On 14 November, the European Parliament voted for the new EU budget from 2021. The Interim Report on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 has been approved at the plenary meeting in Strasbourg, with 429 votes in favour, 207 against, 40 abstentions.
The European Parliament (EP) calls for an increase in spending on culture, proposing doubling the Creative Europe programme budget from €1.4bn to €2.8bn, a proposal strongly advocated by Culture Action Europe (CAE) and other representatives of the European cultural and creative sectors. “Creative Europe is a unique instrument promoting a vision of Europe that embraces cultural diversity among the peoples of Europe and builds bridges across communities. Creative Europe has a fundamental role in strengthening the contribution of culture to the future of Europe. Culture has the potential to build bridges across Europeans. Stronger bonds between its people make Europe stronger“, reads CAE position on the Creative Europe 2021-2027 Proposal.
After yesterday’s vote, Regional Development and Cohesion fund maintained the budget, European Social Fund+ got 11% increase, Rights and values, including at least EUR 500 million for a Union values strand has almost tripled and the budget for InvestEU Fund (where the Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS) Guarantee Facility will go) has over tripled too.
The Parliament is advocating for an increase in Member State contributions to be able to attribute these levels of funding to the programmes. At present, Member States pay 1.16% of Gross National Income (GNI) into the EU budget. The Parliament is calling for contributions to rise to 1.3%. The Commission has already attributed cuts in its own proposal to the reluctance of Member States to increase their contributions, with the mechanism of own resources also being opposed by a number of Member States. If own resources and increases in contributions are to be opposed by Member States, then the only path forward is cuts across policy areas. This would result in lower levels of investment than have been proposed by the same Member States that do not wish to increase their contributions. The ball is very much in the court of the Member States now.
Following the EP plenary vote, the proposal will be discussed at the European Council. The European Council will meet on 13-14 December 2018, when Member States will hold a political debate on the MFF. Action is required now to ensure adequate funding for culture both within Creative Europe and across other programmes. To contribute to this endeavour, CAE prepared a template letter (also available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Romanian and Slovenian) and calls on its members, partners and community to send it to their respective national ministers, particularly ministers of finance, foreign affairs minister and culture. Whether through this letter, through social media, through actions of your members or through connections with national government ministries, the much-needed joint effort is necessary now to secure a fair level of funding for the future of culture in Europe!
Find out more about Culture Action Europe’s 1% for Culture Campaign here. Why does culture matter? Have a look at the arguments in “The Value and Values of Culture” impact review and find out what are 20 Reasons why culture should be supported! Sign and share widely CAE Manifesto to ensure that 1% of the budget of each EU policy field is allocated to culture and that the budget for culture is doubled!