This paper explores the way that the European Union conceptualises the link between culture and development, and how this link has begun to be reflected in its international trade and development strategies. The paper begins by examining the evolution of EU debates on this subject and contextualising them in light of wider international discussions about the evolution of cultural policy in the context of globalisation. Particular attention is then given to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that was concluded in 2008 between the EU and the CARIFORUM grouping of Caribbean states. This EPA became the first international trade agreement to make reference to the provisions of the standard setting UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity (adopted 2005), notably through the inclusion of a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation which was heralded as a "blueprint" for the EU's new strategy of strengthening the link between culture and development. This blueprint is then used as a basis to interrogate the EU's conceptual and strategic stance on the question of culture and development, and to reflect on the subsequent evolution of EU policy in this field.
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