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Citizens' Dialogue with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

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Digitalisation creates fantastic new opportunities for the art and culture sector in Europe. Digital should not only be linked to digital economy, start-ups and block chain. We should speak more about the benefits of digitalisation in art and culture. The European Commission is working dedicatedly to guarantee that new technology is used to preserve the European culture, which is also the strongest sign of our identity.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

On 05 April 2019, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel participated in a Citizens' Dialogue in Sofia, Bulgaria, on the topic “EU creates: New opportunities for European artists”.

Commissioner Gabriel was joined on the stage by film director Wim Wenders and Bulgarian Minister of Culture Boil Banov.  A screening of Wim Wenders’ movie “Million dollar hotel” - which was co-financed by the EU MEDIA programme - preceded the Citizens’ Dialogue.

The Dialogue was held in an exceptionally positive atmosphere with many topical questions and comments from the audience, which included representatives of the creative industry, artists and cinema lovers. It was the first Citizens’ Dialogue held in Bulgaria focused mainly on the EU’s action to support European creators and culture.

The event began with a brief speech by Mr. Wenders, who showed great support for the European Union that in his words “gives us everything we need to live the European dream”.

He also remarked that the digitalisation of artefacts is the only way to preserve our heritage and our cultural identity. “I’m very glad that in her position as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel is so dedicated to this mission.”

Several questions were linked to copyright and the EU’s action to guarantee fair remuneration for creators in Europe.

Commissioner Gabriel presented the main goals of the new copyright directive and explained that after the approval by the European Parliament we are one step closer to the official introduction of the new rules.

“The new copyright directive faced unprecedented attacks. However, we will not give up. It is unacceptable that European artists and creators do not receive adequate reward for their efforts and talent.”

All opinions from the audience proved that artists and workers in the creative industry welcome the new copyright rules proposed by the Commission and consider them an important step towards a better creative environment in the EU.

Another important topic of the discussion was the “overload” of art in the new digital era and the importance of including art education in schools.

Participants expressed their concerns that young people may find it difficult to distinguish the valuable pieces of art that will shape the future of European cultures.

In response to this, Commissioner Gabriel presented her initiative to organize a European Cinema Week in schools all over Europe. The idea is “to bring art closer to young people and give them access to the exceptional European films that shaped our common identity.”

At the end of the discussion, Commissioner Gabriel underlined the importance of the EU MEDIA programme for the development of cinema in Europe and expressed her expectations that the programme will have more funding in the next budgetary period 2021 -2027.

Practical information

5 April 2019, 20.00 - 21.00 (EEST)
Dom na Kinoto