Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council
Culture Media and Sport
Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)
The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council will take place in Brussels on 10-
Audio - visual
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation. These conclusions follow on from the conclusions on Europeana adopted by the Council in 2010 and take account of a Commission recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation which was adopted in 2011. They note the developments in digitisation in recent years, identify key issues for further progress in this field and invite the member states, the Commission and Europeana to take further measures to maintain progress. The UK will support the adoption of these conclusions.
The Council will be invited to adopt a partial general approach on the proposal for a regulation establishing the Europe for Citizens programme for 2014-2020. This programme will follow on from an existing EU programme. The UK will support the adoption of the partial general approach.
The Council will also adopt a decision designating Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain) and Wroclaw (Poland) as the European capitals of culture for 2016.
Culture and Audio-visual
The Council will be invited to adopt a partial general approach on the proposal for a regulation establishing the Creative Europe programme for 2014-2020. The programme will follow on from the current Culture, Media and Media Mundus programmes. There will also be a debate on the proposal, on the basis of a presidency discussion paper, focusing on the proposed new loan guarantee facility for the cultural and creative sectors.
The partial general approach does not include the programme budget and the proposed loan guarantee facility. However, the UK will not be able to support it, as it does not provide for selection decisions—that is, decisions about which projects will be awarded EU funding under the programme—to be subject to member state scrutiny through the formal comitology arrangements.
In the debate, I will make clear that the UK is able to support other elements of the partial general approach, and also that we welcome the opportunity to consider the loan guarantee facility in the light of developments in the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework.
The Council will be invited to adopt conclusions on combating doping in recreational sport. These conclusions refer to the European Union work plan for sport for 2011-2014 which highlights the fight against doping as a priority theme and established an expert group on anti-doping. They set out why doping in recreational sport is an important problem and support the extension of the mandate of the expert group to collate best practices and produce recommendations in this area by the end of 2013. The UK will support the adoption of these conclusions.
There will also be a policy debate on future challenges in the fight against doping including in recreational sport. The UK will state the important role which the EU and its member states have to play in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) review of the World Anti-Doping Code and that article 10 of the code (regarding the sanctioning of athletes) needs to be amended. The UK will make clear that we are pushing for tougher sentences as part of the WADA review. The UK will also set out its views on the issue of combating doping in recreational sport and note that the education of athletes, particular younger athletes, is a key issue.
The German delegation will present a paper on the draft Commission communication on state aid for films and other audio-visual work. The UK, France and Austria have assisted in drafting the paper and I will intervene to raise initial concerns regarding the proposals relating to territoriality, that is, the obligation on producers to spend a specific part of their production budget in the territory offering aid, and aid intensity, that is, the amount of aid available as a percentage of the production budget.
The Commission will provide information on its communication on a European strategy for a better internet for children and on the first report on the application of Directive 2010/13/EU (the audio-visual media services directive). I do not foresee a need to intervene on either of these items. Finally, the Cypriot delegation will inform the Council of the priorities for their forthcoming presidency.