EC study on how to make Creative Europe programme greener

IRIS 2023-7:1/15

Amélie Lacourt

European Audiovisual Observatory

At the European level, support for the culture and audiovisual sectors is provided through the Creative Europe programme set up by the European Commission. The programme is divided into two strands, CULTURE and MEDIA, and is supported by a third, CROSS-SECTORAL strand. Its aim is to invest in actions that reinforce cultural diversity and respond to the needs and challenges of both sectors by contributing to their recovery, reinforcing their efforts to become more inclusive, more digital and environmentally more sustainable. Environmental sustainability is a new priority, as the previous programme (2014-2020) did not include greening requirements in its legal basis.

As part of a response to the Resolution of the European Parliament calling for effective measures to "green" Erasmus+, Creative Europe and the European Solidarity Corps, the Commission published on 24 May 2023 a study on how to make its Creative Europe programme greener. The study was commissioned by the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC) and produced in partnership with the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT). It covers the previous Creative Europe programme 2014-2020 and the first two years of the current one. The methods used for this study include a desk-based mapping of green projects, a beneficiary survey to assess the extent to which projects supported by the previous Creative Europe programme greened their activities (internal greening) and contributed to mainstreaming climate actions (external greening), and consultations with stakeholders.

More particularly, the methods used to evaluate the greening of projects include the awarding of points. The green aspects of project proposals submitted under the the current Creative Europe programme are evaluated on the basis of their relevance and quality. “Applications responding to MEDIA strand calls can obtain up to five points out of the total number of points for the relevance criteria by including strategies to ensure project activities will be delivered in a sustainable and environmentally respectful way.” In most MEDIA and CROSS-SECTORALl calls participants were awarded five points. “The quality criterion requires project applications to demonstrate how applicants will address the horizontal priorities listed under the relevance criteria.”

The study also includes a set of recommendations which are encompassed in three distinct parts:

a greening strategy, which identifies areas where action is needed and makes recommendations on what could be done in practical terms to green the Creative Europe programme in the foreseeable future. This section sets out the vision, objectives, scope and target groups of the strategy, the challenges and opportunities involved in greening, the next approaches to put in place, and the recommended actions. a good environmental practice guide, which provides a comprehensive overview of existing good environmental practices recommended to actual and potential Creative Europe programme beneficiaries when applying for and/or implementing their supported projects. The five key practices highlighted are: developing an environmental policy/strategy; developing an action plan; combining communication of the organisation's or project's environmental policy with awareness-raising activities; taking part in events to exchange information about greening practices; and investing in building the green capacity of staff working or wanting to work in Creative Europe projects. a monitoring guide for programme greening, which includes a proposal for sustainability (or green) indicators that could be used to measure the Creative Europe programme’s progress and contribution towards the European Green Deal objectives. These indicators include, among others: the number and share of supported projects that report a greening strategy; the total and share of supported projects that report being carbon neutral; the number and share of supported projects that promote climate, environmental and sustainability objectives, by scheme/action and programme strand, etc.

The action taken by the EC is therefore in line with the European Green Deal, adopted at the end of 2019, which outlines, through a set of initiatives driven by the European Commission, how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Besides, the European Commission will also support the development of an EU carbon emission calculator for the audiovisual sector through the Creative Europe MEDIA programme (EUR 650 000). With this initiative, the EU aims to move towards standardising the measurement of the carbon footprint, based on common data and calculation rules, which will allow better comparability than the current initiatives taken at national level within the framework of individual methodologies.

The call for tenders is open until 31 July 2023 and the service contract will last a maximum 48 months, until end of 2026, coinciding with the end of the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme.


  • European Commission, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Kruger, T., Mohamedaly, A., Muller, al., Greening the Creative Europe Programme – Final report, Kruger, T.(editor), Mohamedaly, A.(editor), Muller, V.(editor), Rodriguez, A.(editor), Feifs, T.(editor), Buiskool, B.(editor), Publications Office of the European Union, 2023

This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.