Ideas and a new impetus for culture in Europe

Germany’s Council Presidency 2020 Ideas and a new impetus for culture in Europe

Together for Europe’s recovery: this is the motto of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020. In times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently experiencing, this motto is particularly fitting for culture and media policy. After all, especially times like these bring home to us how important culture and the media are for the process of European integration. 

Many voices form a sound: the youth orchestra of the European Union.

Many voices form a sound: the European Union Youth Orchestra.

Photo: Peter Adamik

Culture not only forms identity, but also builds bridges and fosters understanding and connection. Culture is not merely a luxury for good times, but is right at the core of our societies. The same applies to our media. In particular, in times of crisis they ensure access to reliable information and make creative and cultural content available online.

This is why Germany’s Council Presidency will focus in the area of EU culture and media policy, among other things, on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted culture and the cultural and creative industries. We will also put a new emphasis on the issue of gender equality and gender roles in the cultural sector. In the field of media policy, we will focus on protecting media pluralism and strengthening free speech.

Germany’s interests in the field of cultural and media policy are represented at European level by Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture and the Media. Under the German Council Presidency, Minister of State Monika Grütters will chair the meeting of EU culture and media ministers on 1 December 2020.

EU cultural policy

Rarely has culture been so important in the history of the European integration process as it is today. Monika Grütters, Germany’s minister of state for culture and the media, said she was convinced that “[I]n our democratic societies, culture, as an expression of humanity, is the place where the European idea comes to life, where unity in diversity can succeed”. Minister of State Grütters will chair the EU Council of culture and media ministers during the German Council Presidency.

Culture and cultural policy are, in principle, the responsibility of the individual member states. When it comes to tackling common tasks like protecting cultural heritage, promoting the creation of artistic and literary works or preserving cultural diversity, they are supported by the EU.

During its Council Presidency, Germany will pursue the following cultural policy objectives:

Support culture and the media in the coronavirus crisisMinimise

Further develop Creative EuropeMinimise

Promote gender equalityMinimise

Strengthen cultural heritage protectionMinimise

Making European Capitals of Culture strongMinimise

EU media policy

Germany’s Council Presidency aims to contribute in a meaningful way to shaping the EU’s media policy agenda in the coming years. It intends to work out measures and proposals for future media regulation on which subsequent Council presidencies can build.

Within the Federal Government, responsibility for audiovisual media policy at national and international level rests with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. This is why the Federal Government Commissioner will chair the Audiovisual Working Party of the Council. 

Safeguarding media pluralism and freedom of expressionMinimise