Member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth
Creative Europe: 9% more for cultural sectors and film industry
Press conference on the adoption of Creative Europe programme /Strasbourg
19 November 2013
I am delighted that the European Parliament has adopted the new Creative Europe programme for the cultural and creative sectors. This is great news for the European film industry, for European culture and for the millions of people, like us, who cherish both.
I would like to thank the European Parliament, in particular the rapporteur Silvia Costa. Through our good cooperation and constructive negotiation, we have achieved an excellent result.
I would also like to thank the cultural and creative sectors which have fully played their part in this successful process.
I am pleased that we have achieved a 9% increase in the budget. We would have liked more, of course, but in the current economic climate and an overall reduced EU budget for the next seven years, I believe that this is the best we could have achieved.
The €1.46 billion budget agreed today will allow us to provide funding for at least 250 000 artists and cultural professionals, 2 000 cinemas, 800 films and 4 500 book translations.
The programme will boost synergies between the audiovisual and culture sectors by creating a one-stop shop for funding. But it will also respond to their specific needs - this is why we have retained distinct sub-programmes for MEDIA and Culture.
In addition, from 2016, we will launch a new financial guarantee facility to enable small cultural and creative businesses to access up to €750 million in bank loans.
Creative Europe builds on the experience and success of the existing Culture and MEDIA programmes. It will continue to enable cultural and audiovisual professionals to operate transnationally; to promote the cross-border circulation of cultural and creative works; to safeguard cultural and linguistic diversity; and it will strengthen policy cooperation to foster innovation, audience building and new business models.
You may ask me w hy I believe that we need to support the cultural and creative sectors in a strategic manner of this kind.
First and above all for the intrinsic value of culture as a public good. This is especially important for the social cohesion of our societies. In addition, r esearch clearly shows the strong growth potential of the cultural and creative sectors. The cultural and creative sectors play a major role in Europe's economy. They account for up to 4.5% of EU GDP and more than 8 million jobs. The numbers are higher if we take into account the spill-overs into other sectors such as tourism and regional development.
I believe that Creative Europe will enable the sectors to create even more new jobs and to increase their contribution to the EU economy.
In these challenging times we need to target our investment where it will have the greatest impact.
Creative Europe will do that by helping to overcome the barriers hindering creative development, innovation and social inclusion.
It will help the cultural and creative sectors to address the challenges of globalisation, digitisation and market fragmentation.
It will also enable them to seize opportunities and internationalise their careers, so that both they and their audiences benefit from the digital shift.
There is a very clear need for the sectors to get greater access to private funding. So I am pleased that the Parliament supported our proposal to launch the new Financial Guarantee Facility This will be managed by the European Investment Fund and will be a self-sustaining fund.
Let me underline that the Guarantee Facility does not replace grant support. Indeed, we are increasing the level of grants for cultural and creative sectors compared with the previous funding period, while the allocation for the Guarantee Facility, totalling €120 million, represents only 8% of the overall budget for Creative Europe.
I am pleased that Creative Europe will have a strong international dimension. This is also in line with our commitment to the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity and our ambition to increase cooperation and intercultural dialogue with third countries. To this end, Creative Europe will be open to participation by neighbouring countries to promote the distribution of European cultural works worldwide and vice versa.
I am convinced that the Creative Europe programme adopted today will provide vital leverage investment and funding. It will generate considerable benefits for citizens and contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for sustainable jobs and growth.
I am now happy to take any questions.