I would first like to thank the Presidency, dear Nina, for its mobilization throughout this unprecedented period. I also want to commend the work of your teams.

 

Since 11 May, France has begun a gradual process of reopening. The aim is both to ensure a sustainable economic recovery and to ensure compliance with health measures. As of May 11, places of culture have been able to reopen their doors. Depending on the health situation, a decision will be taken at the end of May on the reopening of the theatres and cinemas.

 

In addition to the €110 billion transversal plan put in place by the Government, industry plans are under consideration. The President of the Republic recalled that Culture is a priority issue to emerge from this crisis. A €18 billion package for tourism was announced by the Government last week. The heritage, a powerful vector of attraction for cultural tourism, will benefit.

 

Throughout this health crisis and throughout Europe, we have seen the essential role of culture for European citizens. It is our responsibility to turn this crisis into an opportunity to make it an accelerator for the European cultural project.

 

That is why I am convinced that we must continue to act to promote the European model of digital regulation. A model based on the freedom, responsibility and fair remuneration of creators. A model to guide us in the future digital agenda.

 

At the request of the President of the Republic, France will transpose in the coming months the SMA directive and the directive on copyright. These texts will make it possible to establish a more equitable regulatory framework, taking into account the role of new players. Only rapid and coordinated action by the Member States will guarantee funding for creation by the major platforms and a better sharing of value. In this regard, the recent decision of the French Competition Authority that requires Google to negotiate with press publishers invites us to continue this fight.

 

Beyond the regulatory framework, the measures announced by the European Commission in response to the crisis must now find concrete application. In this regard, I welcome Commissioner Gabriel’s announcements. 

 

As we gradually emerge from the crisis, European cultural companies – often independent SMEs – are being weakened. Yet they are the jewel of European creativity and diversity. Let us be careful that these structures, the assets they carry, the creators they employ, do not become easy prey to takeovers by non-European giants.

 

Make no mistake about it. This is not just an economic issue; it is a societal issue. It is the question of the imagination and the values that Europe promotes, it is the question of Europeans' access to their own culture.

 

I would therefore like us to reflect together on the establishment of a “European cultural shield” to complement the support actions of the Member States and promote European co-creations in all cultural sectors.

 

In this regard, I am pleased that Commissioner Breton has already identified cultural and creative industries (CCI) as one of the 14 priority industrial ecosystems. 

 

At the initiative of the President of the Republic, last November we launched in France the Estates General of the cultural and creative industries, which range from architecture to books, from cinema to music, from audiovisual to press, from video games to live performances. All these sectors are facing common challenges in a context of major disruptions in their economic environment.

 

The wide-ranging consultations which are now under way have already made it possible to identify concrete measures which would enable European enterprises to resume their activity and consolidate their financial structure, to develop research and innovation projects and to continue their digital and ecological transformation. We are at the Commission’s disposal to share our conclusions.

 

By collectively seizing this unique moment, we can build a new European cultural strategy and thus create new opportunities for growth for all European cultural actors.