European Commisioners urge for the digitisation of Europe's heritage

Making Europe’s cultural heritage more accessible on-line and ensuring copyright rules are respected was among the issues addressed when Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, joined Ministers for Culture and Audiovisual Policy at their informal meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, on 9 September.

Members of the Commission’s expert group on digitisation (Comité des Sages) highlighted their recommendations which include making Europe’s digital library Europeana the central reference point for cultural heritage and calling for Member States to do more to encourage public-private partnerships to drive digitisation and generate jobs. In this sense, the “preservation of cultural heritage for future generations should be an imperative for every society,” said Commissioner Vassiliou after the meeting. She also added that: “new digital technologies facilitate not only the preservation of books, films, pictures, photographs and music but can also make them easily and instantly accessible.”

Commissioner Barnier highlighted the need for an appropriate copyright framework for the digital era, and in this context encouraged all stakeholders to respond to the recently launched Green Paper on online distribution of audiovisual works. The Green Paper can be found on: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/docs/2011/audiovisual/green_paper_COM2011_427_en.pdf

Commissioner Vassiliou also drawed attention to the Commission’s proposal for a new “Creative Europe” funding programme in 2014-2020 to support Europe’s fast growing cultural and creative sectors.

The informal meeting took place in parallel with the European Culture Congress, which brought together over 300 artists and intellectuals from worldwide.

Find out more about the European Culture Congress on: http://www.culturecongress.eu/en/themes

Read the expert group recommendations in full on: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/17&format=PDF&aged=1&language=EN&guiLanguage=en