The agreement will cover the years 2021-2027 and will amount to a 36% increase in support for the EU cultural and creative sectors.
Music and cinema sectors received particular emphasis with focused support for women in the arts agreed as inclusivity became central to the new deal.
“The new programme is excellent news for the European cultural and creative sectors. We were able to secure more funds for the cultural and creative sectors and can now provide [2.2 billion euros] in support, more than ever before”, said the Chair of Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, Sabine Verheyen (EPP).
This injection of capital to rehabilitate the cultural sector is in line with the recently published European Commission’s Action Plan — labelled Creative EUROPE – for the recovery and transformation of Europe’s media and audiovisual sector.
“I am proud that Parliament has managed to achieve many of its priorities. Apart from the 36% budget increase, we focused on inclusion and gender equality, and made sure that the programme only finances projects with a European added value”, said MEP Massimiliano Smeriglio (S&D).
Music and cinema
Smeriglio also said success was achieved in “convincing EU ministers to recognise the music sector”, hit particularly badly by the pandemic and whose specific challenges have until now not been properly addressed. Sitting under a cultural fund, the cash can be used to support platforms that promote emerging artists and networks that assist transnational distribution.
The MEDIA sub-programme of Creative Europe, which supports financially the EU film and audiovisual industries in the development, distribution and promotion of their work would help boost Europe’s cinema industry.
“The logo [MEDIA] is a well-established brand, largely known by the stakeholders and cinephiles in the EU. It is a guarantee for international markets and cinematographers of the highest quality of the European cinema, and a symbol of one of the most successful EU programmes”, added Smeriglio following the EU deal on Monday.
Civil society and the cultural sector have been pushing the EU to provide more support, made more urgent by the pandemic. On 25 November, the NGO Culture Action Europe published a statement calling on a Culture Deal for Europe.
“Culture is what brings us together. It is at the basis of the European project and determines the future of our societies. The gravity of the COVID-19 crisis proved again that culture is not a luxury, but a necessity to build cohesive, equal, sustainable and free societies. A Cultural Deal for Europe is a call from a wider European cultural community to acknowledge the pivotal role of culture in shaping the future of our lives”, reads the statement.
Previously, Culture Action Europe with 109 other pan-European cultural networks and associations called on the EU and member states to protect the cultural sector, asking them to dedicate “at the very least 2% of national Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) budget to culture and creative sectors”.
“This is not only a symbolic recognition of the importance of culture, but will allow us to finance more projects and help the sector recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”, said MEP Sabine Verheyen (EPP).