EU Ministers of Culture have drawn up guidelines for recovery of culture and media sector after the pandemic

Date

2020 12 01

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Today the interim Minister of Culture Mindaugas Kvietkauskas participated in the informal online meeting of ministers of culture of the European Union (EU). At the meeting, the ministers sought to outline the guidelines for the long-term recovery of the culture and media sector.

The EU ministers of culture discussed the sustainability of the European recovery measures and their purposeful directing towards the cultural sector, the accessibility of the EU financial mechanisms to the cultural sector, the creation of a special information website, the improvement of legal regulation, and providing cultural sector with access to national-level Measure for the Recovery of Economy and Enhancement of its Resilience.

Germany, which has been presiding over the Council of the European Union for the last six months, emphasises the importance of the culture and media sector to Europe’s employment and economy as well as to the full recovery of the continent.

In his speech, Kvietkauskas expressed gratitude for the united efforts to increase funding to the programme Creative Europe 2021–2027 (it is proposed for the funding of the new programme to be increased from 1.85 billion to 2.2 billion euros, i.e. by EUR 600 million) and emphasised the raising of the sector’s awareness of funding possibilities by creating and informational website where information is clearly presented. According to the minister, such an informational website has to be easily accessible by consumers, be properly managed, and provide real value to the cultural sector. Mindaugas Kvietkauskas proposed the implementation of EU-level safeguards for the cultural sector to be integrated in the Measure for the Recovery of Economy and Enhancement of its Resilience, highlighted the need to continue focusing on the development of media and information literacy, expressed support of Italy’s proposal to establish a European Reading Alliance, and also underlined the need to give the appropriate attention to the small languages of Europe as well as those languages that do not have their own state in Europe.

“There is no doubt that the synergy between the Creative Europe programme and the other EU funding mechanisms – Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, Digital Europe, and the European Regional Development Fund – is a big step forward in the assurance of funding to the culture and media sector. In order to improve the sector’s recovery, we support further strengthening of the EU funding programmes and the application of sustainable and resilient measures”, the interim Minister of Culture Mindaugas Kvietkauskas said.

During the meeting, conclusions offered by Germany regarding protection of a free and pluralistic media system as well as conclusions of Germany as the presiding country about gender equality in the cultural sector were adopted. The conclusions were supported by 24 EU member states.

The meeting’s conclusions about the protection of a free and pluralistic media system discuss the vulnerability of the EU media sector caused by COVID-19. The document lays down the measures to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on the media sector and to ensure media pluralism; it also encourages support of media and information literacy and the tackling of disinformation.

The conclusions about gender equality in the culture sector seek to draw attention to and raise awareness of the problem of gender equality, improve and integrate the gender equality aspect in the cultural policy and its funding programmes, while also focusing more on the collection and analysis of gender-based data in the cultural sector.

Portugal, which will be presiding during the first half of 2021, presented the priorities of the presidency of the Council of the EU. During the presidency, this country intends to focus the most on the recovery of the cultural and creative sectors after the pandemic as well as the supervision of the cultural heritage funding mechanisms, the future prospects of journalism, and the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotisation.