The true ‘EURESCO’? The Council of Europe,transnational networking and the emergence of European Community cultural policies, 1970–90

Oriane Calligaro, Kiran Klaus Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The roots of EU action in the field of culture lie in the 1970s. At the time, the Council of Europe (CoE), the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other organizations were already established players in the field. This article analyses the incremental and often haphazard process in which the European Community (EC) became the key organization at the European level by the end of the Cold War. It stresses the role of the EC’s specific
governance structure, its considerable financial resources, and its objectives of market integration and expanding powers as drivers of this process, along with selective forms of adaptation of practices first tried out in other forums. Besides scrutinizing general tendencies of inter-organizational exchange during the 1970s and 1980s, the article zooms in on two concrete case studies. For the 1970s, it highlights the debates about cultural heritage and the European Architectural Heritage Year (EAHY) project: although initiated by the CoE, the EAHY became one of the first cases of EC policy import, strongly facilitated
by transnational networks. The second case study, for the 1980s, deals
with the development of a European audio-visual policy. Here again the CoE took the lead and worked as a laboratory for schemes later adapted by the EC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-422
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Review of History / Revue européenne d'histoire
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • European Community
  • Council of Europe
  • inter-organizational dynamics
  • culture
  • architectural heritage
  • audio-visual policy

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