The first inter-institutional meeting on Creative Europe between the three EU Institutions took place on the 25th of April. At this stage of the negotiations, the discussions focus on the impact of eventual cuts on the structure of the programme. In a document outlining proposals for the breakdown of the budget cuts that the EC has submitted to the Council and EP the budget for the Creative Europe programme (expressed in 2011 prices) is now down to 1.29bn Euros instead of the 1.6bn initially proposed.
The initial budget proposed by the EC included the creation of a Financial Guarantee Facility while also ensuring increased resources for the programme’s grants. If the programme’s budget is reduced, voices in favour of the lending instrument at the expense of the resources available for the grants might rise in the debate. Culture Action Europe has supported the Financial Guarantee Facility since the beginning, and will continue to do so, but only at the strict condition that its implementation won’t result in a reduced budget for the programme’s grants.
In the beginning of April, Culture Action Europe sent a letter signed by more than 300 organisations to President Barroso as well as relevant members of the EP in order to defend the budget for Creative Europe proposed by the Commission from further attacs. Mr Hannes Swoboda, Chair of the ‘Socialists & Democrats’ group in the EP, answered to the letter ensuring the group’s support. Mrs Doris Pack, also replied in support of the letter, both in her own capacity as Chair of the EP CULT Committee, as well as on behalf of the EP President Martin Schulz. In addition, Mrs Silvia Costa (S&D, Italy), rapporteur for Creative Europe in the EP CULT Committee, stood strong in support of Culture Action Europe’s request in her public statement and press release.
While continuing to advocate in support of adequate funding, CAE also works to encourage a quick adoption of the programme in order for the first calls for proposals for the new programme to be published as soon as possible. Regarding the content, it is important to ensure that no particular sector is favourized and to avoid unnecessary mentioning of specific sectors within the general objectives of Creative Europe, for example to the audiovisual sector or to the safeguarding of heritage.