Sunday

17th Dec 2017

Focus

Culture sector an "untapped" resource, says commission

  • Europe's culture sector is an "untapped resource" (Photo: Helena Spongenberg)

The creative industries and culture sector are a “largely untapped resource” in the European economy, according to a paper released on Wednesday (26 September) by the European Commission.

“The contribution that cultural and creative sectors can bring to social and economic development in the EU is still not fully recognised," says the paper.

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.

The cultural and creative sectors employ up to 8.5m people and generate between 3.3 percent and 4.5 percent of the bloc's GDP.

Meanwhile, figures from the EU's statistics agency Eurostat have indicated that the job market in the creative industries have been far more resilient than across the EU as a whole, particularly for 16-25 year olds, the age group with the highest unemployment rate.

Despite this, the sector faces a number of challenges, chiefly, adapting to a digitised economy and difficulty accessing financial support.

The EU is attempting a series of reforms to the digital economy with the Commission-backed Europeana project providing a single on-line platform to access books, museums and archives. Meanwhile, Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier unveiled the long-awaited directive on collective copyright management in July and draft rules on private copying are also expected imminently.

Launching the paper, EU Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said that the continent's culture and creative sectors were “not only essential for cultural diversity; they also contribute a great deal to social and economic development in our member states and regions.” She added that the sectors projected a “dynamic image of an attractive and creative Europe.”

Ministers and MEPs are currently discussing the Commission's ambitious Creative Europe which aims to increase EU culture spending to €1.8 billion in the next seven year budget cycle starting in 2014, an increase of 37 percent.

The centre-piece in the proposal is a dedicated EU financial facility which would see €210m from the EU budget leveraged to create a €1bn fund to provide easy access to bank loans for small businesses in the culture sector.

The commission strategy comes against the backdrop of spending cuts on culture and the arts across most member states.

However, with a group of member states, led by Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, anxious to freeze any increases in EU spending and hostile towards the facility, parliament sources on the Culture committee have indicated that either the budget hike or financial facility will have to be sacrificed to reach agreement on the programme.

Art to protest politics in Spanish town

In early 2012, Pablo Lag stood in front of an abandoned, half-constructed house in Alicante and kicked in the door. Inside, he began work on an art exhibition “to make people in the world know what is happening in Spain.”

Culture: 'A new wind is blowing in Europe'

Faced with falling ticket sales, cultural institutions in Europe should be looking both for ways to reach new audiences and keep existing audiences on board, according to the European Commission.

Culture in Europe

For cash-strapped EU member states, spending on culture is not a priority. Yet the sector drives economic growth and employs millions of people across the European Union. EUobserver looks at the issues.

Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June

Divisions on relocating asylum seekers remain entrenched following an EU summit. The east-west divide opens up the possibility of relying on a majority vote for a key asylum in June, further exacerbating disputes among opposing capitals.

News in Brief

  1. EU adopts 'track-and-trace' tobacco system
  2. Luxembourg appeals Amazon tax decision
  3. EU leaders agree to open phase 2 of Brexit talks
  4. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  5. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  6. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  7. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  8. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  2. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  3. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  4. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June
  5. EU stresses unity as it launches next phase of Brexit talks
  6. Polish PM ready for EU sanctions scrap
  7. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  8. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states