The European Parliament is a model – and a symbol – of cultural diversity. Its very make-up reflects Europe’s multiplicity of cultures and languages. With 751 seats, the European Parliament is the world’s largest international parliamentary body. It is also the most diverse: its Members represent 28 Member States and speak 24 languages in addition to regional and minority languages.
The Parliament’s legislative powers make it a crucial player in the shaping of EU policies. Its remit covers key issues such as immigration, integration, poverty and freedom of expression and thought.
The LUX Prize and EU policies
The LUX FILM PRIZE is an innovative way to explore major European policy areas such as immigration, integration, poverty and violence against women.
Silvia Costa, President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, talks about the LUX Prize, in an interview given to Cineuropa at the Venice Days 2014:
Making policies, passing laws
Parliament decides on new European laws with the Council of Ministers, which represents Member States. Before going to the full plenary session for a final vote, European Parliament members debate and shape European laws and policies in the Parliament’s numerous committees.
Many of these committees focus on the same topics as those tackled by the films selected for the LUX FILM PRIZE competition.
The following Parliament Committees in particular concentrate on the social and human rights issues at the centre of the LUX FILM PRIZE films.
Culture and Education Committee
It deals mainly with the cultural aspects of the European Union. Its remit includes improving the knowledge and dissemination of culture; the protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity; the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage, cultural exchanges and artistic creation; the Union's education policy; youth, sports and leisure policy; and information and media policy. This is the Committee responsible for the LUX FILM PRIZE.
Employment and Social Affairs Committee
Its remit includes working conditions; social security and social protection; health and safety at the work; training; free movement of workers and pensioners; dialogue between employers and trade unions; and all discriminations at the workplace and in the labour market except those based on gender covered by a separate committee.
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee
It deals with citizens' rights, human rights and fundamental rights within the European Union. Its remit includes the protection of minorities; measures combating all forms of discrimination other than those based on gender or those occurring at the workplace and in the labour market; personal data protection; the entry and movement of persons; asylum and migration; the management of common borders; and measures relating to police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee
It deals with the definition, promotion and protection of women's rights in the Union. This includes the removal of all forms of discrimination based on gender, equal opportunities in the labour market and treatment at work;; gender mainstreaming in all policy sectors; and information policy on women. It also looks at the promotion of women's rights in third countries.
Foreign affairs Committee
Its remit includes human rights, the protection of minorities and the promotion of democratic values in third countries. It has set up a sub-committee focusing solely on human rights to help it in this work.
It deals with the EU’s development and cooperation policy including political dialogue with developing countries, aid to, and cooperation agreements with these countries and the promotion of democratic values, good governance and human rights.
Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee
It deals with environmental policy and environmental protection, public health and food safety issues.