The Spanish Presidency of the EU is committed to promoting the consideration of Culture as an Essential Public Good and a Global Public Good

News - 2023.9.7

  • x: opens new window
  • Whatsapp: opens new window
  • Linkedin: opens new window
  • Send: opens new window

During his appearance, Iceta stressed that one of the priorities of the Spanish Presidency is to promote the consideration of culture as an Essential Public Good and a Global Public Good, "to bring all Member States together around a discourse and a strategy to make culture a true state policy".

"Culture is everything," declared the Minister. "Therefore, we must reclaim the crucial role it must play in our societies, and we must work together to pave the way for culture to be included as a Global Public Good in the Post-2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and make it the 18th Sustainable Development Goal." Miquel Iceta argued that culture is a pillar of democracy that leads to freedom, respect and tolerance. "It is capable of generating fairer, more egalitarian, more democratic and more diverse societies. It shows us our past, who we are and who we want to be."

In this context, the Spanish Presidency has organised a policy debate on 'Culture as an Essential Public Good and a Global Public Good' at the informal meeting of Ministers for Culture to be held in Cáceres on 25-26 September 2023. The aim of this meeting is to approve the so-called Cáceres Declaration, "a commitment to culture that we hope all Member States will endorse," Miquel Iceta explained to the MEPs.

Also in Cáceres, the sustainable management of cultural heritage will be addressed as "an effective tool for the circular economy, social inclusion and ecological transition that involves a balanced interaction of the social, environmental and economic spheres," according to the Minister.

In this sense, Iceta presented "cultural landscapes as a paradigm of resilience and sustainability", to which one of the technical conferences to be held between 17 September and 9 October in Palma de Mallorca will be dedicated.

Artist's Statute

Miquel Iceta has announced that a political debate on the statute for artists and cultural professionals will be promoted during the EU Council of Culture Ministers scheduled for 23 and 24 November in Brussels. The Minister reiterated that the EU Work Plan for Culture for the period 2023-2026 includes as a priority action the creation of the Artist's Statute, which establishes a framework for working conditions and common minimum standards across all EU countries.

"Commitment to culture is only possible if we focus on those who make it happen: the artists, the creators and the cultural workers. Because without them, there is no culture," asserted Minister Iceta. "And without culture, life is just survival."

Video games sector

Promoting the cultural and creative dimension of the video games sector in Europe is another priority action included in the EU Work Plan for Culture. "It is a booming economic sector, which brings tangible benefits in terms of job creation (especially among young people), contribution to GDP, creativity, research and development and innovation," said the Minister for Culture and Sport. "Video games have an enormous potential and an undeniable cultural dimension. They offer great potential for conveying cultural content, as well as the values and richness of European creation, heritage and history."

"We also want to use this opportunity to promote equality between women and men in the sector," continued Iceta: "the aim is to ensure gender balance at all stages of development in the video games sector, where women are under-represented. On the other hand, this sector has strong allies for breaking down stereotypes."

Miquel Iceta announced that the Spanish Presidency is preparing for the first time draft conclusions on the video games sector in Europe to be presented to the Council. The first inputs for this project were already gathered last July during the European Policy Days on Video Games and Virtual Environments, which brought together in Tenerife representatives from the whole sector and from Member States and European institutions.

Russian aggression on Ukraine

During his speech, Minister Iceta called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and respect for Ukraine's borders and sovereignty. "We don't want any more deaths, further damage or loss of cultural heritage. The war launched by Russia against Ukraine is a flagrant and radical violation of international law and of the values, rights, freedoms and fundamental principles that underpin the European Union," he stressed.

The Minister reiterated that it is precisely in times of war that culture is more necessary than ever, and the Spanish Presidency is fully committed to supporting Ukraine's cultural and creative sectors. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the EU has allocated EUR 10 million to Ukraine to support its cultural heritage. "As soon as conditions on the ground permit, the EU and its Member States will assist Ukraine in rebuilding and repairing destroyed or damaged cultural heritage and in reopening and strengthening the cultural and creative sectors," the Minister added.

Equality and safety in sport

In the field of sport, Minister Miquel Iceta pointed out that work has already begun to establish Council Conclusions on women and equality in sport, which will be adopted next November at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council, also coinciding in the same forum with a policy debate on safe environments in sport.

"The main objective of the Spanish Presidency is to promote equality between men and women, both within sports organisations and in grassroots and elite sport," Iceta explained. "We are also aware that there are cases of sexual harassment and abuse in sport, and we are determined to address this issue."

"There is no doubt that the unacceptable events that took place after the victory of the Spanish national team in the Women's World Cup make these conclusions particularly timely and relevant," the Minister emphasised, highlighting that "it is necessary to address issues such as the accessibility of sports infrastructures, the prevention of hate speech, medical assistance and protection against any kind of violence".

Iceta concluded his speech by assuring that "the Spanish Presidency will not tolerate any lack of respect for women's rights, and even less so in the field of sport, where there is still a long way to go".

Non official translation