Meeting of the Culture & Education committee on 19-20 January 2015
Priorities of the Latvian Presidency of the EU on culture and education, exchange of views with the Commissioner for Culture and presentation of the European Youth event.
From January 1st 2015, Latvia holds the six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU. On January 19th the Committee held an initial exchange of views with Ms Dace Melbārde, Minister of Culture and Ms Mārīte Seile, Minister of Education and Science, to debate the Presidency priorities in the area of culture and education. Picking up on a quote from Mrs Melbārde describing Culture as "the conscience of a nation", Julie shared her vision of the role of culture in the development of peaceful and inclusive societies.
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On January 20th, MEPs held an exchange of views with the new Commissioner on Culture, Tibor Navracsics, who introduced his working plan for the coming months and answered MEPs' questions. Read his speech here. Julie reacted to his vision of the portfolio, affirming that the first target of the EU cultural policy should be people disengaged with Europe and politics and reminded the chamber that education should not be a "factory for cheap labour" but should instead ensure collective and individual development. She also shared her concerns that the first results of the Creative Europe programme seemed to have privileged big projects whereas support for smaller organisations seemed disproportionately scant.
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Also on January 20th, CULT organised a dialogue with young people in the context of the European Youth Event (EYE). These "EYE speed-hearings" allowed for an exchange between MEPs and a small number of EYE2014 participants, based on ideas and recommendations contained in the final report of the event. Julie was among the three MEPs asked to react to the presentation, and she made the point that cross border mobility should not only be accessible for students but for all young people.
Read more about CULT committee here.