Access to Culture has become a major topic on the cultural policy agenda of Europe as well as on other levels of government. The European Civil Society Platform on Access to Culture reported:
“Access to Culture is an essential right of all citizens but becomes fundamental in the case of those with economic and social challenges […] However, there is a notable gap and a lack of political and public debate on and between principles and commitments, and everyday practices of fostering Access to Culture“.
Further relevance on the knowledge on the interaction between European priority setting on Access to Culture and the impact on national policy is enhanced by the current debate on the new EU Culture Programme 2014-2020, focusing on Access to Culture and the “development of long term audiences on European works”.
The proposed project aims at interrogating the gap between social reality and political normativity in the area of Access to Culture and to develop a set of recommendations to the European Union, aiming to improve European thinking on this issue and to interlink national discourse and the European dimension. Feasibility of recommendations will be given by the compilation and assessment of indicators on Access to Culture policy and implementation, applicable all across the countries of the Union and beyond.
Our main questions are:
- What is the meaning of Access to Culture, which aims will be achieved and which instruments are employed?
- How and why do the definitions and instruments of Access to Culture differ (in terms of approach/content and target groups) among countries?
- How interlinks national implementations and European cultural policy setting?
- How to evaluate the progress in Access to Culture?
Hereby a policy analysis method will investigate the European and national dimensions of Access to Culture. Moreover the assessment and development of indicators will make further development feasible for experts and policy makers.
Additionally the grouping aims to facilitate an open process and will invited national stakeholders to the meetings and implement discussion between national and European context of Access to Culture policies by round tables. This will contribute to the dimensions of Access to Culture as accessibility to cultural policy for partners´ nations and Europe.
The key competence of each partner impact the grouping as steering partnership.
The regional relevance will enable a comparative understanding among European Union and beyond (Turkey as gate to the South East).
 The House of Culture on behalf of the Access to Culture Platform (2010): Access to Culture. A fundamental right to of citizens. Policy Guidelines. p. 3 http://www.houseforculture.eu/beta/upload/Docs%20ACP/ACP-PGPartIofIV-PolicyGuidelines.pdf , accessed 02.10.2011.
 Anne Branch/ Head of the Culture Programme and Actions Unit, European Commission (DG Education and Culture) at the conference “European Audiences: 2020 and beyond” held by the European Commission October 2012