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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture
  2. Disseminating information on cultural opportunities
  3. Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture


Democratising the cultural participation of young people is a key priority of the State-led policies and policies run by local authorities and private not-for-profit structures alike (associations, foundations, etc.).

With a view to reducing obstacles to cultural access and participation, the Ministry of Culture has drawn up a pricing policy and schemes for freely accessing the permanent collections of 50 national museums and national monuments. Applicable since 4 April 2009, this measure applies to young EU residents under 26 years of age, as well as the whole of the educational community.

Cultural democratisation forms the backbone of what the Ministry of Culture does in a bid to reduce barriers to cultural access through “cultural development”, a policy which results both in support for the cultural offering in its diversity and in actions that make culture more accessible to youngsters. Cultural development also extends to people who, because of their social situation, find themselves the most removed from culture: prisoners or socially or geographically excluded people for example. Disabled people and hospital patients also form target groups for cultural development policies.


Artistic and cultural education

Artistic and cultural education has been made compulsory by the law of 8 July 2013 on the orientation and programming of the refoundation of the Republican school. It is also one of the core missions of the structures accredited and approved by the Ministry of Culture (law no. 2016-925 of 7 July 2016 on the freedom of creation, architecture and heritage).


Culture Pass (Pass Culture) for young people

In 2018, the Government launched the Culture Pass (Pass Culture) scheme for young people;

This project has three objectives:

  1. Facilitate access for all to culture,
  2. Promote cultural diversity,
  3. Foster independent thinking in young people towards culture, 18 year olds in particular.

To put the project into action, the Ministry of Culture has developed a digital platform for cultural mediation in the form of a mobile app with a number of features,  which  provides a national calendar of cultural opportunities while also suggesting specific, location-based opportunities  for 18 year olds. Each resident who is 18 years old will receive credit worth €500 in goods or services which can be put towards a whole range of cultural activities. This scheme was trialled in a number of départements in 2018 and has been rolled out across the board for 18-year-olds in May 2021. Each 18-year-old resident receives a credit corresponding to 300 euros worth of goods or services to use in the widest possible range of cultural activities for 24 months.

A professional portal is also available to all cultural players, offering them the editorial content available on the platform.

Between 2018 and 2022, more than 750,000 young people will have benefited from the Culture Pass.

Expansion of the Culture pass to 10-12 years-olds (sixième and cinquième).

In June 2023, the Culture Pass was extended to pupils in sixth and fifth form (ISCED 2 - aged 10 to 11).

The individual culture pass 15-17 years-olds

Another model of Culture Pass is offered to young people aged 15 to 17. It was extended to all young people in this age group in January 2022, and is available to young people at school, who must apply digitally by logging on to their school space, or not at school, who must go through specialised structures.

There is an amount that can be used for independent cultural activities that varies for each age group:

  • 20 euros when they reach their 15th birthday
  • 30 euros when they reach their 16th birthday
  • 30 euros when they reach their 17th birthday

The « Passerelle » (footbridge/connection) residences

In priority areas impacted by urban policy, 6 cities are experimenting the « passerelle » residences. These residences welcome artists to raise awareness about theater, dance, music, and visual arts to children and young pople from priority areas.  

Disseminating information on cultural opportunities


The various stakeholders advocating cultural participation among young people promote cultural opportunities through a range of actions: events, national campaigns and use of information dissemination tools.

Internet users can find out what's on culture-wise on the institutional websites:

  •  The website of the Ministry of Culture gives the lowdown on cultural events in France and is also a resource base on arts
  • The Culture Pass (Pass Culture) website, which is linked to an application enabling young people to find out about existing cultural activities taking place where they live.

In addition to websites, so-called "general public" events are also put on to promote existing cultural opportunities.

Since 2015, for example the nationwide annual book festival for youngsters, "Partir en livre", has been organised by the CNL - National Book Centre (Centre national du livre) with input from the Youth Press and Book Salon (Salon du Livre et de la presse jeunesse). This free festival sets out to pass on enjoyment for reading as well as familiarise young people with the people and places involved in the book industry as a whole. Over 3,000 free events are held throughout mainland France and overseas territories as part of this festival.

Moreover, youth information facilities, forming as they do a France-wide Youth information network (See 2 .7 Information providers in Raising awareness about Youth Volunteering Opportunities) and under agreement with the Ministry of Youth, also play a part in promoting the national and local provision of cultural activities. These facilities (offices, youth information points) may sell tickets, give out invitations and offer discounts for cultural events.



Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people


Raising young people's awareness of cultural heritage is one of the objectives of cultural associations and institutions, not least the Ministry of Culture which, through various initiatives, educates youngsters in history and history of art or in vocational training in the heritage occupations.

Such actions are run all year round. They aim at raising young people's awareness of the history of their society and of their living environment (heritage, architecture, landscape, etc.) through diverse approaches: tours, workshops, encounters and personal accountslocal arts and craft practices, etc. These projects may be embarked on during school time, initiated by teachers, or during children's free time, with their family or while attending holiday clubs and other "youth" facilities (Youth and cultural centres [Maison des jeunes et de la culture], etc.).

A whole host of stakeholders are involved in this education and promotion of heritage for young people: heritage sites, heritage advocacy associations, volunteering programmes (chantiers de bénévoles, see below) or the network of Towns/Cities and Regions of Art and Culture (Villes et pays d’art et d’histoire), etc.

These stakeholders jointly with the Ministry of culture implement  initiatives for accessing cultural heritage. Some examples include:

  • "That’s my heritage!” (C’est mon patrimoine !)

"That’s my heritage!” (C’est mon patrimoine !) is an initiative that has been organised by the Ministry of Culture for 6 to 18 year olds from deprived backgrounds since 2005.

It seeks to open children's and adolescents' eyes up to the sheer range of heritage out there through multidisciplinary extra-curricular activity programmes: workshops, dramatised tours, treasure hunts, readings, dance, performances or digital art practice. The activities put on are the result of a call for proposals for the attention of cultural stakeholders. Their project proposals can be legally overseen by a heritage institution or association. 

This scheme is overseen by the Ministry of Culture and  the National agency for territorial cohesion (Agence nationale de cohésion des territoires - ANCT) in partnership with social centres, youth and culture centres, holiday clubs and rural development associations (foyers ruraux). It is also rolled out via national or local partnerships with the CMN - Centre for National Monuments (Centre des monuments nationaux) and diverse institutions across the heritage spectrum. Local authorities can also get involved in this project, either by stumping up funding or by fronting projects.

The scheme reaches around 500,000 young people every year.


  • Heritage volunteering programmes (chantiers patrimoniaux de bénévoles)

Several associations that protect and promote heritage, including Rempart and the CHAM - Chantier Histoire Architecture Médiévale), subsidised by the Ministries of Culture , organise international heritage restoration programmes on a volunteering basis (bénévolat).


  • Family visits

With a view to helping the most deprived families to enjoy heritage visits, the Ministry of Culture has published, with input from its General Directorate for Heritage (Direction générale des patrimoines), a guide on cultural family sightseeing: Visiter en famille, socialisation et médiation des patrimoines [Family sightseeing, socialisation and mediation of heritage] for the attention of cultural mediation professionals.


  • Europe-wide events

Over and above these national initiatives, some heritage promotion events have a European dimension, such as the European Heritage Days, launched by the Council of Europe and organised annually jointly with the European Union. 

In France, the European Heritage Days are organised by the Ministry of Culture. They call on the CMN, the network of Towns/Cities and Regions of Art and History, the Heritage Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) and heritage preservation associations present.




Heritage is the subject of a budget program: the 175 "Heritage" program. These funds finance, in particular, the protection and restoration of heritage.