Magazine article Screen International

Europe's Ministers of Culture Agree to a 'Balanced Compromise Text' for the Creative Europe Programme

Magazine article Screen International

Europe's Ministers of Culture Agree to a 'Balanced Compromise Text' for the Creative Europe Programme

Article excerpt

The European Union's Council of Culture Ministers agreed at a session in Brussels on Wednesday morning to a so-called partial general approach to the European Commission's proposed Creative Europe programme after the Danish EU Presidency made a number of adjustments the proposal's text.

Opening the Council session, Denmark's Minister for Culture Uffe Elbaek reported that negotiations with the EU member states had been "good and constructive and broad agreement could be reached on an improved text and, at the final stage, it was adapted to meet remaining concerns from a number of delegations who wanted to strengthen the focus on non-profit organisation, cultural diversity and the intrinsic value of culture."

EC Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou was asked for her opinion on the revised text for Creative Europe and called it "a balanced compromise text which clarifies a number of aspects of the original Commission proposal. This sets a clear signal that culture and media policymakers are ready to play their part in realising culture's contribution both in terms of its intrinsic value and as a contribution to growth and jobs."

At the same time, she pointed out that "the Commission cannot signal its agreement with this compromise proposal at this stage: first, because we need to formally wait for the opinion of the European Parliament and for the results of the overall Multi-Annual Financial Framework negotiations on horizontal issues impacting on Creative Europe."

Each of the EU member state delegations was then given three minutes to present its general opinion about the Creative Europe programme and the new loan guarantee facility.

While the majority of the delegations spoke in glowing terms about the Commission's plans, there were some negative noises from the German, Austrian, UK and Dutch culture ministers.

Germany's State Minister for Culture and Media Bernd Neumann called for a budget breakdown for the individual strands of the framework programme and said that a future evaluation should be undertaken according to qualitative as well as quantative criteria. He expressed support for the guarantee facility but only if the overall budget was increased as planned: "what we don't want is for the budget to not be increased and this to then be to the detriment of Culture, for example. …

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