CULTURAL POLICY IN EUROPE FOR EUROPE:
THE DELPHI RESOLUTION
Whereas the Amsterdam and Maastricht Treaties, arts. 128 and 151 respectively, provide for a cultural dimension to every single area of European Union policy
We, the participants in the conference MARE NOSTRUM - A FORUM EUROPA OF THE EUROPEAN WRITERS’ CONGRESS, convened in Delphi, Greece from 26-28 November 1999, voted unanimously to present the following resolution to the Commission and Parliament of the European Union:
• Cultural policy must put the same emphasis on supporting current creativity, and on its lively public discussion, as it does on the appreciation and upkeep of our cultural heritage.
Its formulation and objectives must not be confused with education policy or lumped together with media relations or even the promotion of tourism.
• European cultural policy cannot be confined to the national interests of Member States but should extend these by providing an overarching programme based on ‘diversity in unity’.
In doing so it has to recognize the Community’s responsibility for all aspects of culture and foster the basic principle of European understanding.
• Promotion of culture in Europe must have three general aims:
- to support meetings and professional exchanges between creators of culture,
- to facilitate communication of cultural works and activities to the public,
- to guarantee open access for citizens to cultural goods and services.
Whereby when funds are being approved in these areas a strict line needs to be drawn between commercial companies or public institutions that have other reasons for acting as promoters and the organisations that operate purely in the cultural field or in close conjunction with citizens.
• European cultural networks should be defined as non-compulsory associations of genuine creators of culture and voluntary cultural federations across several European countries. They must be given preference for support in the interest of the European integration that is so often proclaimed as ‘basic and inherent’ to the Community.
This will take into account not only the fundamental European principle of subsidiarity but also the observed fact that, when putting on their carefully chosen cultural events, both profit oriented commercial companies and local or regional public institutions tend to draw upon the meagre EU funds partly to serve their own ends.
• Taking into account the importance of developing access to books through libraries, and the role of public lending as a cultural service, bearing in mind that this is a usage of protected works for which authors should be compensated, we ask for a review of the Rental and Lending Directive in order to introduce public lending right in all the Member States with monies being distributed by the national collecting societies or appropriate organisations.
• Multilingualism being a part of Europe’s rich cultural heritage, the free circulation of ideas depending on the wide availability of works of literature in local languages, and recognising that there would be no such availability in Europe without literary translation, the role of literary translation is so important that it cannot be left to market forces alone.
We therefore urge that under the Single Framework Programme CULTURE 2000 the measures already proposed by the Culture Committee and accepted by the European Parliament be carried into practice in a structured way.
• In view of the delays in implementation of EU cultural directives in Italy, to the detriment of European culture, we urge the European Commission to put pressure on the relevant authorities to conclude the necessary legislative procedures as a matter of urgency.
• In the light of the existing international conventions for the protection of literary and artistic works we call upon the Commission to support the “exception culturelle” proposed by the French Government in all future world trade negotiations.
• And in conclusion we urge the European Union to finalise the proposed Directive on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society, thereby ensuring that authors receive adequate remuneration for the use of their works.
November 28, 1999