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Indrek Saar, the Estonian Minister of Culture, spoke in the European Parliament about the youth song festival, e-Estonia and the priorities of the Estonian presidency in fields of culture and sport

11. July 2017 - 1:20
Kultuuriminister Indrek Saare ettekanne Euroopa Parlamendis. Foto Kultuuriministeerium
Kultuuriminister Indrek Saare ettekanne Euroopa Parlamendis. Foto Kultuuriministeerium

Today, in Brussels, in the Committee of Culture and Education of the European Parliament, the Minister of Culture Indrek Saar introduced the main themes related to culture, audiovisual policy and the field of sport of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Minister of Culture Indrek Saar started his presentation with words of thanks for the Members of the European Parliament that attended the Youth Song and Dance Celebration. Singing and dancing together is not just an important part of Estonia culture, but it has sustained our belief in freedom, peaceful coexistence and activity. Therefore, it is no wonder that our peaceful endeavours to restore our independence have become known as the “Singing Revolution” and serve as an example of Estonia’s natural and amicable approach to achieving its goals,” Saar emphasised.

In his presentation Minister Saar noted that Estonia’s most significant task is leading the negotiations with the European Parliament regarding the updating of the legislation that regulates the audiovisual media services market in the European Union. “All the Member States agree that Europe needs to update the rules related audiovisual media services as quickly as possible. We require a clearer and more uniform legal space for the development of these services and for their distribution in the common market, where all the participants abide by the same rules, while also addressing the new services that are not covered by the existing directive. We must also ensure that the users – especially children – are sufficiently protected when using internet media services. We must deal more effectively with hindering hate speech and the incitement to violence,” Saar said in his presentation. In regard to the amendment the regulations for audiovisual media services, one of the goals of the Estonian presidency is to achieve agreement with the European Parliament, and we have already taken the first step with the negotiations that started yesterday,” said Saar.

“In the cultural field, our focus is on access to culture and heritage during this digital era, and how we can ensure that the public becomes more involved,” Saar said. When speaking about the key topics in the cultural field during the presidency, Saar said that the promotion of strategic cultural cooperation with third countries is important for the European Union. During the presidency, great attention will also be paid to more effectively hindering illegal importing of cultural treasures into the European Union.

In sport, Estonia wishes to focus the discussion on the role of coaches as the teachers of values and skills, and how to better support coaches in this changing role. “If we wish Europeans to be physically active, healthy and engaged, to have them respect diversity and appreciate the principles of fair play in sport and the society generally, we must focus on coaches as key persons who can play a significant role in achieving these goals,” Saar emphasised.

Indrek Saar noted that, in case of all these main topics, it is Estonia’s goal to achieve agreements among the Member States that will directly impact all the citizens and the future of Europe.

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