3.4.3 European / international actors and programmes
The UK Government, through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and in consultation with the devolved administrations, has the lead responsibility for cultural co-operation in the EU, and on cultural policy issues in the Council of Europe. The UK Government had been one of the founders of UNESCO and, after a 12 year absence due to financial and political differences, the UK rejoined UNESCO in 1997. The UK UNESCO National Commission sector committee for culture was set up in 2000. The Commission, along with the culture committee (and other sector committees), was dissolved in 2003. The culture committee was re-established in the summer of 2005, comprising 20 elected members from a range of organisations, supported by a cultural network (operating mainly electronically).
The DCMS is the government department responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
DCMS, with the UK Film Council, sits on the management committee of the EU's MEDIA programme. The UK Film Council has jointly funded the UK MEDIA Desk in order to provide information about MEDIA Programme initiatives to UK film companies (this will be administered by the British Film Institute when the UK Film Council is abolished at the end of March 2011). The UK Government works closely with the European Commission and other Member states to ensure that the programme contributes to a sustainable European film industry. DCMS also represents the UK on the Executive Council of the European Audiovisual Observatory, a Council of Europe initiated organisation, which collects and disseminates data on the audiovisual sector. The key film objectives of DCMS are to ensure that British industry derives the maximum benefit from UK participation and involvement in these organisations and to ensure that they are run in an efficient and coherent manner to best address the needs and interests of the audiovisual and broadcasting sectors.