Welcome to the OPENCULT project!

OPENCULT was a research project on the cultural open method of coordination (OMC). Its purpose was to identify and explain the factors that promote or conversely constrain the impact of the cultural OMC on national cultural policies and the EU's cultural activity, in support of cultural diversity. The project was funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union. It was hosted by Maastricht University and it was led by Dr. Evangelia Psychogiopoulou. It started in February 2014 and had a duration of two and half years.


OPENCULT focused on the use of the open method of coordination (OMC) as one of the new cultural policy tools employed by the EU in the wake of the European Agenda for Culture in a Globalizing World (COM(2007) 242). The project studied the configuration of the cultural OMC, the institutional structures and policy objectives that define it, and the complex array of policy processes and instruments that it involves. It explored whether the cultural OMC has had a bearing on Member States’ cultural policies and it also examined its effects on EU cultural action.

Project funding: Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union, Support for training and career development of researchers (Marie Curie), Intra-European Fellowships (IEF), grant agreement FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF no. 327091


Dr. Evangelia Psychogiopoulou
Marie Curie Fellow
Maastricht University
Department of International and European Law
Bouillonstraat 1-3, 6211 LH Maastricht
Postbus 616, 6200 MD Maastricht


The main objectives of OPENCULT were the following:

 to study the genesis of the cultural OMC and map the policy objectives, institutional 
 arrangements, processes, procedures and instruments  that determine it;

 to examine in a comparative fashion the effects of the cultural OMC on Member 
 States’ cultural policies;

 to investigate the effects of the cultural OMC on EU cultural action;
 to identify the factors that can strengthen the ability of the cultural OMC to contribute 
 to the development of national and EU policies that  protect and promote cultural

 to ensure broad diffusion of the project’s findings and stress its relevance for cultural


OPENCULT’s work plan consisted of four phases.

Phase 1 – State of the art

Phase 1 set the theoretical framework of the project. It provided a critical overview of the state of the art and existing literature on EU cultural action, national cultural policy-making in the light of European integration and the OMC. In particular, it contextualized the OMC within the broader debate on EU governance and addressed the establishment and evolution of EU cultural policy and its interaction with Member States’ cultural policies.

Phase 2 – Empirical analysis

Phase 2 engaged in empirical analysis, involving in-depth research on: 
a) the configuration of the cultural OMC and its evolution in the context of two distinct cycles (2008-2010; 2011-2014);
b) the effects of the cultural OMC on Member States’ cultural policies; and 
c) the effects of the cultural OMC on the EU’s cultural policy and broader cultural action.  

Phase 3 – Analysis of empirical data

Phase 3 focused on the analysis of the empirical data collected. It sought to:
a) evaluate and explain similarities and differences as regards the effects of the cultural OMC on Member States’ cultural policies; and 
b) assess the impact of the cultural OMC on the EU’s cultural activity. 

Phase 4 – Dissemination of results

Phase 4 run throughout the duration of the project. It was designed to achieve the widest possible diffusion of the project’s scientific and policy-related output and access the project’s potential users and key target groups: academics, researchers, national and EU cultural policy-makers, civil society and the public at large.

Project duration: February 2014-September 2016


Project events

Workshop: The cultural open method of coordination: A new boost for cultural policies in Europe?

This workshop took place on 20 June 2016 at UM Campus Brussels (Brussels, Belgium). The aim was to disseminate information about the findings of OPENCULT and gather feedback from participants. The workshop brought together representatives from Member States’ cultural administrations, staff from the Directorate Education and Culture of the European Commission, scholars and cultural practitioners. The workshop covered the origins of the cultural open method of coordination, its configuration and operationalisation in a broad range of cultural areas, its adequacy in achieving its goals, and its policy impact. It was open to the public upon registration and it was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013). 

For information purposes: Evangelia Psychogiopoulou 

Download the programme

Seminar: The cultural open method of coordination

This seminar took place on 21/6/2016 at Maastricht Centre for European Law (Maastricht, The Netherlands). Its purpose was to discuss and assess the use of the open method of coordination (OMC) in the field of culture. Evangelia Psychogiopoulou presented key project results concerning the ability of the cultural OMC to fulfil its goals, namely to structure Member States’ cultural cooperation, to foster the exchange of best practices and to feed national and EU policies through policy recommendations. She also reflected on whether or not the process has an influence on national and  cultural policies. The seminar brought together PhD candidates, colleagues at Maastricht University and researchers working in the field of policy coordination and culture.

For information purposes: Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

Workshop: Taking stock of the open method of coordination

This workshop will take place on 24-25/11/2016 in the framework of the 2016 Ius Commune Conference ( in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Its purpose will be to examine the design and functioning of the open method of coordination (OMC) in various EU policy areas and to compare the OMC with other modes of EU and global governance. The workshop will primarily target scholars, researchers and staff from the European Commission.

The programme of the workshop is available at: (24/11/2016) and (25/11/2016).

For information purposes: Evangelia Psychogiopoulou 


Psychogiopoulou, E. (Ed.). (2015). Cultural governance and the European Union: Protecting and promoting cultural diversity in Europe, Palgrave Macmillan

What is the role of culture in the European Union's (EU's) law and policies? In what ways have cultural issues been framed at the level of the EU, and in the pursuit of what objectives? Cultural Governance and the European Union: Protecting and Promoting Cultural Diversity in Europe explores key features of the EU's cultural action and policies, examining their strengths and weaknesses at a time of unprecedented challenges - the recent economic crisis, globalisation and digitalisation, changes in cultural production, distribution and consumption.


Introduction: Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

1. The Cultural Logic Of Economic Integration; Rachael Craufurd Smith
2. Encapsulating EU Cultural Policy Into The EU's Growth And Competiveness Agenda: Explaining The Success Of A Paradigmatic Shift In Brussels; Annabelle Littoz-Monnet 
3. The Cultural Open Method Of Coordination; Evangelia Psychogiopoulou
4. The Creative Europe Programme: Policy-Making Dynamics And Outcomes; Anna Kandyla

5. The Protection Of National Treasures In The EU Single Market; Tania Kyriakou 
6. Cultural Diversity In The Digital Age: EU Competences, Policies And Regulations For Diverse Audiovisual And Online Content; Kristina Irion And Peggy Valcke
7. Cultural Diversity And The EU Copyright Policy And Regulation; Giuseppe Mazziotti 
8. Digital Rights Management And Rights Licensing In The Online Music Sector: A Case For Cultural Diversity?; Katharine Sarikakis
9. Cultural Diversity And State Aids To The Cultural Sector; Delia Ferri 
10. Cultural Diversity And State Aids To Public Service Media; Karen Donders And Tim Raats

11. The EU Charter Of Fundamental Rights And Cultural Diversity In The EU; John Morijn
12. The Right To Access Culture Under EU Law; Céline Romainville 
13. The EU's Relationship With Minority Rights; Tawhida Ahmed 

14. The European Union, The World Trade Organization And Cultural Diversity; Mira Burri
15. The Implementation Of The UNESCO Convention On The Protection And Promotion Of The Diversity Of Cultural Expressions In EU External Relations; Jan Loisen 
16. EU Cultural Cooperation With Third Countries: The Cases Of Latin America And The Mediterranean; Carmina Crusafon 

Conclusion: Culture And The European Union; Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

For more information please see here

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