Creative Europe is finally on the march

May 28, 2021, 10:32 am

Following the green light by the EU’s co-legislators, this week the new Creative Europe programme (2021-2027) has been launched with the adoption of the 2021 annual work programme. On its basis, the first calls for proposals will be published in the coming weeks.

With an overall budget of more than 2.4 billion euros in current prices, the new Creative Europe programme will invest in actions that reinforce cultural diversity and respond to the needs and challenges of the cultural and creative sectors as exacerbated by the pandemic, the work programme reads. It aims not only to increase the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors but also to support their efforts to become greener, more digital and more inclusive. 

Special attention is given to reinforcing the resilience and recovery of the cultural and creative sectors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021-2027 budget is frontloaded, with a third of the Creative Europe budget to be committed in the first two years of the Programme. In 2021, the Creative Europe programme will benefit from an overall increase of 60 million euros compared to 2020 (+25%). 

The new Creative Europe will put a stronger emphasis on transnational creation, global circulation and promotion of European works, innovation across sectors, and ease of funding access through higher EU co-financing rates. All funded actions and projects should respect gender equality and the EU’s Green Deal commitments in the design and implementation of their activities. 

In 2021, the “Culture” strand of Creative Europe has a total envelope of more than 97 million euros. It confirms the anchorage to policy development and EU policy cooperation in the field of culture, covering emerging initiatives including the New European Bauhaus. In comparison to the previous programming cycle, the “Culture” strand has been strengthened in particular by simplifying the access to the cooperation scheme, increasing the budget for the platform scheme, providing mobility grants to artists and professionals, and introducing a sectoral approach complementing horizontal instruments as well as the projection of an international dimension. 

Among the priorities, the “Culture” 2021 will envision the recovery and resilience, the cooperation and exchanges of practices, strengthening the capacity-building of artists, scaling up of Europe’s cultural and creative sectors, and enforce innovation and joint creations. Regarding the latter: “Innovations can be of technological and artistic nature”, reads the work programme.

As already recalled, Creative Europe will have easier access to funding through higher co-financing rates (greater contribution levels from Creative Europe for projects). The maximum EU grant will change according to the dimension of the project. For the small-scale, the grants can cover 80% of the total eligible costs, with a max of 200,000 euros. A lower rate of 70% co-funding will apply to the brand-new category of medium-range cooperations, up to 1,000,000 euros, while for large-scale cooperation the co-financing rate will be of 60% with a maximum of 2,000,000 euros. 

In addition to more accessible funding opportunities, the new Programme aims to simplify and streamline the management and reporting for beneficiaries and the monitoring of projects. Among the measures that will be adopted, the focus will not be on expenses but on deliverables and results; the reduction of administrative burden when providing long-term support to beneficiaries thanks to the use of budgetary commitments in multi-annual installments, and simplified verification of financial capacity. eGrant system – a fully paperless and interactive tool – will manage several grants, facilitating the administrative processes of the grant management.

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