18 oct 2012


Council of the European Union
New partial general approach on the 2014-2020 Cohesion policy
On 16 October, the General Affairs Council (GAC) met to discuss the new Cohesion Policy and to prepare the European Council meetings on 18-19 October and on 22-23 November. The Council agreed on a third so called 'partial general approach' on the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, which includes compromises on: additionality (i.e. co-financing by national investments) and transferability of resources, elements related to fund management and monitoring, the role of country-specific recommendations in cohesion policy, rules on information, communication and technical assistance, and the definition of indicators to be used to assess the impact of supported measures. According to an article in Europolitics, the Regional Policy Commissioner Mr. Hahn is unhappy with some items agreed by the Council, such as the rules on technical assistance that would allow substantial investments in administrative aid rather than in projects. In his opinion, these rules, as well as the Council's choice to raise the percentage of funds that can be transferred from one category of regions to another, are not in line with the principles of 'better spending'.
Click here to read the new partial general approach:
Read the press-release of the GAC here:
Read the article on Europolitics here:

General Affairs Council meeting on 24 September
On 24 September, the General Affairs Council (GAC) met in Brussels. The European Affairs Ministers discussed the new "negotiating box" prepared by the Cyprus Presidency and updated after the informal GAC meeting of last August. In the revised version of the negotiating box, the Presidency indicated the need to adjust the Commission's proposal downwards and that a reduction should be achieved by targeted cuts in all headings. During the last GAC meeting, the Ministers expressed their willingness to reach a consensual agreement for the MFF by the European Council meeting on 22-23 November. The next General Affairs Council will be held on 16 October.
Find the press-release of the GAC here:

"Friends of the Cohesion" met to discuss the EU budget
On 5 October, the "Friends of the Cohesion Policy" group met in Bratisalva (Slovakia), where they prepared a declaration conveying the message that the EU's Cohesion Policy should achieve a balance between economic growth and fiscal stability and not be downsized in the new MFF. The group gathers 15 EU countries (mainly Eastern and Southern countries, including the acceding Croatia) that share stance on a bold Cohesion Policy 2014-2020, and on the flexible use of its funds, to meet the individual needs of EU countries and regions. During the meeting, the President of the EC Mr. Barroso underlined his committment to an effective cohesion policy capable to foster growth, but added that some of the conditions suggested by another group called "Friend of better spending" could help the implementation of investments under the cohesion policy.
Read an article on EurActiv here:
Read an article on the EUobserver here:
Read President Barroso's remarks to the "Friends of the Cohesion" meeting here:

European Commission
EC reveals its strategy for creative and cultural sectors
On 26 September, the EC published a communication entitled "Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU" in which it reveals its strategy aiming at putting in place the right environment to turn challenges faced by the sectors into growth and jobs opportunities. The communication recalls the potential of the cultural and creative sectors as being a catalyst for innovation and a key element in global competition. It also presents the main challenged faced by the sectors - already presented in the impact assessment of the Culture programme and in the communication on Creative Europe - and presents a list of actions that the EC will put in place in order to tackle them.
Read the Communication here:

New publications by the EENC on structural funds and culture in Member States
The EC recently published new reports on the use of structural funds for culture in different Member States. The studies aiming at producing analysis of how the unused potential of the cultural and creative sector might strengthen regional development in some Member States, were commissioned to the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC). The reports, which make detailed references to existing data and studies, provide mappings of Creative and Cultural Industries, information on national and regional investments in the field, as well as best practices and examples of failure.
To see the full list of reports click here:

2012 European Union Prize for Literature: winners announced
On 9 October, the 12 winners of the European Union Prize for Literature were announced in Frankfurt. The Prize is open to the 37 countries involved in the EU Culture Programme. It is the only literature prize focusing on new or emerging authors that rewards authors from such a large and diversified geographical and linguistic area. The European Union Prize for Literature is organised by the European Commission and a Consortium consisting of the European Booksellers' Federation, European Writers' Council and the Federation of European Publishers. The award ceremony will take place in Brussels on 22 November 2012.
See the press release in the European Union Prize for Literature website here:
Read more about the winners in the EU press release here:

European Parliament
Silvia Costa presented report on Creative Europe in the EP CULT Committee
On 8-9 October, the EP Committee on Culture and Education met to discuss the Creative Europe Programme. The rapporteur for the Programme, Silvia Costa (S&D, Italy), presented her draft report and exchanged opinions with the shadow rapporteurs from other political groups. In line with the position adopted by the Council in May, the report advocates for a less business-driven programme with a stronger focus on the objectives of social inclusion, audience development and education. Nevertheless, many elements still need to be discussed among the committee members. As a consequence, the Committee decided to postpone the date for the vote, which will now be held on 13 December. During the meeting, the MEPs also discussed the future Europe for Citizens programme.
See the draft agenda of the meeting here:
Read Mrs Costa's draft report on Creative Europe here:

EP BUDG report on the future MFF published
On 26 September, the draft interim report on the MFF 2014-2020 drafted by Reimer Böge (PPE/Germany) and Kalfin Ivailo (S&D/Bulgaria) was published. The draft report, contrary to the Council position, strongly rejects any attempt to reduce the level of EU expenditure proposed by the Commission. It also advocates for a focus on policies affecting youth and tackling the challenges of youth employment. The report also mentions the added value of the Education, Youth, Media and Culture programmes! The report will be voted on 18 October in the EP Budget Committee.
Read the Budget Committee draft report on the future MFF here:

EP published a report on the Culture strand of the future Creative Europe
On 25 September, the EP published an analytical policy commentary on the proposed Culture Strand of the Creative Europe Programme commissioned by the EP Committee on Culture and Education to IMO-Institute for International Relations. The report takes into account all available commentaries on this Programme from official sources and a wide range of stakeholders, and examines both the cogency and the points of concern of the overall policy architecture. By focusing on the implications of the Programme for the Culture Strand, it analyses, among other things, the implication of putting in place a Cross-sectoral Strand for the cultural and creative sectors. In the conclusion, it provides final reflections and recommendations to the EP.
Find the link to the report in the EP CULT Committee web page here:

Culture and economic growth
A recent EUobserver article takes note of the increasing awareness of the role of culture in economic growth. This happens especially in the European Regional Policy, where culture is often seen as a tool to promote creativity and innovation. The article provides examples of cities (such as Nantes in France and Tartu in Estonia) where good investments in culture in recent years have helped to boost entrepreneurship and development. However, according to the article, the new Regional Policy proposal lacks the recognition of the strategic role of culture and a profound 'cultural' change has still to take place.
Read the article on EUobserver here:

The economist Mark Anielski explores new ways of measuring national wealth and productivity based on wellbeing
In a recent interview first published in the Lithuanian Journal Kulturos braai, the economist Mark Anielski discusses the prospects of building a new economic paradigm based on wellbeing and happiness rather than unlimited growth. The economist argues that GDP and national income accounting systems have never been intended to provide measures of welfare or wellbeing. Anielski hopes that his research of what he calls " Genuine Wealth and wellbeing indicators" will become more known and used, and that economics will ultimately return to its original objective, namely to evaluate the conditions of wellbeing of households in relation to natural systems.
Read the article on Eurozine here:

Culture Action Europe is supported by the European Commission's Culture Programme and the European Cultural Foundation:
Culture Action Europe is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of Culture Action Europe and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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