Enlarging the European Union
The Commission has begun an analytical examination of the "acquis communautaire" on 3 April 1998 with the countries with which negotiations have not yet started: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovak Republic.
The accession to the European Union of the candidate countries of central and eastern Europe requires the strengthening of their institutional and administrative capacity. These countries must establish a modern, efficient administration that is capable of applying the acquis communautaire to the same standards as the current Member States.
While support for investment will help candidate countries bring their economic and social structures into line with Community standards, it will not be sufficient to prepare them for EU membership. Institution building will help them to reinforce their institutional and administrative capacity to the point where they are ready to take on the obligations of membership and to get the most out of joining the EU. Institution building means developing the structures, human resources and management skills needed to implement the acquis. Institution building also means opening Community programmes, such as Leonardo, Socrates, etc., to the participation of the candidate countries.
On March 25, 1998, the European Commission approved Accession Partnerships for the 10 applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC's). Each Accession Partnership (AP) will help applicants to achieve such objectives as strengthening democracy and the rule of law, protection of minorities, economic reform, reinforcement of institutional and administrative capacity, preparation for full participation in the internal market, justice and home affairs, agriculture, environment, transport, employment and social affairs, regional policy and cohesion.
Forty years of working together, first within the European Community and then the European Union, has made Europeans increasingly aware of their common culture.
The new Treaty introduced as an objective of EU action 'a contribution to education and training of quality and to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States', encouraging cooperation between Member States in the areas of:
improvement of the knowledge and dissemination of the culture and history of the European peoples;
conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance;
non-commercial cultural exchanges;
artistic and literary creation, including in the audiovisual sector.
The Treaty also said that the Union should take cultural aspects into account in its other actions under the Treaty.
Practical achievements in the field of culture are growing in number and significance. The Commission has proposed three action programmes: Kaleidoscope, which promotes artistic and cultural activities, entered into force in March 1996, the Ariane programme, devoted to books and reading, and the Raphael programme which concerns cultural heritage, both currently being discussed within the Community institutions.
Actions in 1995 included awarding ECU 4.7 million to 100 projects for the restoration of religious monuments and contributions to training schemes in conservation and restoration. The Commission also assisted the translation of 85 works by European authors, with special priority being given to translation into less-widely-spoken languages.
Previous actions worthy of mention are:
The protection of architectural heritage
pilot projects to conserve the Community's architectural heritage;
the funding of work on the restoration of European monuments and sites of exceptional historical importance;
grants for training in restoration and conservation;
support for cultural events connected with the protection of cultural heritage.
The promotion of cultural and artistic creativity and cooperation
The Kaleidoscope pilot scheme and, since 1996, the Kaleidoscope programme to support cultural activities of European dimension (cultural events, encouragement of artistic creation, cultural coopeation network).
The European City of Culture (Copenhagen 1996, Thessaloniki 1997) and the European Cultural Month (St Petersburg 1996, Ljubljana 1997), established in 1985 and in 1990 respectively by the EU Ministers for Culture, aim at helping to bring the people of Europe closer together and to improve public access to cultural aspects of the city, region and country concerned.
The European Union Youth Orchestra and the European Union Baroque Orchestra, set up in 1976 and in 1985 respectively, provide training to young musicians and are the ambassadors of European culture through their international tours.
The promotion of books and reading
Support for contemporary literary translation.
Support for cooperation projects to promote books and reading in Europe.
Реферат опубликован: 5/08/2006