During the Polish Presidency representatives of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage chaired the following working groups of the Council of the European Union: the Cultural Affairs Committee, Audiovisual Working Party, Intellectual Property Working Groups.
In the field of culture, the most important achievement of the Polish Presidency is the adoption of the Council conclusions on cultural and creative competences and their role in building the intellectual capital of Europe on 29th November 2011. The conclusions show the role that the aforementioned competences play in the acquisition of key competences for lifelong learning, prevention of early school leaving, promotion of employment and support of innovation. The key role of creating and supporting creative partnerships between the sectors of culture and education, research or business is also highlighted. Moreover, the Polish Presidency finalized the works related to the establishment of a European Heritage Label, accelerating the adoption process of the Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on this matter, as well as working out the practical arrangements for the selection of the members of the European panel of experts by the Council in the form of the Council Decision. The Presidency also held ministerial debate on the role of European statistics in the field of culture and the need to support their development. The debate took place during the meeting of the Council for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport on 29th November 2011. In the opinion of the ministers involved in the debate it is essential to develop a common statistical methodological framework in the field of culture. Polish Presidency also carried out a series of informational actions, including – on the cooperation in the field of culture with the countries of the Eastern Partnership.
In the field of audiovisual matters, the Polish Presidency managed to negotiate and adopt the Council Conclusions on the protection of children in the digital world, which highlight the need for the dissemination of knowledge of children, parents, teachers and caregivers about the safety in the Internet and building of the digital competences. The document also recommended the use of a range of technical measures to effectively protect children from illegal and potentially harmful content. On 29th November 2011, the Council adopted the Decision on the signing of the European Convention on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of, conditional access, which will allow the European Union and the Member States to join the Council of Europe Convention. Thanks to the Convention, it will be possible to increase the effectiveness of protection against piracy of pay TV services outside the European Union. Within the EU, these issues are regulated under Directive 98/84/EC of 20 November 1998 of the Council and the European Parliament and the national legislation implementing it. During the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Culture and Audiovisual Affairs, held in Wrocław on 9th September 2011, the ministers discussed the issue of digitization of cultural heritage and protection of digital content, including the future of Europeana.
In the field of intellectual property, the Polish Presidency started the work on the draft Directive on orphan works proposed by the Commission, which will enable the digitization and accessibility throughout the EU of the orphan works contained in the resources of libraries and archives. On 27th September 2011, after more than two years of deadlock, the Directive on the terms of protection of copyright and certain related rights was signed, under which, from 50 to 70 years, the term of certain related rights (rights of performers and producers of phonograms) was extended. On 19th December the Council Decision authorizing the Commission to open negotiations on the Council of Europe Convention for the protection of broadcasting organizations was adopted in order to increase the effectiveness of the protection of television and radio broadcasters at the international level. Also, during the Polish Presidency the text was agreed of the Regulation to entrust the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) the tasks associated with the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy, as well as an agreement was reached in negotiations (trilogue) with the European Parliament. Parallel to the work in the Council of the European Union, the Polish Presidency was preparing the EU position and presented it jointly with the European Commission to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.
During the Presidency the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage together with subordinate institutions organized a series of expert meetings and conferences around the country. On 6th-7th July 2011 a conference on the “Eastern Dimension of Mobility” took place, organized in Warsaw by four Polish ministries and the European Commission, devoted to issues of cooperation with the countries of the Eastern Partnership in the field of culture, education, science, youth and sport. The conference was attended by over 300 people, half of which came from the Eastern Partnership countries. On 18th-20th July in Warsaw an expert conference “Competences in Culture” was held, combining three pillars – culture, audiovisual matters and copyright. The main objective of the conference was to discuss the role of cultural competences understood as the foundation for the skills and attitudes necessary to build a modern society: knowledge-based, open, able to meet the challenges of today and ensure the competitiveness of European economy. The meeting was attended by 350 people. On 8th-11th September in Wroclaw the European Culture Congress was held, which became a place for reflection on the prospects and potential ways for the development of the European culture. Congress gave the opportunity to present culture as one of the most vibrant and diversified areas of civilization. In the framework of the congress the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Culture and Audiovisual Affairs took place. On 12th-15th October in Lublin the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the Informal meeting of senior officials of ministries of culture and senior officials responsible for culture in the ministries of foreign affairs of the EU Member States. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the role of public and cultural diplomacy in the European Union, including the tasks and plans of post-Lisbon EU institutions in reality. On 8th-9th December in Warsaw the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy took place, devoted to the exchange of experiences of the EU Member States concerning the methodology of studies on counterfeiting and piracy, social campaigns and national strategies in the area of the enforcement of intellectual property rights. The meeting was organized jointly by the Ministry of Culture and national Heritage, the European Commission and the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM).
In the gallery you will find photos documenting the events in question.
We invite you to get acquainted with the summary of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency and the reports evaluating the Polish Presidency, prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which include, inter alia, a report on the image of the Presidency in Polish media.