Wednesday

13th Dec 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

EU will not start Brexit future talks before March

Transition talks could start in January, and detailed negotiations on the future and trade relations in mid-April, as Brussels awaits for London to say what sort of relationship it wants. Last week's deal is now 'Davis-proofed', one EU official said.

News in Brief

  1. EU bank delays gas pipeline decision
  2. Hungary's leftwing parties join Jobbik in anti-Orban protest
  3. Barnier: EU will not accept UK backtracking on Brexit deal
  4. Puigdemont to return to Catalonia if elected
  5. Commission approves EasyJet partial takeover of Air Berlin
  6. EU medical command centre due next year
  7. Auditors: EU 'green' farm payments fail ecology criteria
  8. Austria gas explosion creates Italian energy 'emergency'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage

Latest News

  1. Last chance for Poland to return property to its rightful owners
  2. Commission attacks Tusk on 'anti-European' migrant plan
  3. Volkswagen tells EU: we will fail on our recall promise
  4. EU will not start Brexit future talks before March
  5. Bitcoin risky but 'limited phenomenon', says EU
  6. Panama Papers - start of sensible revolution in EU tax affairs?
  7. Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees
  8. New Polish PM brings same old government