L-R: Sam Tanson, Luxembourg Minister of Culture; Valer-Daniel Breaz, Romanian Minister of Culture and National Identity; Credit: MCULT

EU Culture Ministers began their informal meeting in Bucharest, Romania yesterday by expressing their sympathy and solidarity with France in light of the Notre Dame fire in Paris. 

Before embarking on their debates, the Ministers expressed their sympathy regarding the fire that broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a cultural heritage of significant value for the entire European population. Luxembourg was represented by Culture Minister Sam Tanson.

Moving on to the agenda of the meeting itself, the Culture Ministers focused on the the general development of the cultural and creative sectors in Europe and the next stages of work for European cultural heritage, particularly in the context of the Framework for Action adopted by the European Commission in December 2018.

With regard to the first topic, the Ministers stressed the importance of cultural and creative sectors in Europe: beyond their intrinsic value and their potential for innovation, they play an important role in the majority of European economies, with positive spillovers and effects in a wide range of contexts. Many Ministers referred in this context to the Copyright Directive, but above all emphasised the need for the importance of the cultural and creative sectors to be better reflected in funding possibilities.

In this regard, Luxembourg Minister of Culture Sam Tanson made it clear that depending on the practices and realities on the ground, particular attention must be paid to increasing access to funding for (very) small cultural and creative actors. She also stressed that the sustainability of initiatives is not only a question of economic viability, but also of access to culture from an early age.

As the afternoon session was devoted to heritage, the Ministers' objective was to find the appropriate means to continue the momentum generated by the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. With Ministers invited to report on national heritage priorities, Sam Tanson highlighted the need to continue heritage awareness efforts during the European Year and gave a brief overview of ongoing work in Luxembourg, especially in the context of the preliminary draft law on cultural heritage or the strategy for the digitisation of cultural heritage.

The Ministers of Culture concluded by showing support for a statement by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU on the discussed topics.