Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU pioneers culture as a global public good

At a meeting with the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) on 7 September 2023, Minister for Culture and Sport Miquel Iceta Llorens presented Spain’s main focuses on cultural policy.

Spain holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until 31 December and after picking up the rotating responsibility on 1 July, the Spanish government recently presented the priorities for their term. The parliamentary hearings were postponed due to Spanish elections in July.

As for culture and culture policy, Spain presented an initiative that aims to recognise culture as a global public good, in line with long-standing UNESCO pledges as evoked by the MONDIACULT 2022 final declaration. Additionally, on 26 September in Cáceres, an informal meeting of EU Culture ministers debated universal access to culture. The EU-27 heads of culture committed to elevating culture to the status of an essential public good by adopting the Cáceres Declaration, which makes “a commitment to prioritising culture within the European project and across public policies”. The declaration highlights the need to strengthen the cultural policies of the EU and the member states, as well as a dedication to work towards making culture a Sustainable Development Goal in its own right in the revision of the 2030 Agenda.

During the meeting of cultural ministers in Brussels from 23-24 November, the Council will hold a policy debate on cultural workers’ rights. For Iceta, the debate will be the first step towards the adoption of a framework for the professional and social situation of artists and cultural workers. In Iceta’s words, “Being committed to culture means protecting the living and working conditions of cultural workers.