France next to head the Council of the European Union

Since 1 January 2022 and for the coming six months, France is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. France and the Czech Republic, taking over on 1 July, will be shaping the next Council Work Plan for Culture 2023-2026, the main document framing the EU’s multiannual policy priorities for culture.

Culture Action Europe reports that culture is allowed a prominent place in the Presidency’s priorities: “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 French Presidency 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, which NEMO was part of developing, is also on the list. The Porto Santo Charter introduced by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council in the first half of 2021. I connection to the preceding Presidencies of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia, NEMO was part of organising a Trio conference on Museums and Social Responsibility.

The Presidency event calendar is now available (a few appointments will be dedicated to audiovisual and cinema, innovation 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).