The German Christian Democrat Dr. Christian Ehler is one of the most well-known culture politicians in the European Parliament. In an interview with “SOS – Save Our Spectrum”, he describes how the industry should emerge from the crisis and which festival he is most looking forward to after Corona. Ehler is a member of the EPP (European People’s Party) group and comes from Brandenburg, Germany.
How much do you miss the cultural experiences in times of pandemic?
Very much! I am, however, very grateful for the many virtual offers accompanied by fundraising campaigns, which I have enjoyed using over the past few months.
What is your EVP-group in the European Parliament calling for in support of artists?
I made a number of proposals at the beginning of the crisis, some of which have already been implemented (we will publish these proposals after the interview).
Now it is important to ensure that cultural and creative industries are also given adequate consideration in the Recovery Plan. For example, we demand that the distribution of the recovery funds must also go to the cultural and creative industries! We also advocate an increase in the Creative Europe budget. The current proposal of the EU Commission is disappointing.
Artists need frequencies for their radio microphones – and have thus been successfully using the frequency gaps between terrestrial television (= “antenna television”) for decades. Between culture and television this works out wonderfully. Terrestrial television is the cheapest and most climate-friendly way for viewers to consume television – and consumption cannot be tracked (as on the Internet) or switched off (as via satellite). How important are public television stations in the media landscape for you?
Very important! However, I am concerned that cultural offerings are being neglected and instead invested in media rights for sports broadcasts.
Do you yourself use radio microphones, for example in election campaigns, to reach a large number of people?
I do not mean in the last election campaign, because this time we did not hold any of the usual major events.
Which spectacle do you definitely want to visit or do you recommend us for the time after the pandemic?
The literature festival “Lit: Potsdam”, which I support as a board member. The event had to be postponed to the beginning of August because of the corona measures. All the more we are all happy that the festival can now take place after all!
SOS conducted the interview by telephone on 8 June 2020.
Pictures: Martin Lahousse / European Parliament