2020 strategy and future priorities discussed
By Eric van Puyvelde | Friday 20 May 2011
Apart from adopting the ‘European Heritage’ label (see
Europolitics 4206), the Union’s culture ministers, meeting in Council on 19 May, reviewed the contribution culture can make to implementing the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy and set the sector’s priorities for the coming years, in particular for the next half-year under Poland’s EU Presidency.
In conclusions on the contribution of culture to implementing ‘Europe 2020’, the Council states that the cultural and creative sector presents a potential to generate growth and jobs and therefore has an important role to play in achieving the aims of the strategy and its flagship initiatives, especially the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union. The text states that the cultural and creative industries can give the workforce cross-cutting skills that can be used in a wide range of occupations. It also highlights the role that can be played by digitisation of the cultural heritage and contemporary cultural content, as well as their online availability, particularly through the digital library Europeana. The Council also invites member states to use EU financial instruments, particularly the Structural Funds, for cultural projects and asks the European Commission to include culture in the Union’s future political and financial instruments.
The Council officially designated the city of Plzen, in the Czech Republic, as European Capital of Culture 2015. Up until 2019, cities in two different member states will be designated as capitals of culture each year. Mons, in Belgium, has already been designated as the second capital for 2015.
Conclusions were also adopted on mobility information services for artists and culture professionals. The Council suggests a number of measures to make such mobility easier in the EU. Networking by national mobility information services is essential to guaranteeing the effective circulation of information.
The Presidency briefed the ministers on implementation of the Council’s 2011-2014 work plan for culture, adopted in November 2010. Actions are planned in the following areas: cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and accessible and inclusive culture; cultural and creative industries; skills and mobility; cultural heritage; culture in external relations; and cultural statistics.
The upcoming Polish EU Presidency presented its priorities for culture, to be based on: Eastern Partnership in the cultural sector, protection of the cultural heritage (Europeana, films), the future of the MEDIA programme and means of communication.
The Council officially designated the city of Plzen, in the Czech Republic, as European Capital of Culture 2015