Meeting of EU Ministers of Culture Focused on the Strengthening of European Culture and Its Contribution to Sustainable Development


2019 11 21


On Thursday, Mindaugas Kvietkauskas took part in a discussion of the ministers of culture of the European Union (EU) in Brussels about the strengths of the European cultural, creative and audiovisual industry, and the potential and global competitiveness of its innovations.

The political debate took place during the meeting of the EU Ministers' Council on Cultural and Audiovisual Affairs and the Education, Youth and Culture Council. A resolution was also adopted at the meeting regarding the contribution of culture to sustainable development.

“At national and EU-level, we have to encourage international creative products and cultural services and improve the professional competences of artists and cultural specialists. Moreover, we have to promote their mobility, develop international partnerships, residencies, networks, and consortiums of artists and culture creators. In other words, create the conditions for joint work, production, and promotion in various fields of culture”, the Minister of Culture Mindaugas Kvietkauskas said during the discussion. He mentioned that, for the last five years, an income tax exemption has been granted to audiovisual co-productions in Lithuania. It promotes investments in the Lithuanian cinema production and other related sectors as well as the preparation of cinema professionals. Over 120 films have already been produced under this measure.

According to Kvietkauskas, it is important to continue supporting Europeana, the European digital platform for cultural heritage. It established a network of cultural heritage specialists from all member states, promoting information and knowledge, encouraging innovations and inter-sectoral cooperation.

“Continuing on the examples of platforms, we could think about the forms of consolidation at EU level which would improve the accessibility of outsourced European audiovisual content in the digital sphere. We are certain that one of the greatest strengths of European audiovisual production is its diversity, European identity, and values. This production is competitive in the world, so such a consolidated solution could become an exemplary initiative of the Digital Single Market”, the Minister Kvietkauskas said.

A resolution was adopted at the meeting of the Ministers' Council on Cultural and Audiovisual Affairs whose aim is to strengthen the contribution of culture to sustainable development. The resolution notes that culture, as a system of shared values in a community, has an impact on the way this community sees the measures of sustainable development, which is why culture is one of the driving forces of sustainable development, capable of aiding in the coordination of various environmental, social, and economic tasks. The resolution highlights the contribution of culture to the promotion of sustainable communities and to the improvement of the quality of life. According to the Minister Kvietkauskas, by agreeing with the resolution proposed by Finland, which is currently holding the EU presidency, Lithuania and the other member states seek to systematically recognise, evaluate and utilise cultural policy as well as culture-related measures in order to increase the efficiency of sustainable development strategies both at national and EU level.

Information by Estonia and Austria was also shared at the Council meeting regarding the cities applying for the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2024. After the final selection procedures, Estonia selected Tartu and Austria selected Bad Ischl for the title of the European Capital of Culture.

In the first half of 2020, the Council of the EU will be chaired by Croatia for the very first time. Its representatives reported their future workplace and their priorities in cultural and audiovisual policies. The main priorities are risk management in cultural heritage (the Council’s conclusions, conference in Dubrovnik, 27–28 February 2020), media literacy (the Council’s conclusions, conference in Zagreb, 31 March – 1 April 2020), mobility in cultural and creative sectors (events in Rijeka and Zagreb, 3–4 June), conclusion of negotiations regarding the Creative Europe programme 2021-2027.


Photo: Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, and Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, the Minister of Culture.