This dissertation argues that it is by accounting for culture in its intangible and societal aspects that EU law can address the critique as to the standardising effect of the cultural industries. This is because only if the law can detach itself from a purely market rationale and interact with the societal sphere can it account for broader cultural and societal considerations.
The dissertation analyses the application of European state aid law and audiovisual media services regulation to culture and sport to explore the extent to which EU law perceives intangible aspects of culture when it regulates cultural goods and services in the internal market. Intangible aspects of culture are broader cultural and societal implications attached to cultural goods and services. They include anthropological considerations around behaviours and traditions, or societal considerations, where culture relates to other concepts such as identity, community building or intercultural dialogue.
The thesis identifies three techniques through which EU law accounts for intangible aspects of culture when regulating culture. Each technique is associated with a role of culture in EU law, and a legal notion of culture. The first technique is the accommodation of culture, which corresponds to the role of culture as an economic sector wherein the relevant legal concept is 'works'. The second is the development of a narrative, which is attached to the role of culture in disseminating a European cultural dimension and the associated legal concept is that of cultural diversity. The third is the EU's approach to the notion of culture in a broader sense, which corresponds to the role of culture as part of growth and the concept of the cultural sector.
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