As negotiations are drawing to a close on all major EU multiannual programmes, interinstitutional talks between Parliament, Council and Commission stroke a deal on the future Creative Europe on Monday 14 December.
For the next seven years, Creative Europe will have 2,2 billion euros, the biggest budget to date, as foreseen under the general agreement on the next EU’s long-term budget one month ago. After years of campaigning to #double4culture, this is undoubtedly a remarkable result for Europe’s cultural community.
“This is a raise of nearly 800 million euros in comparison to the current programme,” European Parliament CULT Committee Chair Sabine Verheyen said. “The split within the programme will be like in the past,” she explained, i.e., around one-third of the financial envelope supporting the CULTURE strand.
The deal will now need to be formally voted by the European Parliament and the Council before entering into force on 1st January 2021. As soon as the legal basis is in place, the Commission will be able to publish the first calls, which are expected for the beginning of the year.
The new Creative Europe will mainstream cross-cutting priorities of the Commission, such as gender equality and the Green Deal, and introduce – as already known – sectoral actions, from music to cultural heritage, from literature to architecture, while integrating i-Portunus, the first-ever EU fund dedicated to individual mobility for cultural professionals. One of the key objectives of the new programme will also be to promote access and participation of socially marginalized groups in the creative and cultural sectors, both as creators and as audiences.
“Apart from the increase in the budget, we put a lot of effort in negotiating a bigger focus on inclusion and gender equality, as well as on the European added value as a necessary condition for receiving support from the programme,” European Parliament rapporteur Massimiliano Smeriglio added.
The former Guarantee Facility will not be part of the Creative Europe cross-sectoral strand anymore, as it will move in the new InvestEU programme.
While Creative Europe is the EU’s most prominent funding scheme for cultural cooperation, the extraordinary support for artists, creators and cultural workers that were hit so hard by the pandemic should not be restricted to it. “In addition, we are asking for a fair share of the Next Generation EU to be devoted to culture,” Verheyen recalled. “To do so, however, we need support from the Member States who will implement and manage the Recovery and Resilience Facility funds.”
In past weeks, the European Parliament called on the bloc’s country to earmark at least 2% of their national recovery and resilience plans for culture. 110 European cultural networks and organisations echoed the call, asking the Commission to encourage such earmarking.
In order to acknowledge the pivotal role of culture in shaping the future of our lives and of the European political project, Culture Action Europe, together with the European Cultural Foundation and Europa Nostra, is proposing a Cultural Deal for Europe, an overarching framework to place culture at the heart of the EU’s policy-making.