Informations and abstract
Keywords: Culture; Competition; State Aid; EU; Museums
The case-law of the Community Courts considers economic any activity that is substantial in supplying goods or services on the market; regardless of the legal nature of the subject conducting it, of its public or private nature, and with or without a profit-making purpose. As a result of this, the new European policy approach to competition regards cultural activities as economic, including those significant in the creating and managing of cultural infrastructure: such as museums, monuments and archaeological sites. For this reason, the public funding of cultural activities is considered State Aid and must be subject to the rules laid down by The European Commission with the legislation recently entered into force. This will not just give rise to problems of funding as much as to unnecessary administrative work on the part of central and local government authorities (including small local authorities). All in the name of a misconception regarding the market and economic activity. This is an unrealistic concept that, in addition, is in contradiction with the papers, also recent, of the Commission itself as regards to European cultural policy. Papers that regard culture of the utmost importance for development precisely because of its effects on local economy and that crusaders of competition consider distort the normal market mechanisms.