Tuesday

16th Oct 2018

Focus

Ministers back EU culture plan, but doubts remain

  • The EU's Creative Europe programme would see €1.8 billion pumped into Europe's cultural sector (Photo: Heiko Junge / Nobel Peace Center)

Ambitious plans to create the EU's largest ever cultural funding programme are a step closer to reality after ministers offered broad support for the European Commission's Creative Europe programme at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday (10th May).

The commission's "Creative Europe" proposal, published in November 2011, would see €1.8 billion from the EU budget allocated for visual and performing arts, film, music, literature and architecture in the EU's next multi-annual financial framework from 2014 to 2020.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Brussels estimates that up to 300,000 artists would receive funding if EU countries approve the scheme.

Speaking at a press conference following the meeting, culture commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said that ministers had agreed "a balanced compromise text" adding that the summit amounted to "a great morning for culture."

Denmark's culture minister, Uffe Elbaek, who is seeking to broker a deal before the end of Denmark's EU presidency, said that he is "confident that with the Council's position and the discussions today we have paved the way for further discussions on the programme proposal."

However, ministers were unable to reach agreement on the size of the programme's budget and on the commission's proposed loan guarantee scheme for small businesses operating in the "culture sector."

A number of governments are also opposed to the commission's plan to increase the EU budget for cultural spending by 37 percent at a time when most member states are cutting national arts budgets.

The German, Dutch and UK ministers led opposition to the proposed spending hike and loan facility. UK culture minister Ed Vaizey expressed his "concerns about whether it would be value for money and whether it should be part of the existing budget, rather than additional expenditure."

The creation of a new loan guarantee facility is one of the centre-pieces of the commission proposal, with the EU executive planning to provide €210 million to a special fund, which would be able to leverage up to €1 billion to small and medium sized businesses in the sector.

There is also set to be disagreement between ministers and MEPs in the European Parliament on whether to merge the EU's existing media and culture programmes into one lump.

While a majority backed a merger at the Council meeting, Italian centre-left MEP Sylvia Costa, who will pilot the legislation in the European Parliament, is hoping to keep them separate.

At a public debate held by the parliament's culture committee in April, Costa commented that the proposal to merge the culture and media programmes would "create more confusion than positive results." She called on MEPs to refine the proposal to establish "separate programmes for the cultural industries, the media industries and the sector between the two."

Meanwhile, Culture Action Europe, a pan-EU campaign group representing more than 80,000 cultural organisations, urged ministers to back the plan.

A statement and petition presented to Denamrk's Elbaek urged ministers to "stand strong with the Creative Europe proposal and support the budget increase as an investment in our future.”

Economic studies indicate that the creative sector is worth around 4.5 percent of the EU's GDP and employs 3.8 percent of the bloc's workforce.

EU countries ponder massive increase in arts spending

The European Commission's plan to launch the world's largest ever cultural funding programme is to be tested in coming weeks as EU states ponder if they want arts spending to go up 37 percent.

Riga says it can handle expense of being EU Capital of Culture

Despite slashed budgets and economic woes, Latvia's capital Riga is confident of being able to raise the necessary funding for a series of cultural events in 2014, when it is due to become the European capital of culture, its mayor told this website.

Opinion

Moving the single market for online music

The EU's collecting societies have not adapted to the global shift to the digital age. Instead, music pirates seize the opportunities that the online world offers, writes Michel Barnier, EU commissioner for Internal Market and Services.

Brexit standoff continues before EU summit

As negotiations halt ahead of the EU summit later this week, British prime minister Theresa May told her parliament the Irish border issue should not derail a Brexit deal.

Magazine

Tug of war between 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' cohesion money

The European Commission has promised greater flexibility for local authorities when it comes to delivering on-the-ground results - but it has also tied cohesion policy to the European Semester, a tool used to coordinate macroeconomic policies.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. EU ministers struggle to deal with Poland and Hungary
  2. Commission tried to hide details of 'WiFi4EU' glitch
  3. Brexit standoff continues before EU summit
  4. ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges
  5. How Juncker's 'do less' group concluded EU should not do less
  6. Cyprus and Russia: Association of Cyprus Banks responds
  7. Orthodox church split just tip of Putin's crumbling 'soft power' in Ukraine
  8. Daily reality in Western Sahara - and how EU can protect it

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us