The US election week was not the only marathon taking place these days. The negotiating teams of the European Parliament and of the German Presidency of the EU Council have been trying hard to agree on a compromise text on the next 7-year Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). On Tuesday 10 November, a few days after the white smoke on the rule of law conditionality for EU money and two years since talks had started, the two sides struck a deal.
Last Friday we made a short recap of what was at stake in the final stretch of negotiations.
In recent weeks, Creative Europe, the only EU’s programme specifically dedicated to supporting European cultural cooperation, had been included by the European Parliament in a list of 15 flagship programmes whose envelope MEPs wanted to increase, using the figures of the July Special European Council summit as a baseline.
Back then, €1,64 billion were foreseen for Creative Europe, an extremely slim increase in comparison to the 2014-2020 period for a critically under financed yet successful EU programme.
Under the now agreed compromise text, Creative Europe has been incremented by €600 million (one third) and will now have an overall envelope of €2.2 billion. This is 53% increase in comparison to the amount foreseen in the 2014-2020 period.
The political deal concluded yesterday complements the comprehensive financial package of €1,85 trillion negotiated by EU leaders back in July, which combines the ‘ordinary’ MFF – €1,074 billion – and a €750 billion of the Recovery Fund Next Generation EU. All figures are expressed in constant (2018) prices.
In the political agreement, Parliament obtained extra €16 billion on top of the package, which “will reinforce flagship programmes to protect citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic, provide opportunities to the next generation, and preserve European values.”
Among the boosted programmes, there are also Horizon Europe (+4billion) and Erasmus+ (+2,2 billion).
The additional funds will be drawn mainly from amounts corresponding to competition fines (which companies have to pay when they do not comply with EU rules),
In the past two years since the first budget proposal was published by the Commission, the European cultural community has been vocal about the need to uphold funding for culture – and an ambitious envelope for Creative Europe – in the new EU long-term budget. Culture Action Europe has been very active with the campaigns #double4culture #1%forculture, asking for €2.8 billion for the programme.
With the COVID-19 crisis that drastically affects cultural and creative operators across Europe, the agreed €2.2 billion is remarkable news and can serve as a tool to bring immediate relief to the CCS, while empowering them to overcome this period and plan ahead for the future.
The compromise now needs to be formally endorsed by both the Parliament and the Council. Talks on the specific programmes, including Creative Europe, are underway, with an aim to conclude negotiations by early December and approve all MFF-related files before the end of the year.
To know more about future financial prospects for culture in the EU, make sure not to miss our upcoming #CulturalDealEU event together with the European Cultural Foundation and Europa Nostra, coordinator of the European Heritage Alliance.
⚠️ A high-level event alert!#CulturalDealEU invites EU policy-makers to a debate on the most topical issues for the cultural ecosystem. Keynote guests include @EP_President (video message), @GabrielMariya @sabineverheyen among others.
— cultureactioneurope (@actforculture) November 4, 2020