The new EU Culture Programme Creative Europe 2014-2020 was adopted in EP plenary on the 19th of November. The programme will have a budget of 1.46 billion Euros (in current prices, equivalent to 1.29 billion in 2011 prices). At least 31% of the programme’s budget will be allocated to the Culture sub-programme. The total budget for Creative Europe represents an increase of 9% compared to the Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes for the period 2007-2013 together.
Taking into account the context of austerity in which the global negotiations were taking place, and the fact that the future global EU budget will be reduced compared to the previous one for the first time in EU history, this outcome can be seen as a strong signal showing that the EU Institutions consider Culture as an important investment for the future of the Union.
The programme voted on 19 November is the version amended and modified by the Council and the European Parliament. The allocations for the different “sub-programmes” (no longer called “strands”) are set at a minimum of 56% for the MEDIA sub-programme, 31% for the Culture sub-programme and a maximum of 13% for the cross-sectoral strand – with at least 4% dedicated to transnational cooperation measures and the Creative Europe Desks.
In comparison to the EC proposal submitted in November 2011, the final programme presents a better balance between the economic objectives and the social, cultural and educational objectives of the programme, making a specific reference to the non-economical value of culture as well as non-for-profit projects, and reflects many demands that CAE expressed through the campaign. It also refers to the “promotion” of Europe’s cultural heritage in the first general objective instead of “safeguarding”, reflecting a more dynamic interpretation of the role that heritage may play in cultural life, as promoted by CAE. As expected, the final legal basis also substitutes the term of ‘audience building’ by ‘audience development’, adding a special focus on children, young people, people with disabilities and under-represented groups. No significant changes have been introducted to the measures funded within the Culture sub-programme.
Clarifications and additional details concerning the definitions and criteria for the new financial instrument have been introduced, notably in an attempt to ensure geographical balance as well as balance between the nature and size of organisations and projects that will benefit from the guarantee facility.
Answering to another demand of the we are more – act for culture in Europe campaign, the final legal basis require that the European Commission put in place both quantitative and qualitative indicators for the evaluation of the programme
Regarding the calendar, the first calls for proposals should be published in December 2013 with deadlines for application set around mid-March and results being published during the summer. Due to the delay of the approval and publication of the first calls of the programme, the Commission may, if motivated and duly justified, consider costs directly linked to the implementation of the supported actions and activities as eligible “even if they incurred by the beneficiary before the submission of the grant application” (art.24.6).
As requested by CAE in order to avoid any reduction in funding for grants, the new financial facility will only be operational as of 2016.