26/11/2012 Minister Deenihan outlines Cultural policy priorities for forthcoming EU Presidency

Jimmy Deenihan TD Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (Monday 26th November, 2012) attended the Meeting of Ministers of Culture as part of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council in Brussels.

During the meeting the Minister took the opportunity of outlining the main cultural policy priorities of the Irish Presidency.

Minister Deenihan remarked;

“Ireland’s key priority will be on seeking to secure agreement, if possible, on the three legislative proposals – Creative Europe 2014 – 2020, Europe for Citizens 2014 – 2020 and Capitals of Culture 2020 – 2033 that have been the focus of much of the work of the preceding Trio Presidencies, Poland, Denmark and Cyprus.”

Minister Deenihan thanked the Cypriot Minister and his Danish predecessor Minister ELBÆK for the significant amount of progress made to date on these dossiers, and to Poland, of course, for their focus on enhancing our understanding of the breadth of the culture and creative sectors and the challenges they face across Europe.

The Minister commented “There are a number of significant but not insurmountable challenges that need to be reconciled and I look forward to working within the Council and with the Commission and the Parliament to secure agreement on these important programmes.”

“A first exchange of views has been completed on the European Capitals for Culture action for the period 2020 to 2033. Overall, my sense is that this is a very solid proposal from the Commission that builds on the lessons learned to date.  While many Member States have expressed concerns about elements of the proposal and we have yet to hear the Parliament’s view of it, I believe that agreement can be reached, given the level of goodwill towards this popular Initiative” said the Minister.

The Minister expressed the hope of focusing on Culture’s role in International relations.  “Much work has been done on this under the recent Presidencies of Hungary, Poland and Denmark and by the Commission and Member States during the current Year of Intercultural Dialogue with China.  In this context, I think it may be timely to have a policy debate at our next Council meeting and I would welcome the views of the  Member States and the Commission’s in this regard.”

The Minister remarked “I hope to continue the work begun under the Cyprus Presidency in regard to the proposal for a Council Decision on the adoption of rules of procedures for a Committee on Cultural Cooperation between the European Union and South Korea and, schedules permitting, look at the signature and ratification of Cultural agreements with Colombia and Peru ”

Other issues that I would like to have completed are

The mid-term review of the Culture work plan 2011-2014.
“Taking stock” regarding the 2008 Architectural Council conclusions
The review of the Directive 93/7/EEC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State is currently being finalised and I look forward to discussing with the Commission how best any recommendations made can be addressed.


In conclusion the Minister said ” I want to stress the need to reach agreement on the legislative programmes as early as possible in 2013 with a view to facilitating the seamless transition from the current to the new programmes in 2014.  I urge all Member States and the other Institutions to address the outstanding issues in a pragmatic and conciliatory way with a view to insuring this happens. I look forward to working with my trio colleagues, Lithuania and Greece, on the programme we have agreed”  .

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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