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European Union Culture Policy

EU Culture Policy

The moto of the European Union – united in diversity – expresses EU wish to safeguard its wealthy cultural and linguistic diversity and substantiates the duty for each member state to follow this aim and to preserve the unique culture and language of each EU member state.

EU culture policy is based on The Treaty of Amsterdam which was signed on 2 October 1997 and entered into force on 1 May 1999. It amended and renumbered previous Treaties with an aim to preserve legal capacity of the EU after its enlargement in 2004.

EU promotes the cooperation among its member states in the field of culture and supports their initiatives, but does not require harmonization of their cultural policies.

EU strives to introduce the prominent values of European culture to the inhabitants of the member states. EU consistently protects the principle of the cultural exception which allows the member states to interfere in the regulation of cultural market with an aim to preserve the cultural diversity and heritage. The main cultural instruments for implementation of cultural policy in the EU are support programs and common initiatives in all fields of culture.

The Council of the European Union

The Council of the EU is a legal entity that consists of the ministers of EU member states. Council meets in 10 different “configurations”, depending on the subject being discussed. There are about 200 Working Parties that support Council’s work on different subjects. The areas that are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia are mainly covered in Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council.

Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council (EYCS)
The EYCS Council is composed of the ministers responsible for education, culture, youth, media, communication and sport from all EU member states. The precise composition of the Council depends on the items discussed in a particular meeting.  

More about the Council of the European Union

The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia participates in following working parties:

Cultural Affairs Committee (CAC) is responsible for cultural affairs. The Committee evaluates and discusses all proposals relating to EU cultural cooperation and EU initiatives in the area of culture and prepares the work of the Council. The Committee’s work is based on the overall European Cultural Agenda and the Work Plan for Culture (2015-2018), established by the EU ministers for culture.

Audiovisual Working Party (AWP) is responsible for television and film issues. It deals both with legislation, such as the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and support and joint programmes in the area of film and television. The working party deals also with other relevant topics e.g. concerning the Digital Agenda for Europe, including the creative and cultural content of the Internet, the protection of the minors, media literacy and digitalization.   

Working Party on Intellectual Property (Copyright) is responsible for copyright issues dealt by the European Union. The main function of the working party is to examine legislative proposals presented by the European Commission. It also does preparatory work laying ground for Council decisions, for instance, decisions on the conclusion of international copyright treaties. The scope of working party’s activities likewise includes the coordination of European Union’s position and strategy regarding the work in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

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