On Monday, Parliament and Council agreed on the next ‘Creative Europe’ programme, making the biggest ever commitment to support EU cultural and creative sectors.
‘The new programme is excellent news for the European cultural and creative sectors. We were able to secure more funds for the cultural and creative sectors and can now provide 2.2 billion EUR in support, more than ever before. This is not only a symbolic recognition of the importance of culture, but will allow us to finance more projects and help the sector recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic’, said the Chair of Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, Sabine Verheyen (EPP,DE), after the talks.
‘I am proud that Parliament has managed to achieve many of its priorities. Apart form the 36% budget increase, we focussed on inclusion and gender equality, and made sure that the programme only finances projects with a European added value. We also succeeded in convincing EU ministers to recognise the music sector, which was hit particularly hard by the pandemic and whose specific challenges have until now not been properly adressed, said rapporteur Massimiliano Smeriglio (S&D, IT).
“We also agreed on securing the MEDIA logo for the next 7 years. The logo is a well-established brand, largely known by the stakeholders and cinephiles in the EU. It is a guarantee for international markets and cinematographers of the highest quality of the European cinema, and a symbol of one of the most successful EU programmes”, added Smeriglio.
Focus on music
During the negotiations, MEPs insisted that that more will be done to support the music sector, particularly areas of contemporary and live music. These will be covered by the funds for ‘Culture’, which support, inter alia, platforms that promote emerging artists and networks that assisting with transnational distribution.
Priority to female talents
Though many authors, professionals, teachers and artists are female, they are much less likely to occupy decision-making positions in cultural, artistic and creative institutions. MEPs therefore inserted an obligation for the programme to promote female talent and support women’s artistic and professional careers.
The commitment to foster gender equality is now one of the main values to be pursued by ‘Creative Europe’ projects. Furthermore, when selecting experts to evaluate project proposals, due consideration will need to be paid to gender balance.
Inclusion and simplification
One of the key objectives of the new programme will be to promote access for and the participation of disabled people and socially marginalized groups in the creative and cultural sectors, both as creators and audience members.
Finally, the Commission is tasked with simplifying the bureaucratic procedures for applying for the programme and allowing higher co-financing rates for small-scale projects.
The agreement reached today still needs to be approved by Parliament as a whole as well as by Council.