What we do


The Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends seeks to generate and review policy standards in areas of concern to governments and society, by providing knowledge, statistics, comparisons, resources, thematic sections and more. The country profiles contain information on the historical development, present structure, financial aspects, specific sectors and ongoing debates in national cultural policies. 

The information presented in the country profiles is derived from a variety of sources including research studies, governmental documents and reports by ministers and other key representatives, reports or manifestos of lobby and advocacy groups, important statements from artists and cultural producers, from political campaigns or the media.


More than ever, the Compendium feels the need to play a leading role in facilitating international knowledge exchange and to function as a leverage for cultural policy making and democratic governance. We believe in the importance of freedom of information. Therefore, the Compendium’s accumulated experience, its intellectual and social capital, is available for everyone.

For whom

The Compendium is targeted to a broad audience of policy makers and administrators, arts institutions and networks, researchers and documentation professionals, journalists and students. The information and data presented online helps to inform decision-making processes, to conduct comparative policy research and analyses, to maintain data collections and to disseminate good practices examples. 

Statistics regarding the average use of the Compendium show that is has become a working tool consulted on a daily basis by authorities, institutions and individuals involved in cultural policy making and research, not only in Europe but world-wide.


This transnational project was initiated in 1998 by the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Steering Committee for Culture. It was managed and edited as a joint venture by the CoE with the European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts). Since its foundation in 1998, the Compendium has aimed to include all states co-operating within the context of the European Cultural Convention. Currently, a community of practice of over 50 independent cultural policy researchers from 43 different countries collaborate on the Compendium.

In 2019, the Compendium and its expert authors adopted a new methodological structure. The previous ‘grid’, the basic structure of the country profiles in the database, was renewed in order to stay in sync with cultural policy developments and to allow for a more thematic approach. The Compendium’s database was redeveloped and introduced with the launch of the brand new Culturalpolicies.net on December 5th, 2019.