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Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, December 2019

20-12-2019

The December plenary session highlights included the election of the European Ombudsman; commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights becoming legally binding; and the award of the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Parliament adopted positions on the rule of law in Malta, following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and on public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI-free zones. It also debated statements ...

The December plenary session highlights included the election of the European Ombudsman; commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights becoming legally binding; and the award of the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Parliament adopted positions on the rule of law in Malta, following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and on public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI-free zones. It also debated statements by the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on the humanitarian situation of the Uyghur in China and in Venezuela and Nicaragua, on the migration and refugee crisis, and on the violent crackdown on recent protests in Iran. Debates took place, inter alia, on Commission and Council statements on: the 30th anniversary of the Romanian revolution of December 1989; the post-2020 EU disability strategy; the COP25 outcome; animal welfare conditions during transport to third countries; and the US Trade Representative's announcement on France's digital service tax. Parliament also voted on appointments to the Executive Board of the European Central Bank.

2019 Sakharov Prize laureate: Ilham Tohti

10-12-2019

Space for freedom of thought is shrinking dramatically across the globe, as the geo-political and geo-economic clout of authoritarian regimes expands. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is therefore more important than ever: it enables the European Parliament to draw attention to the plight of those who stand up against the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms, principles on which the EU is based and which it promotes in its external relations, in line with Article 21 of the ...

Space for freedom of thought is shrinking dramatically across the globe, as the geo-political and geo-economic clout of authoritarian regimes expands. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is therefore more important than ever: it enables the European Parliament to draw attention to the plight of those who stand up against the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms, principles on which the EU is based and which it promotes in its external relations, in line with Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union. The 2019 Sakharov Prize laureate is renowned Uyghur economics professor Ilham Tohti, a moderate advocate of the rights of the Uyghur minority and of dialogue with the Han majority in China. In 2014, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on separatism-related charges, against the backdrop of China's hardening policy of countering religious extremism, ethnic separatism and terrorism – one that now frames Uyghur identity as a major national security threat. The Sakharov Prize is a €50 000 award, which will be presented at a ceremony in the European Parliament during the December plenary session in Strasbourg, in the presence of the other finalists.

European Capitals of Culture: In search of the perfect cultural event

28-11-2019

Between 1985 and 2019, 60 cities have held the title of European Capital of Culture – most recently Matera in Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria in 2019. Initiated in 1983, by Greece's then Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the concept took shape two years later as an inter-governmental initiative under the name of the 'European City of Culture'. The success of the event was such that in 1999, the Council of the EU transformed it into a Community action, and created a more transparent rotational system ...

Between 1985 and 2019, 60 cities have held the title of European Capital of Culture – most recently Matera in Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria in 2019. Initiated in 1983, by Greece's then Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the concept took shape two years later as an inter-governmental initiative under the name of the 'European City of Culture'. The success of the event was such that in 1999, the Council of the EU transformed it into a Community action, and created a more transparent rotational system for the designation of the titleholder. The selection procedure – last modified in 2014 – places particular focus on the monitoring of proposals, the enhanced European dimension of projects, improved competition between candidate cities, and the redefinition of the selection panel role. As more and more cities enter the European Capitals of Culture race, substantial sums of money are being spent, including on the bidding process. While in the early years of the programme (1985 1994) the average operating budget was around €25 million per city, this amount has more than doubled to reach some €60 million per city for the period 2007-2017. With rising budgets, there is also increased scrutiny of cities, national governments and the EU, as to the wider benefits in terms of the cultural development, social cohesion and city image that most bids promise. This, in turn, has led to more frequent and sophisticated monitoring and evaluation of the whole process, both by the European Commission and by the host cities themselves. The symbolic celebration of European cultural identities is however closely tied to the economic success of the operation. According to experts, over time a number of conflicts and tensions have become apparent due to the multiple and sometimes contradictory objectives of the event, e.g. economic and cultural, to name just two. Additional criticism includes failure to enable local ownership, difficulty in overcoming social divides and exhaustion of local resources. Notwithstanding that, ex-post evaluations of the event show that in general it boosts economic growth and tourism, helps build a sense of community and contributes to urban regeneration.

LUX Prize: Showcasing European cinema

29-10-2019

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize has shone a spotlight on European cinema. Over the past 12 years, the prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers the European film industry faces. Prize-winners have been very successful in the EU and beyond, making the LUX Prize a synonym for quality film-making. The LUX Film Prize focuses on fundamental EU values, such ...

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize has shone a spotlight on European cinema. Over the past 12 years, the prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers the European film industry faces. Prize-winners have been very successful in the EU and beyond, making the LUX Prize a synonym for quality film-making. The LUX Film Prize focuses on fundamental EU values, such as the fight against poverty, the need to combat violence against women, and the integration of vulnerable communities.

Oleg Sentsov: The 2018 Sakharov Prize laureate

09-10-2019

Thirty years since it was first awarded, the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought retains all its symbolic meaning, as human rights are continually under threat in many parts of the world. By awarding the 2018 Prize to the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Parliament aimed to increase the pressure on the Russian government to release him. The award also drew attention to all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. On 7 September 2019, Sentsov ...

Thirty years since it was first awarded, the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought retains all its symbolic meaning, as human rights are continually under threat in many parts of the world. By awarding the 2018 Prize to the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Parliament aimed to increase the pressure on the Russian government to release him. The award also drew attention to all Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. On 7 September 2019, Sentsov was released as part of a major prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine. He is due to receive the award in person in Strasbourg on 26 November 2019.

LUX Prize: Continued support for EU cinema

09-11-2018

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize has been bringing European cinema into the limelight. Over the past 10 years, the prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry. Prize-winners have been very successful in the EU and beyond, thus turning the LUX Prize into a synonym for quality film-making.

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize has been bringing European cinema into the limelight. Over the past 10 years, the prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry. Prize-winners have been very successful in the EU and beyond, thus turning the LUX Prize into a synonym for quality film-making.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, November I 2017

17-11-2017

The key focal points of the November I plenary session included debates on the rule of law in Malta and Poland and on the 'Paradise papers' revelations. Members adopted, inter alia, their positions ahead of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference and the Eastern Partnership Summit. They also adopted resolutions on the new EU-Africa strategy and on the Ombudsman's activities in 2016. Parliament heard a formal address from Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, and finally, the 2017 LUX Prize was awarded ...

The key focal points of the November I plenary session included debates on the rule of law in Malta and Poland and on the 'Paradise papers' revelations. Members adopted, inter alia, their positions ahead of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference and the Eastern Partnership Summit. They also adopted resolutions on the new EU-Africa strategy and on the Ombudsman's activities in 2016. Parliament heard a formal address from Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, and finally, the 2017 LUX Prize was awarded at a ceremony held on Wednesday.

LUX Prize: Ten years of support for EU cinema

11-11-2016

This year Parliament marks the 10th anniversary of one of its best known cultural initiatives – the LUX Film Prize – awarded annually by the institution since 2007. Over the last 10 years, the prize has contributed to the promotion of 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry.

This year Parliament marks the 10th anniversary of one of its best known cultural initiatives – the LUX Film Prize – awarded annually by the institution since 2007. Over the last 10 years, the prize has contributed to the promotion of 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry.

LUX Prize: Supporting cinema in Europe

18-11-2015

Only 707 films were produced in the United States in 2014, compared to over 1 600 European productions in the same period. However, the European film landscape is still dominated by the strong presence of Hollywood 'majors' such as Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Warner Bros, accounting for almost two thirds of the EU market.

Only 707 films were produced in the United States in 2014, compared to over 1 600 European productions in the same period. However, the European film landscape is still dominated by the strong presence of Hollywood 'majors' such as Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Warner Bros, accounting for almost two thirds of the EU market.

The 2015 Sakharov Prize

12-10-2015

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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