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EU: Education, Youth and Culture Council

Volume 710: debated on Monday 11 May 2009

Statement

My honourable friend the Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism (Barbara Follett) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Education, Youth and Culture Council will be held on 11 and 12 May in Brussels. Andy Lebrecht, UK Deputy Permanent Representative, will be representing the UK on 12 May when culture and audiovisual issues will be taken.

The first item on the agenda concerns the council conclusions on culture as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. The conclusions successfully draw the link between culture and the Lisbon objectives and reflect the role of creativity in responding to the economic crisis. This year also celebrates the European Year of Creativity and innovation. I intend to support the adoption of these conclusions.

The council will be invited to adopt a decision on the selection of two member states with a view to the nomination by the council of two experts in the selection panel for the European Capital of Culture Community action 2010-12. The presidency will also seek the adoption of decisions on the selection of cities to host the European Capital of Culture events for 2012 and 2013. Portugal and Slovenia are the EU member states nominating cities for 2012 and have put forward Guimarães and Maribor respectively. France and Slovakia are nominating cities for 2013 and have put forward Marseille and Košice respectively. I intend to support each of these proposals.

There will then be a discussion of a presidency paper on creative content online. The paper asks a series of questions around the prevention of intellectual property theft and the need to promote media literacy: what steps have member states taken to help develop legal offers and tackle the problems of piracy? How effective have these steps been and are there any lessons that can be learnt from the experience gained? In particular: (i) how far is it possible to take government action without risking the creation of new obstacles to the development of new innovative services; and (ii) how far is it possible to develop solutions which promote greater variety and better accessibility of legal offer while protecting the interests of rightholders? On media literacy, the presidency asks: how can member states achieve greater awareness on the importance of media literacy, and where do they see added value in possible initiatives at EU level? Our contribution to the exchange of views will outline current UK actions where we think that these are relevant to other member states and the Commission.

Under any other business, the presidency will provide information on the state of play of the Commission proposal establishing MEDIA Mundus, an audiovisual co-operation programme with professionals from third countries. The programme has a budget of €15 million and will run for a three-year period from 2011. The aims of the programme include increasing information exchange, competitiveness and transnational distribution worldwide. It also aims to improve circulation and exposure of audiovisual works, increasing public demand for culturally diverse audiovisual content. The presidency will present a paper outlining the current status of this proposal and will invite discussion and comments from member states. The UK is supportive of the principle of this programme and I do not foresee the need to intervene on this item.

Also under any other business the presidency will provide feedback on the conference held on the responsibilities of content providers and users and the Forum for Creative Europe. There will be an information point on the Work Plan for Culture 2008-10. There will also be an information point from the Greek delegation on the inauguration of the New Acropolis Museum. The Government do not foresee any need to intervene on any of these items.