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Estonian Minister of Culture Indrek Saar: we are ready for the Presidency!

29. June 2017 - 17:10
Minister of Culture Indrek Saar introducing the priorities of Estonian Presidency to his EU colleagues. Photo: Kai-Ines Nelson
Minister of Culture Indrek Saar introducing the priorities of Estonian Presidency to his EU colleagues. Photo: Kai-Ines Nelson

In a few days, we are going to take on the leadership responsibility that the Presidency of the Council of the European Union brings, and we will also have the opportunity to bring important topics before the Member States. In the field of culture, during the Presidency the focus will be on access to culture and cultural heritage in the digital era. In audiovisual affairs, we hope to reach an agreement that will bring about a legal space in the European Union that is more equal, takes into account technological advances and is safer for the consumer. In sports, we will draw more attention to the role of coaches in society.

In all our main topics, our objective is to arrive at significant agreements between Member States that will impact the future of Estonia as well as the rest of Europe.

We will seek solutions to bringing audiences and cultural content together in a better way in the digital era

In the field of culture, as the Presidency we will focus on access to culture and cultural heritage during the digital turn era. We will discuss how to involve the audience in a more effective way at a time when digital technologies have changed how cultural content is consumed, created and accessed. We have to find solutions that these changes demand of cultural institutions and ways in which existing digital collections could be brought closer to the user. Experience shows that the best results come about when cultural institutions and the public work together.

We will lead the renewal of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Europe needs a legal space for audiovisual media services that keeps pace with modern times. Estonia will continue to stand against excessive regulation, so that the development of new services would not be threatened by norms that are too narrow or rigid. However, all market actors do have to follow common rules and that is in all of our interest. As the Presidency, we would like to keep the balance and, on the one hand, stand for a favourable environment for content services development and for the equal treatment of all participants. On the other hand, however, we also stand for the protection of our common values to ensure a safer environment for the consumers – especially children –, where there is no room for those who incite hate, violence and terrorism.

We will focus attention on the role of coaches in society

Instead of seeing coaches as just sports guidance providers, looking at them as the ones who teach the principles of playing a fair game, who teach necessary life skills, who develop habits related to physical activity, and who create cohesion in society – this topic is a novel and current one for Member States as well as the wider EU level. We would like to draw attention to the extensive social impact that the activities of coaches have and emphasise the fact that seeing the role of coaches through a wider perspective also opens up new opportunities for mitigating some of society’s challenges.

It is significant that the European Week of Sport, held for the third time already, will officially be opened on September 23rd in Tartu, in collaboration with the European Commission, the City of Tartu and the Tartu Marathon Club.

The presidency is a chance to introduce ourselves

Over the following six months as the Presidency, we have the wonderful opportunity to show our country through our unique culture: from digital street art to modern art, from traditional instruments to architecture, from art music to jazz.

During the Estonian Presidency cultural programme and the EV100 international programme, in 2017 and 2018 there will be over 150 cultural, educational, scientific and technological events organised in more than 30 countries.

We are ready for the Presidency!


From July to December 2017, Estonia is holding the  Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time. Read more about the Estonian priorities during the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Read more about the culture and sports priorities on the Ministry of Culture website.


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