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France at the helm of the EU Council

On the 1st of January 2022, France kicked off its six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the institution representing the government of the 27 Member States. Culture is prominently featured in the priorities of the Presidency, with a specific attention to multilingualism, a traditional priority for the country. “As the cultural sector has been severely affected by the economic and public health crisis, it is vital to place it at the heart of the recovery in Europe”, the programme reads.

The Presidency-in-office will especially focus on the digital environment, trying to strike a deal on the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) between the two EU co-legislators (Council and Parliament) by the end of June. France has the “protection and promotion of diversity of digital cultural content” also as one of its key priorities in the cultural field. Additionally, it will push for more mobility for artists and professionals in the cultural sectors, promote a new European strategy for cultural and creative industries and focus on cultural heritage, especially concerning digitisation and fighting against cultural artefacts trafficking. A follow-up on cultural democracy as framed last year by the Porto Santo Charter, an effort put forward in the first semester of 2021 by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council is also on the list.

The Presidency event calendar is now available (a few appointments will be dedicated to audiovisual and cinemainnovation and technology, and books). With presidential elections coming up during the Presidency (between 10 and 24 April), this time the Cultural Affairs Council has been scheduled early in the semester (4 April).

On 1 July France will be followed by the Czech Republic. Both countries will be shaping the next Council Work Plan for Culture 2023-2026, the main document framing the EU’s multiannual policy priorities for culture, which will be prominently featured in CAE’s activities this year.

More EU cultural policy related news are available in the first News Digest of 2022, especially prepared for Culture Action Europe members. CAE members can read this and previous News Digests here.

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