Think Culture... Think Growth


Med Culture is a Technical Assistance Unit funded by the European Union for the promotion of culture as vector of Human, Social and Economic Development in South Mediterranean countries.

Projets Ue

Projets Ue

The purpose behind the present selection of projects is to share some insights with cultural practitioners in the South Mediterranean region to better inform their quest for funds and broaden the sources and possibilities in terms of European Union cooperation programmes that could answer their needs. You’ll notice that some of the projects were already closed, but were included in the selection to serve as examples of what one should consider in their search criteria when seeking funds.

Culture has been introduced officially in the European Union legislation through article 128 of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, stipulating in particular that the “Community shall take cultural aspects into account in its action under other provisions of this Treaty”. In other words, culture is a cross-cutting issue that shall be taken into consideration in all European Union policies.

Thanks to this legal basis, even if the European Union does not have any Cultural Policy, cultural projects can be presented and funded by most of European Union programmes, providing they meet their objectives and criteria. Indeed, the European Union cohesion policy, addressing mainly development issues (infrastructures, culture & tourism, creative industries, etc.) is by far the policy that allocates most funding to the cultural field.

Panorama of EU Regional Programmes and Projects in the Southern Mediterranean

The Panorama of EU Regional Programmes and Projects - Southern Mediterranean, 2012-2014 contains key information on all the regional projects funded in the Southern Neighborhood under the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

Projects are listed under three main policy areas:

  • Institutional dialogue, governance and human rights
  • Social and human development
  • Economic integration and sustainable development

The 85-page publication is available in English, French ;and Arabic.

FP6, FP7 and Horizon2020 Programmes

FP6 and FP7 were the European Union's research and innovation funding programmes from 2002-2013. The current research programme is Horizon2020. It is meant to play a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment. Some main cultural research issues are/were addressed in these projects, such as: archaeological management policies, preservation of ancient Mediterranean sites, protection of cultural heritage, etc.

European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)

EIDHR has a broad scope of action. Its aim is to provide support for the promotion of democracy and human rights in non-EU countries. Under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, a great variety of projects are supported to advance economic, social and cultural rights worldwide.

The EIDHR funds more than 1200 projects in over 100 countries.


The Erasmus+ programme aims to boost skills and employability, as well as modernising education, training and youth work. Erasmus+ provides opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad.

Also, it supports transnational partnerships among education, training, and youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe. It also supports national efforts to modernise education, training and youth systems.

Tempus Programme

Tempus was the European Union's programme, which supported the modernisation of higher education in the Partner Countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region, mainly through university cooperation projects. Under this programme, several Master courses related to culture were funded, notably in the fields of cultural heritage and tourism and cultural heritage preservation.

Tempus was replaced with the Erasmus+ programme.

Creative Europe Programme

Creative Europe is the European Commission's framework programme for support to the culture and audiovisual sectors. Following on from the previous Culture Programme and MEDIA programme, Creative Europe consists of two sub-programmes; the Culture sub-programme to promote the culture sector, and the MEDIA sub-programme to support the audiovisual sector.

The Creative Europe programme is open to cultural and creative organisations from non-EU Member states under certain conditions (so far ENP countries from the South have not adhered to the programme but can have access to certain funds through very specific rules).