Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will chair the EU Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council meeting in Brussels tomorrow morning. As chair of the meeting, the Minister's role will be to advance the agenda of the culture element of the Council.
The overall theme of the Irish presidency is stability, jobs and growth. It is important to remember that the culture and creative sectors are sectors that can contribute significantly to the achievement of this objective.
The Council will be given a progress report on the Creative Europe Programme, which has the twin objectives of promoting cultural diversity and creativity and contributing to economic growth and employment under Europe 2020. Overall, solid progress has been made with the European Parliament under the Irish Presidency, while the outcome of the MFF (EU Budget) negotiations is also awaited.
Speaking ahead of the Council, Minister Deenihan said "The overall theme of the Irish presidency is stability, jobs and growth. It is important to remember that the culture and creative sectors are sectors that can contribute significantly to the achievement of this objective. Some 8.5m people are employed across Europe in the cultural and creative sector generating 4% of the EU's GDP."
A key objective of the Minister at the Council will be to secure a general approach on the European Capitals of Culture 2020-2033. This programme has been in place now for over 25 years and in that time has witnessed considerable change - social, economic, technological and cultural.
"As Chair I will be seeking agreement of the Council’s position on a programme that is adaptable to its times”, added Minister Deenihan, who noted that Ireland is among the first Member States to host the Capitals of Culture in 2020.