Ministers also exchanged views on the follow-up to the declaration by ministers of Education at their informal meeting in Paris in March 2015, highlighting the crucial role which the education and youth sectors have to play in preventing radicalisation and promoting common European values.
Minister Mārīte Seile declared:
"Graduates today are entering a challenging world - the digital revolution has an increasingly huge impact upon our economies and we must ensure that education provides the necessary skills, starting from an early age. However, education is not only about the labour market. Education plays an essential role in creating cohesive and sustainable societies and in preparing citizens for the unknown. It ensures that the cultural and civic values that we share are passed on to future generations."
The Council held a policy debate on the future European audiovisual policy, following the presentation of the recent Commission communication "A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe". The debate focused on two issues:
- the audiovisual policy aspects of the Digital Single Market Strategy
- the functioning of the Audiovisual Media Services directive in the current geopolitical situation
Ministers discussed the challenges for policy-makers and regulators of a digital single market where the diversity and the high quality of the digital offer must be ensured, as well as equal conditions for all audiovisual media service providers.
They also examined ways to prevent the misuse of the freedoms guaranteed by the Audiovisual Media Services directive ("freedom of information, freedom and pluralism of the media, the openness of the internet and cultural and linguistic diversity) in order to ensure public interest objectives of security and stability.
The Council also adopted a decision designating Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Matera (Italy) as European Capitals of Culture in 2019.
Minister Dace Melbārde declared: "One of the issues that calls for immediate attention today regarding the European audiovisual policy is how can we balance freedom of expression with the public interest objectives of security and stability, while ensuring that the audiovisual landscape in Europe remains culturally diverse and competitive".
In its session on sport, the Council adopted conclusions on the role of grassroots sport in developing transversal skills, especially among young people. The conclusions explore how voluntary activities in sport as a non-formal and informal learning can help young people acquire skills and competences that complement formal education and enhance their employability.
Minister Mārīte Seile underlined that "Grassroots sport contributes to personal development and skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. It brings considerable benefits with relatively little investment and no specific training background."