Culture plays a fundamental role in human life. It is also an essential source of identity, at local, regional, national and European levels, while making a significant contribution to the EU economy. EU cultural policy relates to cultural heritage, but also to the cultural and creative sector. The EU supports culture through a variety of initiatives, including the European Capitals of Culture scheme. A number of EU programmes also offer funding for cultural projects, for instance the Creative Europe programme, Horizon Europe and New European Bauhaus. As one of the sectors of the economy worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU included culture in its coronavirus response investment initiatives and the REACT-EU programme aimed at dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. The European Parliament has called for increased support for culture as part of the post-pandemic recovery efforts.