23/01/2013 – Deenihan Outlines Ireland’s Cultural Policy Agenda for European Presidency
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will today (Wednesday 23rd January, 2013) address the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels to outline Ireland’s cultural policy agenda for the European Presidency.
The full Cultural Programme for the Presidency – Culture Connects – was unveiled recently. Today’s engagement at the European Parliament is designed to discuss the legislative proposals that will be progressed over the coming six months.
Ireland’s key priority will be to focus on two legislative proposals – Creative Europe 2014 – 2020 and Europe for Citizens 2014 – 2020. Ireland will also progress the European Capitals of Culture 2020 – 2033 proposal during the Presidency.
Minister Deenihan commented:
“Creative Europe 2014 – 2020 is important for artists and arts organisations across the entire European Union. It is important that we get agreement on this so that those working in the culture and creative sectors can benefit from the new programme as soon as possible.
“Last November, the Council reached a partial agreement on the Creative Europe Programme. This included important provisions related to the Guarantee Facility, which has the twin aims of facilitating access for the culture and creative sectors to finance of approximately €1 billion and seeking to influence attitudes in banking and financial services to the assessment of risk in these sectors.
“These objectives are vitally important and if realised can have a significant positive impact on the culture and creative sectors. Agreement on the multi annual financial framework will ensure that the Cultural programme is adopted in time for the sectors to start to benefit from it from the beginning of 2014.
“I know there has been much focus by our predecessors as Council Presidents – Denmark and Cyprus – on both of these initiatives and we will continue this work during our term of office. These discussions are continuing and I am confident that progress will be made.”
The Irish Presidency also considers that Europe for Citizens is an important proposal for progression. This proposal seeks to enhance civic participation at the Union level as well as strengthening remembrance.
Another key element of the Irish Presidency is the timely adoption of the European Capitals of Culture 2020 – 2033 proposal. Minister Deenihan commented:
“This is of particular interest to Ireland given that we are scheduled to host the Capitals of Culture in 2020 – the first year of the new programme.”
At the EU level, culture has long been recognised as a way of fostering dialogue, partnership and understanding between different countries.
“The full Cultural Programme for the Presidency – Culture Connects – aims to showcase Irish culture across Europe and European culture in Ireland, as well as illustrating the shared nature of much of our cultural experiences.
“The EU is culturally diverse. This is part of our rich, shared European heritage, and I firmly believe that it benefits us all to bring our arts and culture to a wider EU audience whilst also experiencing the cultural offerings of our partner countries” concluded Minister Deenihan.