PARTICIPATION BY THE CEEC APPLICANTS IN
(22247 - 22256)
7072/01 - 7081/01
Draft Council Decision on the Community position within the Association Council on the participation in the Culture 2000 programme of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and the Republics of Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
||Article 151 EU; consultation; unanimity
||Culture, Media and Sport
|Basis of consideration:
||Minister's letter of 11 May 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||HC 28-xii (2000-01), paragraph 8 (25 April 2001)
|To be discussed in Council:
||No date set|
||Cleared (decision reported 25 April 2001); further information requested
9.1 The Culture 2000 programme was adopted
on 14 February 2000.
Article 7 of the Decision which established the programme provides
for the participation, in principle, of the ten candidate countries
of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs). All have taken part in
previous Community cultural programmes such as Ariane, Kaleidoscope
The current proposal
9.2 On 25 April, we considered the current
proposal, which establishes the budget so that the ten candidate
countries of Central and Eastern Europe can begin to participate.
They will be subject to the same conditions, rules and procedures
as are applied to Member States. We noted that participation in
the programme would allow the CEECs to become integrated in Community
networks and other activities related to culture and would allow
them to attend meetings of the Management Committee as observers
when points which concern them are on the agenda.
9.3 We cleared the proposal, but we asked
the Minister to seek a statement from the Commission on the prospects
for the inclusion of Cyprus and Malta in the Culture 2000 programme.
Both are applicant countries with an important cultural heritage
to protect. We suggested that early participation in Culture 2000
would be of benefit to both and asked what considerations were
delaying their participation.
The Minister's letter
9.4 In a letter dated 11 May, which was
not copied to our Clerk and has only recently become available
to the Committee, the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media
and Sport (Mr Chris Smith) says:
"I understand that the European Commission did
not include Cyprus and Malta in this batch of draft Council Decisions
in order not to delay agreement on participation by these ten
countries. Unlike theirs, the EU Association Agreements with Cyprus
and Malta do not yet have the appropriate cultural clauses on
which to base participation in Culture 2000. The Commission is
working to bring forward the special protocols required in order
to achieve this, but is presently unable to give any firm indication
of when this might be finalised.
"My officials will continue to monitor the situation
and to press the Commission to complete this task. The proposals,
when submitted, will come to the Committees in the usual way."
9.5 On 31 October we cleared draft Council
Decisions to allow Cyprus, Malta and Turkey to participate in
We ask the Minister whether these are the "special protocols"
he refers to in his letter.
9.6 We also ask the Minister, once again,
when she expects Malta and Cyprus to start participating in Culture
2000. It is important that both these candidates are treated to
the same advantages as the other ten and it is now six months
since we asked about progress.
9.7 We ask for a response to this request
before we meet on 9 January 2002 and that, in future, all correspondence
to the Committee is copied to the Clerk, as set out in the Cabinet
Office Guidance Notes.
16 (20903) 3638/99; see HC 23-vii (1999-2000), paragraph
8 (2 February 2000). Back
11565/01 and (22760) 12579/01; see HC 152-iii (2001-02), paragraph
19 (31 October 2001). Back