Focus on Culture and Importance of Creativity in the Meeting of the EU Council


2018 05 23


Minister of Culture Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson took part in the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Culture of the European Union in Brussels on the 23rd of May. The topic of main political discussion of the Council was long-term vision of cultural contribution to the European Union after 2020.

The ministers of culture were discussing possible EU actions in attempt to achieve wider powers of current cultural programmes within the context of long-term financial programme of the new period of 2021-2027 so that culture could become one of the factors that determine real changes. The ministers also discussed the target programme necessary in the cultural area that would draw attention to the importance of culture and creativity in modern society.

Lithuanian Minister of Culture L. Ruokytė-Jonsson stressed the significance of the programme “Creative Europe” for cultural sector and need to ensure continuity of this programme. The Minister expressed gratitude to the European Commission for the suggested bigger budget for this programme in the new financing period; however, she also mentioned that the funds that reach cultural sector remain minimal. This means that we will have to work a lot to reinforce the understanding about more sustainable and resistant European Union through the culture. Moreover, the Minister of Culture drew attention to the need to strengthen mobility programmes of artists and works, to give more attention for cultural production and coproduction and its mobility among the EU Member States “Culture may be and is a useful tool to achieve various goals; however, it is equally important to have culture and ideas spreading across the European space freely,” – stressed the Minister of Culture.

L. Ruokytė-Jonsson suggested to provide guidelines of education of public spirit and strengthening of democracy through culture in the future EU programmes in response to spread of populism and radicalism. In order to achieve these goals, the mobility of the EU citizens should be encouraged as it is the best tool to increase cognition. Mrs. Minister underlined the importance of idea “Erasmus for Culture” – it would provide more training, internship and other opportunities for the young European creators, culture operators and it would induce creating and would strengthen the European network of young professionals and future cultural leaders.

The Minister of Culture also stressed the need to invest not only into the cultural infrastructure or objects of cultural heritage, but also into putting the infrastructure to action, actualization of heritage and education. “We have to endeavour at more active role of culture in creation of social, smart, and harmonious Europe that would be closer to its citizens,” – tod L. Ruokytė- Jonsson.

The Lithuanian Minister of Culture invited her colleagues to react to the challenges raised by our epoch and greeted the recent communiqué of the European Commission regarding fight with disinformation and false news on internet. “I hope that our joint efforts will contribute to active development and application of this initiative in practice, especially by establishing as soon as possible the forum of the persons interested in disinformation issues on the European level and by drafting the self-regulation code of the EU fight with disinformation,” – stressed L. Ruokytė-Jonsson.

The ministers of culture also accepted the Council’s conclusion stressing the need to grant even more important pace for the cultural heritage in the EU policy. It is suggested in these conclusions to recognize the role of the cultural heritage in the national programmes of sectors financed by the EU and to form common vision of preservation and actualization of cultural heritage.

The additional issue regarding presentation of the European capitals of culture of 2022 – Kaunas and Esch-sur-Alzette – was included into the agenda of the ministers of culture following the request of Lithuania and Luxembourg.

L. Ruokytė-Jonsson, Lithuanian Minister of Culture, presented Kaunas to her colleagues as a unique European city – interwar provisional capital of Lithuania that turned into modern European city in two decades. This impact of transformation is still felt 100 years later. One of the mentors of Kaunas as the European capitals of culture of 2022, Mr. Rytis Zemkauskas presented the main idea of the programme of Kaunas as capital of culture – culture is a mode of thinking that is meant to change the community’s life. The project of the capital of culture is a Lithuanian idea that may suggest new operation models to the European Union, as well.