On 17 July, the Lithuanian Presidency issued a press release announcing that the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) has agreed on a compromise text of the Regulation establishing the Creative Europe programme. As expected since the Member States’ agreement on the multiannual EU budget in February the global budget for Creative Europe will be 1.29 bn Euros (in 2011 prices, equivalent of 1,46bn in “actualised prices”) compared to the 1.6 bn (in 2011 prices) initially proposed by the EC. This is an increase of around 9% compared to the current programme for 2007-2013.
As requested by CAE in order to guarantee that the level of grants in the new programme will be equivalent to the current one, the programme’s Financial Guarantee facility will only be activated in 2016 while 2015 will be dedicated to capacity building for the financial intermediaries that will manage the facility.
The European Parliament is expected to approve the legal basis for Creative Europe in plenary mid November (subject to the vote on MFF).
Even if not yet fulfilling our current and future perspectives, the 9% increase for culture and media together with the later activation of the financial instrument (if all confirmed), can be considered as a positive outcome considering that the overall EU budget has been reduced for the first time in the history of the Union. Nevertheless, it also highlights that a lot of work is still to be done in order to bring the notion of culture as a necessary element for development much closer to the core of decision-making and public debate.