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 26-
Culture and Audiovisual
The Council will be invited to adopt a revised partial general approach on the proposal for a regulation establishing the creative Europe programme for 2014-20. The revised partial general approach incorporates the text relating to the proposed new loan guarantee facility into the partial general approach which was agreed at the Council meeting in May. It does not include the programme budget.
The UK will not be able to support the revised partial general approach. At present we are unable to support the loan guarantee facility, as we need to consider this in the context of the overall budget allocated to the programme and in relation to the amount of funding allocated to grant expenditure. These will not become clear until the negotiations on the multiannual financial framework for 2014-20 have been completed. Moreover, the revised partial general approach—like the previous partial general approach, which the UK did not support—does not provide for selection decisions, i.e. 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, we will make clear that the UK is able to support other elements of the revised partial general approach, and also that we will consider our position on the loan guarantee facility in the light of developments in the negotiations on the multiannual financial framework.
The Council will receive a progress report from the presidency on the Commission’s proposal for a decision establishing the European capitals of culture action for 2020-33. This action will follow on from the current European capitals of culture action which ends in 2019. The proposal is being discussed in the Council working group, and the presidency will inform the Council of the progress made to date and the key issues which delegations have identified.
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on cultural governance. These conclusions note the importance of research and statistics in cultural governance and in developing policies and strategies for the cultural and creative sectors.
They also identify key issues for future work and propose some actions for the Commission and member states to maximise the use and benefits of current work in these areas. The conclusions take account of UK interests and concerns and we will support their adoption.
The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on a European strategy for a better internet for children and hold a policy debate on the internet: a better and safer place for children as a result of a successful interplay between Government and industry. The UK will support the adoption of the conclusions, as in the main they are in line with UK policies in respect of online child safety. The debate is framed around two questions. Here, the UK will report on the work of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and we will propose that there should be more effective discussion and co-ordination of member state initiatives and those proposed in the Commission’s communication on a better internet for children. Targeted discussion and co-ordination could assist the creation of a true pan-European digital single market for children.
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on strengthening the evidence base for sport policy-making. This encourages member states to continue to develop sport satellite accounts as a means to strengthen evidence-based sport policies and to promote the role of sport as a driver in areas such as economic growth. The UK already actively participates in this strand of work and will therefore support the adoption of these conclusions.
The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on establishing a strategy to combat the manipulation of sport results. These are based on recommendations produced by the EU expert group on good governance in sport which set out the relationship, roles and responsibilities needed between member states, the sports movement, betting operators and regulators. The UK is content with these conclusions as they are broadly in line with our approach in tackling match-fixing and we will support their adoption.
WADA foundation board is the 38-member supreme decision-making body composed equally of representatives from the Olympic movement and Governments. The presidency will also provide feedback to the Council from the recent WADA meetings that took place in Montreal on 17-
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on promoting health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA). The conclusions encourage member states to promote health-enhancing physical activity acknowledging the EU’s physical activity guidelines. They also promote closer co-operation between the sport and health sectors; awareness raising on the benefits of adopting a more active lifestyle; and physical activity in supporting active ageing. The conclusions are based on the work of the EU expert group on sport, health and participation and are, in the main, in line with UK policy. The UK will therefore support the adoption of these conclusions.
Related to the HEPA conclusions, the presidency has prepared a discussion paper on an annual European week of sport as the basis for a policy debate. The paper considers the challenges of having such a European week and how youngsters can be encouraged to participate in physical activity rather than playing sedentary virtual games. The debate is framed around three questions.
The UK will highlight how the number of similarly themed initiatives has lessened their overall impact. For the EU to add value in this area it would need to have a different concept, possibly engaging civil society and commercial partners. In addition, rather than trying to create a behavioural shift from virtual games, physical activity initiatives should embrace new technology.
The presidency may present an update on the proposal for a regulation establishing the Europe for citizens programme 2014-20. This programme will follow on from an existing EU programme. The proposal is currently with the European Parliament, which must give its assent before the regulation can be adopted by the Council.
The French delegation will present a note expressing concerns about the Commission’s draft communication on state aid for films and other audiovisual work. While the UK recognises the concerns of other member states, we welcome the Commission’s revisions to the previous draft, particularly the confirmation that our film tax relief scheme does not restrict the free movement of goods and services in Europe. We urge a speedy resolution of outstanding issues to ensure that the film industry across the EU remains strong and healthy.
The Slovak and French delegations will present information on Kosice and Marseille-Provence which have been designated as the European capitals of culture for 2013.
Finally, the Irish delegation will inform the Council of the work programme and priorities for their forthcoming presidency of the Council.