This article outlines the interim results of a thematic research project which was promulgated by the European Commission and carried out by a research team from the University of Northumbria. The objective was to use trans-national comparisons to demonstrate successful practice in the (then) fifteen EU member states, drawing on examples from at least six of them. The study shows that public policy recognition of the multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion is improving, and there is a growing awareness that culture can have a valuable part to play in helping find effective solutions. However, serious problems have been identified such as, for example, poor co-ordination between the different levels of government. Central administrations in particular need to make greater efforts to communicate and spread good practice, which could and should be more widely disseminated throughout Europe.