About The Project

Find out more about the ERC Project DANCING on this page.

DANCING investigates the extent to which the protection of the right to take part in culture of people with disabilities and the promotion of cultural diversity intersect and complement each other in the EU legal order.

Image credits

Accessible versions of this page:
Irish Sign Language
audio version

It disrupts the conventional approach adopted by EU law scholarship by using a combination of legal, empirical and arts-based research to pursue three complementary objectives, experiential, normative and theoretical respectively.

Lady painting on a canvas using her foot.  Link to image source.  Click to magnify image size.
Image Source: Shutterstock. Image credits

First, it aims to identify and categorize barriers and facilitators to cultural participation experienced by disabled people and how they affect the wider cultural domain.

Secondly, it aims to provide a normative exploration of how the EU has used and can use its competence to combat discrimination and its supporting competence on cultural matters, in synergy with its wide internal market powers, to ensure the accessibility of cultural activities, to promote disability identities, while achieving cultural diversity. In doing so, it bridges the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Thirdly, it advances the understanding of the legal concept of cultural diversity, which stems from the intersection of different sources of law and will propose a new theorization of the promotion of cultural diversity within the EU legal order. 

DANCING is informed by the open-ended definition of disability affirmed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which states that persons with disabilities “include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.  

Article 30, UNCRPD recognises ‘the right of persons with disabilities to take part on an equal basis with others in cultural life’.

Furthermore, DANCING looks at the right to participate in culture in a comprehensive way with reference to its twofold individual dimension and its collective aspect. The twofold individual dimension encompasses the right to access cultural activities, goods and services, i.e. the right to cultural consumption, and the right to active involvement in culture, which includes the engagement in the creation of cultural goods, services and activities. The collective aspect entails the right of cultural communities to be recognised and protected as well as to enjoy and make use of their cultural heritage and cultural expressions.  

DANCING is a participatory and interactive project. It aims to create synergies with various stakeholders and endeavours to enhance civic participation, and to foster legal change and effective policy responses. 

“The graphic and <a href=
DANCING Infographic. Design by Norbert Croonenberg.


Audio version of this graphic. Download the transcript here: