Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council, 22-23/05/2017

Council of the EU

Main results 

Audiovisual and Culture

The Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a revised directive on audiovisual media services on the basis of a final compromise text presented today at the Council by the Maltese Presidency on the main issues still open: scope of the directive, jurisdiction rules, quota for European works and  financial contributions.

The Council adopted conclusions on an EU strategy for international cultural relations. The conclusions propose the setting up of a cross-cutting platform that would bring together experts from different policy areas (culture, foreign affairs, development cooperation, education, human rights, customs etc.) to help develop synergies and complementarities when the strategy is being implemented. 

Culture has been increasingly recognised in diplomatic relations as an instrument of "soft power" which offers the possibility of establishing and maintaining relations and contacts with third countries when traditional policies may not be sufficient. 

"We are very proud to have reached an agreement on audio-visual media services. This is a complex directive which touches upon very sensitive issues such as the internal market, fundamental rights and freedoms, cultural diversity and the protection of minors.

But the marketplace and technology are developing rapidly. We have to ensure that the relevant rules keep pace with these changes.Today's agreement in the Council  constitutes a further step forward in the completion of the Digital Single Market, which is vital for Europe's future prosperity."

Dr Owen Bonnici, Minister minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government of Malta


The Council adopted a resolution on the European Union Work Plan for Sport (2017-2020). 

The Work Plan has a limited number of policy initiatives tackling key issues such as the fight against doping, combating match-fixing and improving good governance in sports organisations. 

Emphasis is placed on combating corruption, safeguarding minors, developing links between sport and the digital single market, including media rights, as well as on education within and through sport, the role of coaches and sport diplomacy. 

Ministers also adopted conclusions on sport as a platform for social inclusion and as a follow-up, they discussed how to develop a media policy that supports social objectives in sport.


The dialogue with young people and future European cooperation in the youth field were the main topics of  the Council's work in it's Youth configuration. In particular, the Council  

  • adopted a resolution on the future development of the (structured) dialogue with young people in the context of policies for European cooperation in the youth field post 2018. The resolution outlines the main priorities for the next cycle of the dialogues, which will have as its main theme: "Youth in Europe: what's next?.

    The resolution calls for a review on how to improve the dialogue and make it more effective in the future. It also calls for particular attention to be given to ways of developing a constructive dialogue and cooperation with young people from diverse backgrounds, youth researchers and policy makers and interested parties from other related sectors.  

  • adopted conclusions on the strategic perspectives for European cooperation in the youth field post-2018, which will provide guidance to the Commission as it carries out a mid-term evaluation of the key policy instrument in this area, the "EU Youth Strategy". 

    The conclusions underline the need for the future strategy to be cross-sectoral, flexible, responsive and transparent and take account of the rapidly changing political, social, cultural and economic situation in Europe.  

  • adopted conclusions on the role of youth work in supporting young people's development of essential life skills to facilitate their transition to adulthood, active citizenship and working life.  


The Council adopted a recommendation on the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning. Its aim is to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications across Europe by establishing a common reference framework for national qualifications systems.  

The recommendation also seeks to help modernise education and training systems and increase the employability, mobility and social integration of workers and learners.  

The Council took note of progress on Europass, which is intended to help increase mobility in Europe by providing a framework which will improve access to information on skills and qualifications for education and employment purposes.

"We very much value our regular dialogue with young people. It is an important means for us to learn about their concerns and the challenges they face, and it offers valuable input into how we develop the most appropriate policies in this field. We must now plan ahead and examine how we can further improve our cooperation."

We also welcome the adoption of the European Qualifications Framework and the significant progress on the Europass decision. These are two important components of the New Skills Agenda that will contribute to improving the employability and mobility of European citizens". 

Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment of Malta


Press information

19 May 2017

Press briefing
Main press room, Justus Lipsius building - by Ambassador Neil Kerr - This briefing is "off the record"

22 May 2017

Press opportunity
VIP entrance Europa building
Doorstep by Minister Bartolo
Press conference
Main press room, Justus Lipsius building
Watch the press conference

23 May 2017

Press opportunity
VIP entrance Europa building
Doorstep by Minister Bonnici
Press conference
Main press room, Justus Lipsius building
Watch the press conference
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