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The Latvian Presidency

On the 1st of January 2015, Latvia took over the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union from Italy. The programme of the Latvian Presidency will follow the three principle that were introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2010. As such, the Latvian Presidency will closely follow up on the work already accomplished by the Italian Presidency.

According to the document, an important priority for the Presidency will be to develop a true digital Europe by devoting attention to building trust in the Digital Single Market, digitalizating the public sector, and increasing safety and security in the digital environment. The presidency will pay close attention to the publication of the Digital Single Market Strategy and announced that it will also seek an overall compromise on the Telecommunications market package.

Regarding intellectual property rights, the Presidency proposes that improved legal instruments in the field of intellectual property are essential in order to establish a positive business environment. Upon the publication of a legislative proposal on the revision of the EU copyright framework, the Presidency will initiate discussions seeking to facilitate creativity, cultural diversity, innovation and the completion of the Digital Single Market.

Further in the programme, the Latvian Presidency highlights culture as a development goal, and not just as an instrument for growth. Two conferences within the framework of the annual Creativity Week in Latvia are announced, in order to spark debate and raise awareness on the positive contribution and impact of cultural and creative crossovers to other sectors.

Finally, acknowledging that the rapid technological and market developments have predetermined the need to rethink Europe’s approach to audiovisual content in the digital era, the review (refit procedure) of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive is envisaged by the Latvian Presidency. To this effect the Presidency will host an audiovisual conference that will focus on the main issues raised by the Commission’s Green Paper, entitled ‘Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Value’, and the report by the High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism, ‘A free and pluralistic media to sustain European democracy’.

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