The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council took place in Brussels on 22 and 23 May 2018. Lord Ashton of Hyde represented the UK at the Youth session of this Council on 22 May. The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Katrina Williams, represented the UK on 23 May for the meetings on Culture & Audiovisual and Sport.
This session of the Council began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the role of young people in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe. The Council adopted Council conclusions on the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union.
A policy debate was then held on the future priorities for EU Youth policy.
In addition, there was information from the Commission on European Youth Together, followed by information from the Belgian and French delegations on the Franco-Belgian declaration of Ministers responsible for youth on the prevention of violent radicalisation.
This meeting began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the need to bring cultural heritage to the fore across policies in the EU.
There was also a policy debate on the long term vision for the contribution of culture to the EU after 2020, in particular looking forward to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).
Additionally, there was a public deliberation of current legislative proposals. For this, the Council first welcomed information from the German delegation on the Directive amending Directive (2006/112/EC) as regards rates of value added tax - actively engaging in negotiations from a cultural policy perspective. In extension to this, information was provided by the French delegation on the regulation on the import of cultural goods. No legislative decisions were made in these debates, so there are no implications for the parliamentary scrutiny reservation.
Information was provided by the Lithuanian and Luxembourg delegations, on their respective hosting of the European Capitals of Culture 2022.
The sport session of EYCS began with the adoption of Council conclusions on promoting the common values of the EU through Sport. This was followed by a policy debate on the commercialisation of elite sports and the sustainability of the European Model of Sport.
The EU Member States represented in the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board presented information on the Foundation Board meeting held on 16-17 May. The French delegation presented information on the informal meeting of the EU Minister for Sport (held in Paris on 31 May 2018), where there was the signing of a declaration for a Europe of Sport looking to the horizon of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Austrian delegation set out their work programmes as the incoming Presidency, for the second half of 2018. They highlighted a number of priorities for their Presidency. These priorities included a focus on the work plan for culture 2018+, the successor programme to the Creative Europe programme and enhancing the principle of subsidiarity.