RECOMMENDATION 1265 (1995)1 on enlargement and
European cultural co-operation
1.The European Cultural Convention of 1954 has proved its importance as a primary
instrument of cultural co-operation in the Council of Europe. It is now the basis of
co-operation between forty-three countries in the fields of culture, heritage, education,
youth and sport.
2.The Assembly, which has throughout stressed the significance of this activity,
appreciates the considerable assistance that Council of Europe member states have given
and are continuing to give to convention activities involving non-member states.
3.The Assembly also congratulates the Council of Europe Secretariat for managing to
carry out the ambitious range of activities involved with a minimum of financial and human
4.This workload has considerably increased with enlargement of cultural co-operation
since 1989 to include most of Europe. To multilateral co-operation has been added
assistance and training. This inevitably calls for greater resources; enlargement should
in no way be used as a means of reducing contributions by individual member states.
5.The Assembly therefore asks the Committee of Ministers to ensure that the cuts in the
grant-in-aid to the Cultural and Sports Funds in 1994 and 1995 are made up in 1996 and
that the programme for the new European Youth Centre in Budapest is fully funded.
6.The main area of concern is the level of Secretariat staffing, which has not
increased in step with the new needs of enlargement. The Committee of Ministers should
give priority to increasing staffing in areas that are already dealing with "greater
7.The possibility of enlargement to encompass the whole continent has marked the
renaissance of Europe. The step to cultural co-operation on this level is a significant
political step in the development of countries only now emerging from totalitarianism and
should not be rushed by over-hasty aspirations to immediate political maturity and
therefore full membership.
8.Obstacles should be removed for the remaining European states that wish to enter into
cultural co-operation. The Assembly has already stated in Recommendation 1239 (1994) that
all the republics of the former Yugoslavia should be readmitted to the European Cultural
9.The Assembly suggests that accession to the convention be limited to the same
geographical area of Europe as has been proposed for the enlargement of membership of the
Council of Europe in Recommendation 1247 (1994). It believes, however, that the process of
European cultural co-operation should operate in as open a manner as is practicable, and
calls therefore on the Committee of Ministers to consider in a positive manner requests
from non-European states to be associated with the convention, their association being
conditional on mutual interest, as in the present cases of Canada and Israel, and on the
payment of a reasonable financial contribution.
10.The Committee of Ministers is asked to consider altering the statute of the European
Youth Foundation to bring membership into line with the European Cultural Convention as
has already been done with the revised statute of the European Youth Centre.
11.The Assembly welcomes the virtual extension of media co-operation to all states
party to the European Cultural Convention and would suggest that the Committee of
Ministers reinforce the pan-European approach to activities in this field.
12.The Assembly is very conscious that, with the extension of activities and
enlargement, its own contribution to European cultural co-operation has been severely
limited by human and financial resources at both parliamentary and Secretariat levels. It
calls on the Committee of Ministers to provide the necessary logistical support.
1. Assembly debate on 25 April 1995 (11th Sitting) (see Doc. 7272,
report of the Committee on Culture and Education, rapporteur: Mrs Fischer).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 April 1995 (11th Sitting).