Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Madam Chair, dear Marie-Christine Labourdette,

 

It is a great pleasure to see so many of you this evening at the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, to wish you all the best in your new year of joy, success and health.

I am very pleased, albeit with some seriousness.

First of all, I am thinking of the two French journalists released today in Venezuela.

Nevertheless, I cannot forget that for too many weeks there have been attempts to muzzle the debate of ideas.

That they prevent our journalists from informing; from exercising their profession.

There have been repeated attacks on the media.

Journalists have been attacked; printing shops have been blocked; and, a few days ago, radio stations were set on fire.

I have said and I will say it again: this violence is unacceptable. Intolerable. Inexcusable.

It must stop.

To attack journalists is to attack our democracy.

This is an attack on France.

Like desecrating our heritage, trashing the Arc de Triomphe, it also means attacking France. The Marseillaise here in these walls reminds us how proud we must be of our republican ideal.

I cannot, however, reduce the turmoil in the country to these unacceptable acts.

Beyond the violence I condemn, I hear the unease that has been expressed in recent weeks.

Our country is in a moment of doubt.

Of uncertainty.

Anxiety and anger, long buried, resurface brutally.

In such a moment, many are tempted to relegate culture to the background.

That would be a serious mistake.

To all those who think that, in the current context, culture is not a subject, not a priority, I want to answer with a sentence.

It is a phrase that Freud addressed to Einstein, in 1932, in the correspondence they maintained.

He writes to her:

“Everything that works for the development of culture also works against war.”

Let me add: against conflict.

Against tensions.

Against the misunderstanding. 

By giving common experiences to women and men who think they are in opposition to each other in everything and on everything, by arousing in them shared emotions, the works and the artists gather, bring together, soothe.

Culture can reconnect the broken bond.

Repair what was damaged.

Rebuild what we think is broken.

This is why culture has its place in the great debate desired by the President of the Republic.

I invite cultural venues to open their doors to the great debate, to host local meetings – in France and overseas.

They are, by nature, places of encounter, of exchange, of dialogue.

I also invite artists to engage in this debate.

Share your views, opinions, ideas!

You have so much to say, so many questions to raise, so many proposals.

I measure it every day.

Culture must be part of the big debate, because it is an answer—it may not be the only one, but it is certainly one of the major answers—to the fractures, the breakdowns, the divisions that fragment our society.

She’s what brings us together, keeps us together.

What connects us, and unites us.

Reconnecting: it’s the sense of action that we drive together.

Recreating the link involves an action as close as possible to the territories.

The reality is that cultural policies take place everywhere in France, in all our territories.

They must start from the territories, not be applied to the territories.

You know that.

You can see it.

You live it.

I too have experienced it: for more than 20 years, as a municipal councillor and deputy mayor of Coulommiers.

I was able to see how cultural policies are a shared responsibility: between the State, local authorities, cultural actors, public, associative and private partners.

The Ministry of Culture is there to give the impetus.

To provide solutions. Expertise. Knowledge.

To share best practices and encourage synergies.

To play a facilitator role.

To accompany operators, elected officials and all those who organize cultural life, on a daily basis, on the ground.

That keep her alive.

And your first point of contact for all these projects is the DRAC.

They are the department in the territories and with elected officials.

Their scope of intervention will be preserved, developed and strengthened.

We will also recreate the link through the Culture pass.

Starting tomorrow, his experiment will be launched in 5 departments: Guyana, Bas-Rhin, Hérault, Finistère and Seine-Saint-Denis.

Starting tomorrow, more than ten thousand accounts with €500 can be activated.

More than ten thousand young people will be able to access cultural proposals near them.

Freely, without constraint.

The pass will accompany them towards autonomy in their cultural life, and in their life as citizens. It will give them the freedom to build their cultural path.

On this path, there will be libraries. They recreate the link, too.

They are not only places of reading, but also places of culture.

Not only places of passage, but also places of brewing.

Not only visiting places, but also places of life.

It is up to us to adapt their services accordingly. To adapt them to the habits, expectations, needs and rhythm of life of our fellow citizens.

This is the meaning of the Library Plan.

We must continue to help communities “open more”.   And to open better in order to turn them into real «local cultural public service houses». 

Reconnecting is also the role of heritage.

It is our common heritage; it connects us to yesterday as well as tomorrow.

It is what we receive. And it is up to us to ensure that it is also what we leave behind.

It is up to us to preserve it, by all means at our disposal: more proximity, more transversality, more innovation.

This is the Ministry’s constant commitment to the restoration of historic monuments: every year it’s 320 million euros and 6,000 operations, with an intervention fund dedicated to small municipalities.

Among these many operations, an emblematic site:

The castle of Villers-Cotterêts.

That was the commitment of the President of the Republic.

We will make it a laboratory of the Francophonie: the international place of creation, innovation and research on the French language.

While maintaining a strong foothold in the territory – and I really want to do so – the City will offer, through its permanent and temporary exhibitions, a privileged setting for the most innovative projects concerning the French language.

This project has no equivalent in the world. It will contribute to social cohesion through partnerships with all local actors involved.

It will strengthen the attractiveness of the city and its entire region.

Beyond Villers-Cotterêts, monuments in danger require our mobilization.

The success of Le Loto du Patrimoine shows how much the French want to be involved in cultural policies.

We will launch, with Stéphane Bern, his second edition in the coming days.

The State will be at the rendezvous to accompany this formidable enthusiasm of our fellow citizens for the heritage.

And because today’s architecture is tomorrow’s heritage, I intend to protect it as well.

With the label «remarkable contemporary architecture» we will raise awareness of the quality of the architecture of the XXe and XXIe centuries.

These are not just monuments. They are also our places of life or work; this is what surrounds us, everywhere in our territories, at any time.

I am convinced that the use of the architect is the best guarantee of safe, ecological and contributing to the beautification of everyday life.

In these battles, I know that I can rely on the architects of the buildings of France, the conservatives, engineers, responsible for protection who participate every day in the accompaniment of communities, owners, developers, for the preservation of our heritage. They help revitalize territories and city cores.

Our heritage is also museums.

We can be proud of their quality and their teams.

They are admired and demanded around the world.

Museums are developing ever more varied policies and programs that make the influence of France.

Sharing the “beautiful”, opening debates and stimulating exchanges is a great challenge for our culture around the world.

It is in this context that the President of the Republic has entrusted me and the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs to build a new policy of exchanges with our African partners.

Our heritage is also innovation to keep our collective memory alive.

In 2018, on the occasion of the centenary of the Great War, the State carried the Great Memorial, now rich in all the registration records of the First World War combatants digitized, or 9 million records.

Through digital technology, archives of major interest are now available to all.

I want to commend this tremendous work.

I intend to extend this link with our history and guarantee the transmission of digital archives to future generations.

This link with history, archaeology feeds it.

France is fortunate to have an extremely strong and dynamic archaeology sector.

The CASL Act, a major advance in archaeology, naturally raises the question of the conservation of remains that are now public property.

The Ministry of Culture is committed to working with local authorities to develop conservation and study centres that will allow this issue to be dealt with in the best conditions.

Finally, as part of the challenges of underwater archaeology, I will carry the project of a new ship dedicated to this mission, adding to the already existing Malraux.

If we want to recreate a link in our society, we must strengthen the links between the Ministry of Culture and artists.

To all of you present this evening, and in particular to the artists, I want to tell you: the Ministry of Culture is your home.

There is no culture without artists.

There is no ministry of culture without artists.

What we have achieved in the past, together, with the same will, we must achieve today and tomorrow. The sometimes brutal changes that present times impose on us are actually a great opportunity to reinvent ourselves collectively.

I will never accept the fatalism of those who think that everything is behind us. This defeatism is the negation of who we are and what brings us together. Let us find together the spirit, the breath, the energy of a great policy in favor of creation.

All arts, all disciplines, all creations will be concerned.

For this, I hope that we will rely on the bodies of cooperation in the field of live performance or visual arts, thanks to the National Council of Visual Arts Professions which I will install soon.

We will do the same for design, crafts and fashion.  

A link will also link all players in the music sector, within the National Music Centre.

We have been talking about this for years. Now is the time!

Over the past two years, the sector has returned to economic growth. However, we must act now to structure the music industry; to protect the diversity of production; to support its export, its international reach.

The quality and diversity of French-language musical creation has always been encouraged, particularly by the quota policy. We must continue on this path.

I count on the commitment of the entire sector to make the CNM a place of exchange, between all actors.

At the request of the Prime Minister, in the next few days I will set up the steering committee.

Dear friends, we need to rethink the relationship with artists and authors.

That is why I announced on Saturday at the Angoulême comic strip festival, a prospective mission.

It will help us to develop a new public policy in favour of artist authors.

We are also going to work on setting up a “pathway for artists” for live performances to improve their mobility and professional integration.

More generally, we must encourage exchanges between artists and, in this regard, I assume a European voluntarism.

Because, while the mobility of artists towards the international increases, those towards Europe regress.

We cannot do that.

I also hope that a network of artists' residencies in France and around the world will be truly structured.

Finally, we need this department to develop a real cultural employment policy.

In that sense, I reaffirmed my commitment to the intermittency regime.

The 2016 agreement is a good agreement: that is my position and that of the government.

I would like to welcome the recent signing of a unanimous agreement in the context of the current negotiations for unemployment insurance on Annexes 8 and 10.

This is the mark, once again, of the sense of responsibility shown by the various parties.

I want to thank them.

This bond that I intend to recreate, arts and cultural education will help us to establish it throughout life.

My ambition is clear: it must be a right for all.

A completely new plan was initiated by my predecessor, Françoise Nyssen, with the Ministry of National Education to reach the 100% EAC target.

At school but also outside school: higher education, hospitals, prisons, companies, solidarity networks.

My dear friends,

I cannot conclude this statement without talking about the two major legislative projects before us this year.

I will be presenting the audiovisual law in the Council of Ministers this summer.

If we want to maintain our funding model for audiovisual and film creation, we have to adapt.

Adapting to competition from new digital players by integrating them into our system.

- By implementing the ADM directive, which will allow video services to contribute to the financing of creation.

- By finalizing the negotiation of the copyright directive, which will impose on video sharing platforms a fair remuneration for the content they broadcast, and a balanced sharing with authors.

- By rebalancing the taxation allocated to the TNC, between traditional players and new entrants.

- Providing more funding flexibility to traditional players. To find new sources of funding, to regain growth.

The reform of the 1986 law will also be an opportunity to adapt regulation to the new challenges of digital technology.

The French no longer understand why television and radio stations must respect strict rules of public protection when hate, racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments are broadcast on the Internet without control.

As such, the heinous attacks on our Eurovision candidate, Bilal Hassani, must be severely punished.

The transposition of the SMA Directive, which provides for a competence of the CSA to combat hate content on video sharing platforms, is a step in that direction, but we will go further.

We can no longer accept the principle of platform irresponsibility.

Finally, the revision of the 1986 Act will obviously contain an important part on the transformation of public broadcasting.

Transforming public broadcasting means transforming its governance and organization so that it is stronger, serving redefined missions.

Television and radio are gateways to culture.

This gives the public broadcaster a responsibility to offer a distinctive, demanding and attractive offer.

I want a more digital public broadcaster, closer to the French, that gives voice to youth, culture and the French overseas communities and that contributes to France’s influence in the world.

And I am deeply convinced that it is in the union that we will find the resources to build a public service capable of responding to the challenges of our time; capable of becoming the reference in Europe.  

Finally, we must act to re-establish a bond of trust between the French and the traditional media.

There is an urgent need for action.

The first need is obviously to give the media, journalists, the financial means to do their job properly.

This requires the introduction of a neighbouring right for press publishers: if Google News massively reuses articles produced by our newspapers, it must remunerate them.

This also requires a reform of press distribution:

By the revision of the Bichet law: this is the second of the legislative projects I mentioned. This law must be modernized, in 2019, without calling into question the founding principles; But also by a more general reflection, which I will lead in common with my counterparts in Bercy, on the industrial sector, which must adapt to the challenges of digital transformation.

The second need is to combat the flow of information more effectively.

The law against the manipulation of information provides for a strengthening of transparency regarding political advertisements.

Facebook said this week before the European Commission: France is a pioneer in this field, and the social network wants to be inspired by what we are doing to apply it in other states, especially in the run-up to the elections.

To effectively combat false information, media education must also be developed.

Finally, we launched a reflection on the creation of a press ethics body.

Many great democracies have such a tool: Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain…

It usually involves journalists, publishers and civil society, and ensures compliance with ethical rules, often through the publication of notices, without exercising any power of sanction.

I think that such a body can be useful both for the profession and for our democracy.

But nothing is decided.

And everything will be done in dialogue, with professionals.

These are some of our major projects.

But there is one more important.

One that concerns not only the Ministry of Culture, but our entire society.

It’s not exactly a project; it’s a change of mentality.

It’s a revolution of conscience.

It is the fight for diversity and equality.

I am proud that this department is at the forefront of this issue.

That’s not enough, of course.

But we are moving forward. We are moving forward. We have not ignored the causes and risks of gender inequality.

I will fight them relentlessly.

Other discrimination – related to disability, age, union membership, origin, sexual orientation – must not be forgotten.

And they will not be forgotten. I pledge to you.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

As this year marks the sixtieth anniversary of our department, I would like to quote one of its first ambitions:

“We must be able to gather as many works as possible for as many men as possible,” said André Malraux.

His words are still relevant.

Let us bring together the greatest number of works and the greatest number of men in our country, because our country needs them.

Let us gather them, too, beyond our borders.

Because our heritage and our horizon is Europe.

Our culture is Europe.

We can be proud of that.

We must live up to it.

I know I can count on you.

Thank you.

And once again, happy and happy new year!