Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council (EYCS), Council Meeting of Ministers of Culture and Audiovisual, 26 November 2013

The November 26 session of the the EU Ministers' Council on Cultural and Audiovisual Affairs was chaired by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania Šarūnas Birutis.

The EU's ministers of culture reached a general approach on the Proposal for a Directive on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a member state.

„Throughout the term of the Lithuanian Presidency we intensely worked on this important dossier, and I am pleased we were able to reach common position among the Member States“, - said Lithuanian Minister Šarūnas Birutis, who chaired the session on cultural and audiovisual affairs.

Once adopted directive will amend the 1993 Council Directive currently in place. It will be applied to cultural objects considered as national treasures that have been illegally removed from 1993 onwards and currently located in other EU member state. The aim of the current proposal is to improve the efficiency of the mechanisms and secure the return of cultural objects more efficiently and with less cost.

EU Member States adopted Council conclusions on media freedom and pluralism in the digital environment. The Conclusions state that media freedom and pluralism is important not only for democracy, but also facilitates economic growth and sustainability. The Member States declare that it is essential to maintain transparency of media ownership, to ensure the protection of journalists from undue (political and economic) influence and the protection of journalistic sources, and to ensure the independence of audiovisual regulators.

During the Council Lithuania initiated a political debate called “Connected Citizens: changing behaviour of viewers in the converged media environment”, where ministers exchanged views on changes taking place in the media and audiovisual markets and their impact for regulatory environment. A well-known expert and researcher in the field of converged media Dean Donaldson spoke about the digital future. A demonstration of technologies was held before the meeting, where ministers examined internet-enabled “connected” devices and new-generation interactive audiovisual services.

French delegation initiated the discussion “Towards a European cultural strategy in the digital era”, inviting member states to adopt a genuine strategy for culture in the digital environment at the EU level.

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Last updated: 15-12-2015