Friday

26th Feb 2021

Creative sector 'forgotten and marginalised' by the EU

  • Cultural industries, such as the film industry, play an important economic role in the EU (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission is ignoring the economic potential of cultural issues, focusing too much on standard industry policies and not enough on creative industries, say experts.

According to a report by the Brussels-based consultancy KEA, which specialises in creative rights, cultural industries - like the music, film and game industries - and creative industries - like design and architecture - contributed an estimated 2.6 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EU in 2003.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

In the same year, culture was also of the main attractors of tourism - and the tourism sector represents an additional 5.5% of GDP.

Philippe Kern, managing director of KEA, says that "while innovation is a policy darling – policy makers can set targets and objectives - creativity is forgotten and marginalised from a EU policy point of view."

"Give creativity the same political profile as innovation. Raise the profile of the creativity sector," he told an audience of members of the European Parliament's culture committee on Tuesday (20 November).

The KEA study says that the culture and creativity sectors had a estimated turnover of € 654 billion in 2003, more than twice as much as the European car industry, and employed about six million people.

In addition, they outperform the rest of the economy, growing 12.3% faster than the overall economy between 1999-2003.

But the creative sector only received 1.1 billion euro in funding from the EU, much less than the €56.6 billion spent by the EU on innovation, or the 308 billion made available for structural development.

According to Mr Kern, the composition of the cultural industry – mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – and the lack of statistical data available about the industry make it difficult for policy makers to realise the true importance of the sector.

To increase the economic gains from culture, Mr Kern recommended improving the financial capabilities of these SMEs and supporting entrepreneurs in developing new business models adapted to internet.

In addition, he said statistical information on the creative sector should be gathered while cultural goods should be an integral part of trade agreement negotiations.

Mr Kern was backed up by several other speakers in the committee which was discussing the overall theme of the relationship the internal market and cultural issues.

Mr Yannick Guin, deputy mayor of Nantes said that "cultural industries are not a luxury or an accessory, but they are at the heart of development."

Meanwhile, Guy Bono, French socialist MEP, underlined that "culture needs economy and economy needs culture."

The discussion fits into a general debate in the EU at the moment, prompted by the reigning pro-market commission, about the extent to whether cultural issues should be exempted from internal market rules

Pressure mounts on EU cloud deal as deadline looms

The European Commission is under pressure to keep to its self-imposed September deadline to publish an EU cloud computing strategy, as new evidence revealed widespread public confusion about it.

News in Brief

  1. Rights group exposes Ethiopia massacre
  2. US carried out airstrikes against Iran-backed militia in Syria
  3. Malta closes investigation into journalist murder
  4. Dutch parliament calls China treatment of Uighurs genocide
  5. Spain fined €15m by ECJ over data failures
  6. Belarus: Anti-government protester jailed for 10 years
  7. German charged with spying for Russia in Bundestag
  8. Heavy earthquakes in Iceland trigger volcanic activity

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  3. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!

Latest News

  1. Armenia 'coup' shows waning of EU star in South Caucasus
  2. 'Difficult weeks' ahead, as variants spread across EU
  3. EU top court advised to strike down Hungary's asylum policy
  4. Frontex chief: 'about time' MEPs probe his agency
  5. Is EU poised to solve child labour in 'green' batteries?
  6. The trap of spreading ideas while attacking them
  7. Who are the EU's new Russian deplorables?
  8. Afghan asylum family beaten in Greece, set adrift at sea

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us