European Union and Challenges of Cultural Policies: Critical Perspectives.An Introduction


This introductory article contextually frames the contributions to the special issue gathering articles critically addressing the key questions and challenges that the European Union (EU) and national cultural policies are facing in the 21st century. Interdisciplinar y contributions in this special issue point to the diverse understandings of culture, the complexity of the EU governance system, and the discrepancy and mismatch of the national and EU levels that regulate the field of culture. The authors detect the inconsistent development strategies on different policy levels, and point to the democratic deficits of the EU governance system and EU policies. Selected contributions address a further focal shift of EU culture policies toward an economistic orientation to culture, while others address the need for a more critical approach that moves beyond predominantly positivistic and normative approaches to cultural policy research in Europe.