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European cultural co-operation

Recommendation 940 (1982)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 27 April 1982 (3rd Sitting) (see Doc. 4868 report of the Committee on Culture and Education). Text adopted by the Assembly on 27 April 1982 (3rd Sitting).

The Assembly,

1. Having considered the report on European cultural co-operation of its Committee on Culture and Education (Doc. 4868), and recalling its recent Recommendation 850 (1979) on the same subject ;
2. Reasserting its view that the European Cultural Convention is the primary basis for European activity in the field of culture and education ;
3. Welcoming the affirmation by the Committee of Ministers in its reply to Recommendation 850 and, more recently, in the communique issued at its 69th Session, that the Council of Europe remains the primary instrument of cultural co-operation in Europe ;
4. Noting the new initiatives for extending European Community activity in the general field of culture and education, and anxious that this activity and the resources made available should represent a contribution to cultural co-operation throughout Europe rather than limit such wider co-operation ;
5. Regretting that, even though reference is made to setting up appropriate co-operation with the Council of Europe, the texts relating to the institution of a European Foundation in the context of the European Community only specifically refer to cultural co-operation at the level of this Community ;
6. Stressing the common responsibility of all bodies working in the field of culture and education at international level in Europe, and the need for continued attention to close partnership in order to avoid duplication and reduce overlap ;
7. Welcoming the contact that has been established by its Committee on Culture and Education with the corresponding committee of the European Parliament ;
8. Noting the extensive contribution by the Council for Cultural Co-operation and other intergovernmental committees in the Council of Europe to European cultural co-operation, but calling for greater attention to be given to the choice, implementation and presentation of activities, in order to ensure that they continue to reflect current concern and that they have practical impact ;
9. Deploring, in particular, the failure of the Council of Europe, despite repeated assurances from representatives of the Committee of Ministers, to provide for the regular dissemination of information on the conservation of the architectural heritage as a follow-up to European Architectural Heritage Year (1975) ;
10. Believing that the European conferences of specialised ministers, organised on the open-ended basis of the European Cultural Convention, offer an important structure for discussion at ministerial level of problems and general policies in member states, and should permit a global view to be taken of the activities of different organisations, including the European Community, working in the field of cultural co-operation ;
11. Wishing, however, to associate national parliaments and the specialised ministers more closely with Council of Europe work, in particular in the formulation of activities and in their follow-up, and therefore recalling paragraph 14. a of Recommendation 746 (1975), on twenty-five years of European cultural co-operation, which called for the institution by the Committee of Ministers of special meetings at the level of Ministers competent for educational and cultural affairs of member states ;
12. Stressing the importance of the role of nongovernmental organisations in the protection of the architectural heritage and the consequent desirability of establishing continuing and positive co-operation between them and the Council of Europe, at ministerial, parliamentary and intergovernmental levels, and recalling the fact that it was a conference of this nature in Brussels in 1969 which led to the launching of European Architectural Heritage Year (1975),
13. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :
a in their coming review of the work of the Council of Europe in the general field of culture and education :
13.1.1 take the whole of this field into consideration (irrespective of existing structures) :
13.1.2 pay attention to the process of selecting priorities for Council of Europe activities within this field, and the form such activities are to take, with particular reference to the need for flexibility, relevance and impact, and to the importance of avoiding duplication and of reducing overlap ;
13.1.3 seek means of associating specialised ministers more closely with the planning and implementation of Council of Europe work, and give consideration to instituting special meetings at the level of such ministers within the Committee of Ministers ;
13.1.4 ensure closer co-ordination within the Council of Europe, and encourage individual governments to co-ordinate their representation in the various activities of the Council of Europe, in conferences of specialised ministers and in other bodies working in the cultural field in Europe ;
13.1.5 arrange that, with a view to inspiring interest and action, information regarding the activities of the Council of Europe, and regarding the action being taken in this field in the member states, shall be regularly and widely disseminated by the Council of Europe in well-edited publications ;
13.1.6 provide sufficient resources for cultural activity in the Council of Europe, in order that the organisation may indeed retain its place as the primary instrument for cultural co-operation in Europe ;
b seek from the European conferences of specialised ministers, from the European Community and the European Foundation, and from other organisations whose work involves co-operation at European level, formal or informal agreement on the European Cultural Convention as a basis for co-ordinating European cultural co-operation ;
c arrange periodic meetings of ministers concerned with specific aspects of culture and education together with representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly and representatives of appropriate non-governmental organisations for the promotion of joint activities.