Creative Europe programme to provide €2.5bn funding for culture sector

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel. [EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ]

European Commissioner for Innovation and Research, Mariya Gabriel, has said that the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme will focus on the “economic sustainability” and the “digital inclusion” of the cultural and creative sectors by funding projects for specific challenges.

United in diversity is not just a ‘slogan’. We will approach it in a systemic way because the European Union [EU] is the right place to hear that voice,” said the Commissioner, who is also responsible for Culture, Education and Sport, at the launch conference for the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme, held at the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon on Thursday (17 June).

This programme provides support for the cultural and creative sectors, with funding of around 2.5 billion euros for the 2021-2027 period, which represents an increase of around 50% compared to the previous programme.

Mariya Gabriel assured that Creative Europe will fund “projects for specific challenges” and “generalise good practices to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be part of their community without discrimination”.

In this framework, the European Commission will publish a report in September on the “working conditions of artists and cultural professionals”, with a “topic that takes into account the crisis they faced during the previous year”.

The Commissioner also announced the adoption next week of the “European guidelines on European creative activities” to ensure not only a safe reopening, but a “sustainable reopening of the sector”.

“The programme will contribute to this revitalisation of the system, supporting creators so that they can do more for people,” she said.

On the other hand, Creative Europe will also facilitate the creation of “bridges between culture and the social sectors”, continuing to fulfil its two main objectives: “promoting and safeguarding European linguistic, cultural and heritage diversity” and “increasing the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors”.

Speaking at the conference via a recorded message, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, justified the importance of this programme by the fact that culture and the media were “fundamental” during the COVID-19 pandemic, by keeping “citizens informed and entertained during lockdown”.

Thierry Breton stressed that the increase in Creative Europe funding over the previous framework aims to “help professionals in the sector recover” from the impact of the pandemic and also “transform and increase the resilience of the cultural and creative ecosystem”.

“We want European distribution and production companies to take full advantage of digital opportunities so they can grow in the single market,” he said.

At a time of “growing threats to pluralism and independence”, the Commissioner also pointed out that, for the first time, the Creative Europe programme will promote “a healthy and sustainable news media sector across Europe” by adapting its business models and developing new ones, “while also strengthening the autonomy of the European media ecosystem”.

MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, Sabine Verheyen, underlined the increased funding from the Creative Europe programme as “a symbolic recognition of Culture”.

“Culture is unique in each of the countries and distinguishes us from each other, but at the same time creates bridges between our European cultures. Without culture we would not be Europe”.

The launch conference for the new Creative Europe Programme is an initiative promoted by the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, in collaboration with the European Commission, which runs until Friday, 18 June, from the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Cultural Centre in Lisbon.

The event aims to present the main novelties of the Creative Europe Programme and explore its synergies with other European funding instruments.

[Edited by Josie Le Blond]

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