The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, Prodromos Prodromou, told his EU counterparts that the creation of a Deputy Ministry of Culture in Cyprus, is expected to give further impetus and support to the cultural sector and creative arts. He also referred to the measures adopted by the government, in support of artists and cultural institutions, as well as to artists' mobility and the "Cultural Europe" programe, while addressing the Council.
The Minister also attended the Council of Education Ministers, which discussed the creation of a European Education Area (ERA) and the forthcoming strategic framework for cooperation in the field of education and training.
More specifically, at the Culture and Audiovisual Sector meeting, Ministers referred to recovery measures in the cultural sector and the Media in the aftermath of the pandemic crisis. They also discussed ways to improve the legal framework to address travel restrictions and to make better use of the Recovery and Sustainability Fund.
During his intervention, Prodromou welcomed the efforts on a European level to improve opportunities and the potential to finance the cultural and creative sector, mainly through the "Creative Europe" program, as well as through synergies with other programs and Funds.
As for the mobility of artists during the pandemic, he noted that decisions on this issue should be taken on the basis of health care developments in each country and collective interest.
He also stressed the need to make use of the Creative Europe program offices, to improve information dissemination for the benefit of more stakeholders and society.
Yesterday, at the Education Council configuration meeting, Prodromou discussed the creation of the European Education Area (ERA) and the strategic framework for cooperation in the field of education and training. The strategic framework is expected to set the objectives and tools to implement the strategy, giving specific guidance to member states.
According to a written statement, referring to the European Education Area, the Minister stressed that it is based on the principles and values of our shared way of life and of freedoms, laid out by Commission Vice President, Margaritis Schinas. He also noted that the new objectives reflect the dynamics inherent in modern European societies, and are linked to fundamental European policies, contributing to the creation of better and more resilient education systems.
He then referred to the strategic initiatives of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, expected to contribute towards digital transformation of schools and the strengthening of pupils' digital skills, among others, with the support of the Recovery and Resilience Fund.
Finally, the Minister of Education informed his counterparts about ongoing efforts to strengthen Higher Education in Cyprus, which help Cyprus emerge as a regional international center for university studies in recent years.
The Council concluded with a presentation by the Presidency on the current state of the ERASMUS + regulation, the Council Conclusions on digital education in European knowledge societies and the Council Recommendation on Vocational Education and Training for Sustainable Competitiveness, social justice and resilience. The Presidency also briefed participants on the current situation in the EU, EFTA and EEA Member States in addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and training.
The German Minister chairing the meeting expressed at the outset of the meeting solidarity for the victims of terrorist attacks in Europe, followed by statement from France and Austria and a minute's silence from all Ministers in memory of the victims.
On behalf of the government and people of Cyprus, the Minister expressed solidarity with France and Austria for the terrorist attacks which, as Prodromou put it, are "attacks on the principles and values of a united Europe". In Samuel Paty we honor all teachers in Europe, he added.
The incoming Portuguese Presidency presented Ministers its work program for the first half of 2021.