3.4.3 European / international actors and programmes
The cultural activities related to international bodies range from participation in international meetings called by the organisations of which Spain is a member, to the evaluation and follow-up of the various agreements, programmes and activities, in the framework of these international bodies.
In the case of the European Union, of which Spain has been a member since 1986, the current Sub Secretariat for Education, Culture and Sport performs the following tasks through its Sub Directorate-General for International Cooperation: coordination and follow-up of the actions of the Ministry related to the European Union and to other agencies and international authorities in the field of culture and, in particular, assistance to the Minister in the preparation of meetings of the Council of the European Union; coordination and, where appropriate, the management of treaties, conventions and programmes of international cooperation, of bilateral or multilateral character, in those fields that affect the Ministry; and advice on Spanish participation in international organisations. During the first half of 2010, Spain assumed the presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union for the fourth time. The action lines of the cultural programme of the Spanish presidency focused primarily on three priorities: to foster cultural potential with a focus on local and regional development; to strengthen culture as a factor of economic growth and social cohesion, and to develop and disseminate digital cultural contents.
European programmes in which Spain participates include: in the cinema and audiovisual sector, the MEDIA Plus Programme (2001-2006) and the MEDIA 2007-2013 programme, EURIMAGES, European Film Promotion and the European Audiovisual Observatory; and in the sector of heritage protection, the European project HEREIN (European Heritage Network), the Minerva Project and the ArcheoMed Project.
The Spanish and French governments have been promoting the European Heritage Label since 2006. With this project, both countries have sought to promote European identity and citizen participation in the construction of Europe, as well as to foster European cultural heritage and sustainable development through cultural tourism. Both countries, along with the European Commission, have also worked on the establishment of a Committee of Experts that will propose guidelines on the digitisation of culture.
The future International Resource Centre of European Cultures (CIRCE), which comes under the current Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, will target the study and dissemination of contemporary European culture by providing citizens with information on this issue. CIRCE will be based in La Coruña (Galicia) and will establish a network of partnerships with other similar European Union institutions.
As regards the Council of Europe, of which Spain has been a member since 1977, the Sub Directorate-General of International Cooperation, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, is also responsible for the follow-up and organisation of Spain's participation in the events that the Council of Europe sponsors, either directly or indirectly.
Spain's cultural cooperation with UNESCO, of which Spain has been a member since 1953, involves the following tasks: coordination and liaison between the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Spanish Embassy at UNESCO and UNESCO itself, with regard to the development of UNESCO's Conventions and Recommendations; preparation of the participation of the Ministry in the General Conference and the Inter-governmental Conferences, expert committees and other meetings at UNESCO; coordination and liaison between the National Cooperation Commission and UNESCO, and participation in, and follow-up and dissemination of, UNESCO's activities. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is currently responsible for implementing the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. On 28 April 2006, the government approved the text of the Convention and presented it to the Parliament for ratification. The instrument of ratification was deposited on 18 December 2006. On the 25th October 2006, it was approved and ratified by the King of Spain, one month later of being approved by the Senate.
In the case of the Organisation of Iberoamerican States for the Education, Science and Culture (OEI), of which Spain has been a member since 1949, the Sub Secretariat for Education, Culture and Sport, through its Sub Directorate-General for International Cooperation, coordinates the participation of the Ministry at the Iberoamerican Conferences of the Ministers of Culture, in the framework of the Iberoamerican summits. In June 2005, the VIII Iberoamerican Conference of Culture was held in Cordoba (Spain), which culminated in the Declaration of Cordoba, a document that stressed the need to "promote and protect the cultural diversity that underpins the Iberoamerican Community of Nations", and to search for "new mechanisms of cultural cooperation between Iberoamerican countries able to strengthen the identities and the wealth of our cultural diversity and promote intercultural dialogue". At the same meeting, the Heads of State and government at the XV Iberoamerican Summit were urged to work together on the production of a Cultural Charter for Iberoamerica which would reinforce the common cultural space that defines all Iberoamerican countries. This Charter was finally adopted in November 2006 as part of the XVI Iberoamerican Summit. The XV Iberoamerican Conference of Culture, held in Spain in September 2012, focused mainly on deepening the construction of the Iberoamerican cultural space and strengthening the creative economy, as decisive tools for sustainable development.
The MARCO programmes organised by the current Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the OEI, which are currently underway, cover practically all of the cultural sectors. In the area of books, archives and libraries, there are the ABINIA (to develop national libraries in Iberoamerican countries), ADAI (to develop Iberoamerican archives and the formation of a Network of Iberoamerican Archives), RILVI (to develop an integrated book repertoire for sale in Iberoamerican countries) and PICBIP (to promote cooperation in the field of public libraries). In all these MARCO programmes (ABINIA, ADAI, RILVI and PICBIP), the cultural sectors are promoted via grants for projects and the training of specialists. In the cinema and audiovisual sector, the most important programme is IBERMEDIA, which covers 19 countries and aims to establish an Iberoamerican audiovisual space by promoting the co-production and distribution of cinema and TV films in Spanish and Portuguese. In the field of music, the support programme for the establishment of an Iberoamerican musical space, IBERORQUESTAS JUVENILES, was born in 2007 as a multilateral project of technical and financial cooperation aimed at promoting musical development, especially among children and adolescents who are in situations of social risk. More recently, in November 2011, the IBERMÚSICAS Programme was approved with the aim of promoting the Iberoamerican cultural diversity in this area of the arts. IBERMUSEOS addresses the area of fine arts and cultural assets. It was launched in April 2009 with the participation of 10 Iberoamerican countries. The aim was to create multilateral cooperation mechanisms and to undertake joint actions in the field of museums and museology in Iberoamerican countries. In addition, the programme strengthens the relationship between public and private institutions and Latin American museum professionals, and promotes heritage protection and management and the exchange of practical experiences. In the sector of performing arts, the IBERESCENA programme aims to create and consolidate a theatre and dance network in its member states, in the Spanish-speaking countries, via grants, subsidies and other means. Finally, in the area of intellectual property, the cooperation activities have centred fundamentally on training in copyright and similar rights, through the FIPI programme, sponsored by the Iberoamerican General Secretariat.
Since 1982, Spain has also been a signatory to the Andrés Bello Agreement, an intergovernmental organisation that works to achieve the educational, scientific and cultural integration of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The area of culture offers a number of programmes, notably We are Heritage, which aims to conceptualise, evaluate and disseminate natural heritage.
Spain is also a member of the Regional Centre for Book Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, an intergovernmental organisation of Ibero-America, under the auspices of UNESCO, which works towards the development and integration of the region through the construction of reading societies.