EU culture ministers unanimously adopted a declaration on Ukraine.
The Minister of Culture Atanas Atanasov took part in the Informal Meeting of European Ministers of Culture, which was held at the initiative of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU in Angers, France, on March 7 and 8 this year.
The meeting was chaired by French Minister of Culture Roslin Bashlo, and included Ms Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, Commissioner for the Internal Market - Thierry Breton, the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth- Mrs Maria Gabriel.
On the two-day agenda of the meeting, dedicated to talks on strengthening the European cultural model, the French Presidency had planned debates on the following topics: Audiovisual - The Future of Media in Europe and Enhancing Cultural Diversity on the Internet; part Culture - New European challenges for heritage protection and strengthening policies.
The main topic of the first day of the meeting was the situation in Ukraine. The French Presidency has given culture ministers the opportunity to make statements on military aggression in the country. Ministers discussed measures that can be taken at national and European level to help culture and media in Ukraine. The Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Alexander Tkachenko joined in via video conference to inform his colleagues about the current situation. At the end of this first day, EU culture ministers unanimously adopted a declaration from the meeting expressing their solidarity with Ukraine and its people and their struggle for freedom, sovereignty and independence.
In the adopted declaration, the Ministers of Culture of the EU countries expressed their support for Ukrainian artists, journalists, cultural and media professionals and expressed their readiness to cooperate with them together with international partners; they pledged to join forces and share best practices on how to show solidarity and welcome Ukrainian artists, journalists and cultural and media professionals, and to look at cultural cooperation in the future; expressed their commitment to support institutions wishing to welcome Ukrainian artists, journalists and cultural and media professionals so that they can continue their activities and thus retain their freedom of creation and expression; expressed their support for all media and journalists who seek to cover the ongoing military aggression against Ukraine in an independent and impartial manner, and stressed the need to ensure their physical protection; reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of expression and information, freedom of the media and pluralism, and condemned the ongoing campaign to manipulate information, as well as the disinformation from which citizens affected by military aggression must be protected; expressed their deep concern about Ukraine-s cultural heritage, the dangers and damage it faces and reaffirmed their readiness to support its preservation in cooperation with relevant international organizations and partners; reaffirmed their support for the use of any available European programme in the field of culture, audiovisual and media, and in particular Creative Europe, for artists, journalists and cultural and media professionals affected by the military aggression against Ukraine and the consequences from her.
In his official statements during the meeting, Minister Atanasov thanked the French Presidency for organizing this important event, emphasizing that he was encouraged by the common position taken in the declaration signed by him and his EU colleagues. According to Minister Atanassov, this shows the unification around the same values in Europe - those of media freedom and media pluralism. Minister Atanasov also said that he was especially encouraged by the expressed support for artists and all those who suffer from military aggression in Ukraine.