) and by type of activity (music, dance, theatre, heritage, etc.). It also provides information on the European funding available and provides links to the sites of Culture Ministries and portals in the Member States and associate countries.

The European Culture portal is thus a response to the European institutions' wish for EU policies and actions to take greater account of cultural issues. With the cooperation of the Ministries of Culture in the Member States and those involved in the field of culture, this portal will quickly become a European reference point for information on culture.

It is available in five languages (German, English, French, Spanish and Italian) and can be accessed on the European Commission's Europa website at the following address:

Annex: homepage of the "Europe and Culture" portal.

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