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Digital culture − Access issues

04-06-2020

The digital shift has touched all aspects of human activity, and culture is no exception. Cultural assets and works have been digitised and digital technology has become a tool for novel creations. Digital-born works have enriched the resources available to those interested in culture. Technology has huge potential to facilitate and democratise access to cultural resources. However, certain technical conditions are required to allow access to these cultural resources, for example webpages devoted ...

The digital shift has touched all aspects of human activity, and culture is no exception. Cultural assets and works have been digitised and digital technology has become a tool for novel creations. Digital-born works have enriched the resources available to those interested in culture. Technology has huge potential to facilitate and democratise access to cultural resources. However, certain technical conditions are required to allow access to these cultural resources, for example webpages devoted to digitised cultural heritage and its hidden treasures as well as those devoted to novel creations. These conditions include an internet infrastructure, computers, tablets, or, more frequently, a smartphone − all of which has a price tag. Moreover, the deployment of such infrastructure needs to be evenly distributed so as to provide equal and democratic access to cultural resources − which is not yet the case. Access to costly technology is not sufficient. The technology used must go hand in hand with digital skills that are not evenly acquired by all ages and social groups. Persons with disabilities are in a particularly difficult situation, since ICT equipment often does not suit their specific needs. Moreover, cultural resources are often not available in suitable formats for them. European Union policies and strategies in many areas take all these challenges and access barriers into consideration. EU funds finance connectivity infrastructure in areas in need, training, and educational initiatives across policy areas going from culture and education to innovation and technology. The relationship between technology, science, the arts, and culture is becoming increasingly close in the digital era.

EU support for artists and the cultural and creative sector during the coronavirus crisis

05-05-2020

The EU's cultural and creative sectors (CCS) are a European Union economic and societal asset, providing an important contribution to GDP, and shaping identity and diversity. Despite the significant contribution of the CCS to the economy and people's wellbeing, the situation of operators and workers in the sector is often precarious and their work seasonal. The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic particularly threatens the future of artists, creators and cultural operators, who are severely impacted ...

The EU's cultural and creative sectors (CCS) are a European Union economic and societal asset, providing an important contribution to GDP, and shaping identity and diversity. Despite the significant contribution of the CCS to the economy and people's wellbeing, the situation of operators and workers in the sector is often precarious and their work seasonal. The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic particularly threatens the future of artists, creators and cultural operators, who are severely impacted by the enforcement of social distancing measures and the consequent postponements, cancellations or closures of events, live performances, exhibitions, museums and cultural institutions. EU Member States reacted quickly to counterbalance the consequences of Covid-19 containment measures with support for cultural institutions and artists. At the EU level, measures have been introduced to protect the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which predominate in CCS; the self-employed, who are very numerous among artists and in CCS; as well as those who have lost their jobs, a constant threat for those working in CCS. Sector specific measures have also been discussed to protect the most vulnerable, including performing artists. A series of surveys and mappings of different sectors are planned to help design a path towards the sector's recovery from the confinement measures and the resulting change in audience behaviour. The European Parliament, and its Committee on Culture and Education, call for sector-specific support measures and funds to be earmarked for those who have supported confined populations and health service professionals in particular, with their artistic output.

Jewish communities in the European Union

23-01-2020

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

Roma and Sinti Holocaust

23-01-2020

On 27 January 1945, the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. Held on this date since 2002, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a solemn occasion to commemorate the Jewish, Roma and Sinti victims of Nazi terror. The Roma and Sinti Holocaust is still largely unknown to the public.

On 27 January 1945, the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. Held on this date since 2002, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a solemn occasion to commemorate the Jewish, Roma and Sinti victims of Nazi terror. The Roma and Sinti Holocaust is still largely unknown to the public.

The European Union and Holocaust remembrance

23-01-2020

The term Holocaust refers to the mass murder of 6 million European Jews, Roma and other persecuted groups, whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate. The expropriation, state-sponsored discrimination and persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime began in 1933, followed by pogroms and their mass incarceration in concentration camps. Ultimately, this policy was extended to all Nazi-controlled European territories and countries during World War II, culminating in mass summary ...

The term Holocaust refers to the mass murder of 6 million European Jews, Roma and other persecuted groups, whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate. The expropriation, state-sponsored discrimination and persecution of the Jews by the Nazi regime began in 1933, followed by pogroms and their mass incarceration in concentration camps. Ultimately, this policy was extended to all Nazi-controlled European territories and countries during World War II, culminating in mass summary executions ('Holocaust by Bullets') and extermination in death camps. The perpetrators were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials in 1945-1946; however, the tribunal preferred to indict them on charges of crimes against humanity rather than genocide. It was not until 2005, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz that a United Nations resolution designated 27 January the day for international commemoration of the Holocaust, to be known as 'International Holocaust Remembrance Day'. In the European Union, numerous programmes seek to preserve the memory of these tragic events in the history of the continent. Since 1995, the European Parliament has adopted resolutions drawing attention to the obligation to remember not only through commemorations but also through education. In November 2018, the EU became a permanent international partner of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This is a further updated version of a briefing from January 2018.

International Year of Indigenous Languages – Sami people and languages in the EU

08-01-2020

Indigenous languages are the essence of indigenous peoples' culture and traditions. They constitute the majority of the almost 7 000 languages spoken all over the world, yet, tragically, almost half of them are threatened with extinction. The loss of an indigenous language results in the loss of culture, tradition and ancestral knowledge, mainly botanical, gathered throughout the ages by those who speak it, resulting also in the loss of biodiversity. In light of this, the UN General Assembly declared ...

Indigenous languages are the essence of indigenous peoples' culture and traditions. They constitute the majority of the almost 7 000 languages spoken all over the world, yet, tragically, almost half of them are threatened with extinction. The loss of an indigenous language results in the loss of culture, tradition and ancestral knowledge, mainly botanical, gathered throughout the ages by those who speak it, resulting also in the loss of biodiversity. In light of this, the UN General Assembly declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Access to cultural life for people with disabilities

02-12-2019

Despite the additional barriers they face, artists with disabilities make a creative contribution to cultural life. People with disabilities should also have equal access to works of art and be able to enjoy cultural life on a par with all citizens. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities entered into force in 2011. It enshrined, among other rights, the right of people with disabilities to access cultural venues such as theatres, cinemas and museums, and to enjoy ...

Despite the additional barriers they face, artists with disabilities make a creative contribution to cultural life. People with disabilities should also have equal access to works of art and be able to enjoy cultural life on a par with all citizens. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities entered into force in 2011. It enshrined, among other rights, the right of people with disabilities to access cultural venues such as theatres, cinemas and museums, and to enjoy cultural materials, books, films and music in an accessible format. It also highlighted the right of people with disabilities to participate in cultural life as both amateur and professional artists. The European Union, party to the Convention, is committed to working on legislation, and implementing and promoting programmes and actions in favour of these rights. The EU disability strategy is a step in this direction. It also covers the cultural rights of 80 million people with disabilities in the EU. According to a public consultation on disability issues carried out in accordance with the recommendations of experts from the Member States working on access to culture, such access is an important area that the EU should address. Various EU funds contribute financially to research and innovation, cultural and infrastructure projects, and programmes promoting the right to cultural life of people with disabilities within this framework. In October 2018, the EU also ratified the Marrakesh Treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled. The EU effectively became a party to the treaty as of 1 January 2019, committing to set mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled. The European Parliament and its Disability Intergroup, established in 1980, promote the rights, including the cultural rights, of people with disabilities.

Creative Europe programme 2021-2027

26-11-2019

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The existing programme focuses ...

Having considered the possibility of merging the Creative Europe programme with other programmes supporting European values, rights and justice, the European Commission has decided to continue the Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, increasing its budget by 17 %. The only programme focusing exclusively on cultural and creative activities and enterprises, it falls under the 'Cohesion and values' heading of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. The existing programme focuses on the economic dimension of the cultural sector and its contribution to job creation and economic growth. Some stakeholders have voiced concern at taking such a strongly economic approach to culture. Under proposed programme, the economic dimension is one axis alongside the social dimension, and culture's contribution to international relations. The proposed framework for cultural policy therefore highlights not only the economic dimension of the cultural and creative sectors, but also the role of culture in social cohesion and its relation to creative and artistic freedom and diversity, and freedom and plurality of media. Both Parliament and Council have agreed positions on the proposal, and trilogue negotiations started in autumn 2019 with a view to finding agreement before Council’s first reading. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Arts in the digital era

21-11-2019

Arts and technology have always been inter-related. Artistic expression has been facilitated thanks to technological innovation that enabled artists either to adapt technologies meant for other purposes, or to invent them as a way to foster the creative process. The past 30 years have seen the rapid development and deployment of digital technology, and an ever-increasing use of information and communications technologies for all sorts of needs, including artistic expression. One of the most recent ...

Arts and technology have always been inter-related. Artistic expression has been facilitated thanks to technological innovation that enabled artists either to adapt technologies meant for other purposes, or to invent them as a way to foster the creative process. The past 30 years have seen the rapid development and deployment of digital technology, and an ever-increasing use of information and communications technologies for all sorts of needs, including artistic expression. One of the most recent innovations, artificial intelligence, has already found its way into artists' studios and the creative process. The European Union faces international competition not only with regard to technological progress and art markets but also to the use of new technologies for artistic expression. Therefore, to keep their competitive edge, EU artists need to acquire skills and competences also in high-tech fields, and the research and innovation community needs to keep abreast of evolving developments. The EU is soon to adopt its financial framework for the next budgetary period (2021-2027) and is discussing the levels of funding for its various support programmes, such as those for research and innovation, for cultural and artistic activities, and for the accomplishment of its digital single market, which among other things allows diverse operators and consumers to meet and interact. The discussions on these funding programmes also touch upon funds for projects on the interaction between arts and technology.

Employment in the cultural and creative sectors

23-10-2019

Statistical data confirm the continued rise in the contribution of culture and art to the economy and employment in the EU and worldwide. An analysis of labour market data for culture and arts professionals provides an insight into the nature of the employment and livelihood which the sector provides. However, it points to frequent incidence of short-term contracts, part-time jobs and seasonal employment, two or more parallel jobs for people with university diplomas, and this employment situation ...

Statistical data confirm the continued rise in the contribution of culture and art to the economy and employment in the EU and worldwide. An analysis of labour market data for culture and arts professionals provides an insight into the nature of the employment and livelihood which the sector provides. However, it points to frequent incidence of short-term contracts, part-time jobs and seasonal employment, two or more parallel jobs for people with university diplomas, and this employment situation is frequently qualified as precarious. Culture is a specific domain characterised both by its business model, and its underlying nature of activity related to creativity, identity and self-expression. This combination of very material, financial, and transcendental aspects makes for unique employment conditions in this sector, with two divergent requirements: economic results and contribution to self-expression, well-being, social cohesion, and identity. Cultural works are often copyrighted, providing a source of revenue for cultural professionals. Revenue structure in the sector is complex due to the international mobility of cultural professionals and artists. For instance, such revenues are subject to taxes and can result in double taxation or taxation of people who do not reach the minimum threshold and thus lose their income unduly. The number of cultural professionals and artists is growing steadily, while their employment conditions become more and more unstable. This situation spreads to other sectors and needs to be addressed both in terms of social security and benefits, and revenues and taxation aspects. The EU competence in cultural, social and employment policies is limited, consisting of guidance and coordination without any possibility of harmonisation. However, since cultural professionals' EU mobility is sought after and considered important for the preservation of Europe's cultural diversity, the above-mentioned problems need to be addressed at EU level. The European Commission, Council and Parliament are aware of the situation and approach it from an employment and tax perspective. Cultural education policy could help strengthen the demand for cultural services, contributing to better employment and training of professionals in the sector.

Próximos actos

11-06-2020
CONT Public Hearing: Implementation of EU funds
Audiencia -
CONT
11-06-2020
STOA Roundtable on Digital Sovereign Identity
Seminario -
STOA
15-06-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | A Certain Idea of France: The life of Charles de Gaulle
Otro acto -
EPRS

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