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IRIS 2012-1:1/5

European Commission

Creative Europe Programme

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Michiel Oosterveld

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

On 23 November 2011, building on the experience of the Culture and MEDIA programmes that have supported cultural and audiovisual sectors for more than 20 years, the European Commission announced the proposal of a new EU programme, termed ‘Creative Europe’. Declaring herself dedicated to investing more in Europe’s cultural and creative sectors, Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, stated: "This investment will help tens of thousands of culture and audiovisual professionals to make the most of the Single Market and to reach new audiences in Europe and beyond. Creative Europe also promotes cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as contributing to our Europe 2020 objectives for jobs and sustainable growth.”

EU studies indicate that the cultural and creative industries account for around 4.5% of the European gross domestic product and provide jobs for over 8.5 million people. This makes Europe the world leader in exports of creative industry products. According to the European Commission, investments in the sector are needed to retain this position: economic growth, employment, innovation and social cohesion would all benefit from a strong cultural and creative sector.

With a proposed EUR 1.8 billion budget for the period 2014-2020, the Creative Europe programme would make it possible to heavily invest in the cultural and creative sector. The European Commission wants to allocate more than EUR 900 million in support of the cinema and audiovisual sector, while EUR 500 million would be available for investments in culture. Furthermore, EUR 210 million is reserved for a new financial guarantee facility, which would make getting bank loans for small operators easier. In addition to decreasing the difficulties in accessing financing, the programme would also enable the European cultural and creative sectors to overcome challenges such as market fragmentation, while it would also contribute to better policy-making through sharing know-how and experience.

The Creative Europe programme, which is now under discussion in the Council of EU Ministers and the European Parliament, is designed to help at least 8,000 cultural organisations and 300,000 cultural professionals and artists, enabling the projects financed by the programme to reach a total of 100 million people.

Creative Europe: Commission unveils plan to boost cultural and creative sectors, press release, IP 11/1399, 23 November 2011 EN