Creative Europe adopted as budget for cultural and creative sectors almost doubled

The European Parliament adopted the new Creative Europe programme. Image: RossHelen/Canva (CC0)

On 19 May, the European Parliament adopted the new Creative Europe programme. Its budget is almost doubled compared to 2014-2020 (up from 1.4 billion euro), meaning the EU will invest 2.5 billion euro (in current prices) in the EU’s cultural and creative sectors. The programme will support the cultural sector, audiovisual media and news media.

Alongside the significant increase in funding, Creative Europe will focus on inclusion within the cultural sector and subcategories hit hard by the coronacrisis. The programme also secured higher co-financing rates for small-scale projects. 

Safeguarding and recovery

The Creative Europe programme has been developed with two main objectives in mind, European Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) member Massimo Smeriglio said in a press release. “Firstly, the safeguarding, development and promotion of European cooperation on cultural diversity and heritage. Secondly, to increase the competitiveness and economic potential of the cultural and creative sectors, in particular the audiovisual sector.”

Current lock-downs have had a dramatic effect on the EU’s cultural communities, and they need our help more than ever

CULT Chair Sabine Verheyen

The chair of CULT, Sabine Verheyen, hoped the better-funded programme will help the cultural sector recover fast from the consequences of the coronacrisis. Since 3.8% of Europeans work in Europe’s cultural and creative sectors, Creative Europe’s investments should benefit them. “They need our help more than ever”, Verheyen said.

What’s new?

The new Creative Europe budget will be divided over three so-called strands: MEDIA (audiovisual media), CULTURE (cross-border cultural and creative projects) and Cross-sectoral projects. The strands respectively receive €1.427B, €804M and €211M to support projects.

The last strand includes the news media sector for the first time. That way, the EU hopes to promote media literacy, pluralism, press freedom and quality journalism while helping media address the challenges of digitalisation better.

An important point in all strands included is the obligation to promote gender equality. This consists of the support for developing female talent and backing women’s artistic and professional careers. Women are still underrepresented in decision-making positions in cultural, artistic and creative institutions.

Important signal

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel welcomed the new agreement. “The programme has been critical for promoting Europe’s cultural diversity as well as the competitiveness of cultural and creative sectors”, she stated in a press release. “Now it has been modernised to better equip these sectors to face today’s challenges, including those brought about by the pandemic.”

The agreement is an important signal for all European media partners, small and big, and all our creators

Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton

Her colleague, Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, noted that the Creative Europe programme could prove an essential tool in supporting the creative and cultural sectors. “Today’s agreement is an important signal for all European media partners, small and big, and all our creators, at a time when they need our support more than ever before”, he said.

What’s next?

The Council of Europe, where all member states are represented, is the other EU co-legislator of the programme. They have already approved the plan, which now can enter into force. To select which organisations will receive support, interested organisations can apply to calls. 

The first proposals for collaborations are expected to appear by the beginning of June, Culture Action Europe reported. Parties from the cultural and creative sectors can prepare their applications during the summer. The selection results should be announced at the end of 2021.

Source: Culture Action Europe, European Commission and European Parliament

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