Today, February 7th, Minister of Culture Indrek Saar started a two-day trip to Brussels. At meetings with the representatives of the European Commission and European Parliament, the priorities related to the audiovisual, cultural and sports fields for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU will be discussed.
The most significant topics for the Estonian presidency in the cultural field are the updating of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the access to culture and cultural heritage digitally. In the sports field, the focus is on the role of athletic coaches in society.
According to Minster of Culture Indrek Saar, the most important priority in the cultural field is the thorough revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which, in turn, has an important role to play in the EU’s strategy for a single digital market. “Europe needs a functioning regulation for audiovisual media services that keep step with the rapid development of technology and media consumption practices. More equitable conditions and fairer competition must be ensured for all communication services, although greater efficiency and flexibility are also important, as is the movement of services in the common market,” said Saar.
He added that improved regulations would increase legal certainty for media companies; the introduction of new content services would increase choices for the consumers; and establish a clearer operating framework for new platforms. “Amending the directive would improve the distribution of European films by media services, better protect minors against content that could be harmful to them, more effectively hinder the incitement of violence and hate, and bring order to the cross-border distribution of media services. This is in the interests of the entire European Union, and naturally also in the interests of Estonia,” Saar stressed.
During his visit, Minister of Culture Indrek Saar will meet with Andrus Ansip, the European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission, with whom the discussions will focus on digital topics and issues related to the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Cultural topics and sports-related issues are on the agenda for his meeting with Tibor Navracsics, the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth & Sport.
The Minister of Culture will also meet with Petra Kammerevert, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, with whom the minister will discuss their forthcoming cooperation during the Estonian presidency. Saar will also deliver an official invitation to Commissioners Ansip and Navracsics, as well as the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, to participate in the high-level events that will be organised by the Ministry of Culture in Estonia during the presidency. This includes an invitation to attend the official opening of the Third European Sports Week in Tartu on September 23rd.
Estonia will take over the presidency from Malta on July 1st. For more information, see “The priorities in the cultural and sports fields for the Estonian presidency” on the Ministry of Culture’s website.
For more information:
Heili Jõe, Adviser for European Union Affairs
Ministry of Culture