Magazine article Screen International

EC Commissioner Unveils Creative Europe Programme Details

Magazine article Screen International

EC Commissioner Unveils Creative Europe Programme Details

Article excerpt

Vassiliou says new programme (which replaces MEDIA) will allocate more than [euro]900m for film/audiovisual sectors; European parliament passes resolution on digitisation.

European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has unveiled details of Creative Europe, the European Commission's (EC) planned new programme for the cultural and creative sector, as part of its proposal for the EU's multi-annual budget for 2014-2020.

The Creative Europe programme intends to support the cultural and creative sectors with a total budget of [euro] 1.8bn, an increase of 37% on the current spending levels which were made available between 2007-2013.

The new programme would allocate more than [euro]900m for the cinema and audiovisual sector - the area covered by the current MEDIA Programme - and almost [euro]500 m for culture to back such initiatives as the European Capitals of Culture.

MEDIA Programme

In 2007-2013, the MEDIA Programme received [euro]755m, with an additional [euro] 5m for MEDIA Mundus, while the Culture programme had been provided with [euro]400m in the current financial framework.

In addition, the EC is proposing to allocate more than [euro]210m for a new financial guarantee facility to be managed by the European Investment Fund, which would enable small operators to access up to [euro]1bn in bank loans, as well as around [euro] 60m "in support of policy cooperation and fostering innovative approaches to audience building and new business models."

"This investment will help tens of thousands of culture and audiovisual professionals to make the most of the Single Market and to reach new audiences in Europe and beyond," Vassiliou declared when presenting the new programme in Brussels this afternoon. "Without this support, it would be difficult or impossible for them to break into new markets. Creative Europe also promotes cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as contributing to our Europe 2020 objectives for jobs and sustainable growth."

The EC is proposing to merge its existing Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes into "a 'one-stop shop' open to all the cultural and creative industries" because, in its own words, "these sectors face similar challenges, including market fragmentation resulting from cultural and linguistic diversity, globalisation and the digital shift, as well as severe difficulties in accessing commercial lending."

"They also have similar needs in terms of safeguarding and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity, and strengthening their competitiveness in order to contribute to jobs and growth," the EC noted in an accompanying memorandum, stressing that it recognised "that the structure of these sectors is also diverse. That's why it is proposing a single framework programme, but with separate strands to provide appropriate support."

The new programme will be managed, as is the case with the present Culture and MEDIA programmes, by the Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency (ECAEA) and intends "to be a simpler, easily recognisable and accessible gateway for European cultural and creative professionals, regardless of their artistic discipline". It will also "offer support for international activities within and outside of the EU."

At the same time, the EC explained that Creative Europe would not be open to applications from individuals, "but around 300,000 individual artists and cultural professionals, as well as training institutions, will be reached through the projects submitted by cultural organisations. …

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