Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

La place des industries culturelles dans les initiatives prioritaires en matière d'éducation et de culture en 2004 - Session plénière du Comité Économique et Social Européen

Mme Viviane Reding , membre de la Commission européenne responsable de l'Éducation et de la Culture, Bruxelles, le 28 janvier 2004 - 2004/01/28

In a presentation before the Plenary Session of the European Economic and Social Committee on the topic of Priority Initiatives in Education and Culture for 2004, Ms. Reding emphasized, in particular, the specific issues for European cultural enterprises, namely “the lack of investment and difficulties in mobilizing financial resources, distribution problems, insufficient market dimensions, weak investments in promotion and advertising, and increased pirating.”

According to Ms. Redding, while these cultural industries are directly linked to artistic creation, “They should not be produced and sold like other products, but rather as cultural goods. These cultural goods make up the wealth of European cultural diversity.” To this end, the Committee has emphasized the economic importance of cultural products and the industries that support them, “believing that these European cultural industries contribute to fulfilling the objectives of Lisbon concerning job creation.” In addition, she pointed out that in 1999, the European Union Council of Ministers of Culture felt it was “vital for European competitiveness and for cultural diversity to strengthen cultural industries, which have a great potential for growth in single and world markets.” In an attempt to resolve these issues, “Through our current instruments, we are trying to promote artistic creation and the distribution of European products, support the exchange of live performances beyond national borders, and support efforts to raise cultural awareness in the educational sector. However, we are well aware that much work remains to be done in this sector.”

To this end, the Exploratory Opinion adopted by the Committee recognizes that the rise of cultural industries “is essential for making these industries an important generator of economic and social development as it has been shown that this sector holds a significant potential for employment and wealth, and in promoting the expression of European cultures.” In addition, in its thorough analysis of the cultural and socio-economic challenges facing Europe’s cultural industries, the Committee feels that the European Union should make a contribution, particularly in the following areas: developing a European cultural space, procuring funds to assist cultural industries, and assisting creators and artists. (Available in French only)