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Culture and Audiovisual Media


Language, literature, the performing and visual arts, architecture, crafts, cinema, radio and television are all part of Europe's cultural diversity. Although belonging to a specific country or region, they represent part of Europe's common cultural heritage. The aim of the European Union is twofold: to preserve and support this diversity and to help make it accessible to everyone.

These aims were spelt out in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, which for the first time formally recognised the cultural dimension of European integration. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, the European Union's cultural promotion policy seeks to complement the cultural policies of the Member States. The fourth paragraph of Article 151 of the EC Treaty requires that the European Union take cultural aspects and cultural diversity into account in all of its activities.

In the Committee on Culture of the Council of the European Union, Slovenia will pay special attention to the preparation of the work plan for the following three-year period (2008–2010). The plan will be prepared on the basis of a communication in which the European Commission proposes, by fully respecting the principle of subsidarity, the determination of common culture-related priority tasks of the Member States and their implementation through the (new) open method of coordination. Pursuant to this Commission communication, the Portuguese Presidency drafted a Resolution on a European programme for culture in the globalised world, which was adopted at the meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture Council held in November 2007. The Annex to the Resolution also contains priority tasks to be integrated into the new work plan as laid down by the Member States.

The documents will also be the basis for the elaboration of a new work plan for culture for the following three-year period. Slovenia, the first presiding country to conduct work in the field of culture, should, on the basis of the open method of coordination, prepare the plan so as to be adopted at the meeting of the Education, Youth and Culture Council in May 2008.

In the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, Slovenia will devote special attention to the implementation of its content. For the first exchange of opinions in the Council, Slovenia will prepare a draft document on intercultural dialogue with particular emphasis on the creation of opportunities for the development of intercultural competences of citizens of the European Union. These competences should mainly be achieved by opening possibilities for artistic creation and exchange, concern for European cultural heritage and by encouraging multilingualism.

During its Presidency, Slovenia will continue the efforts outlined by the previous presidencies to integrate a clear statement on the connection between creativity and innovation and on the importance of encouraging intercultural dialogue among young people in the Lisbon Strategy.


Audio-visual policy

At the close of 2007, the European Commission published two communications : on media literacy and on creative websites. The documents are related to the implementation of the initiative “i2010”, representing the framework for implementation of policy in the field of information society and communications through which the EU contributes to the development of the economy, society and individual quality of life.

By preparing the conclusions of the Council of the European Union on media literacy, Slovenia's Presidency will contribute to the creation of concrete measures for the improvement of understanding and development of a critical approach to advertising in the media and on the Internet, to awareness-raising related to creative capabilities offered by audio-visual media and to knowledge of European film heritage.

Ministers responsible for media will also present their views on the proposals of the European Commission for the development of and accessibility to creative content on the Internet. Through this, the Slovenian Presidency will contribute to the formulation of recommendations for speeding up development in this field, which is currently being impeded by unresolved issues on copyright protection.

Some substantive media-related issues are inseparably connected with the rapid technological development of telecommunications. Therefore, the Slovenian Presidency will also pay due attention to the provision of public interest, cultural diversity and media pluralism in the digital environment.


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Date: 07.01.2008