What is the Creative Europe programme?

Creative Europe is the new EU programme to support European cinema and the cultural and creative sectors, enabling them to increase their contribution to jobs and growth. With a budget of €1.46 billion1 for 2014-2020, it will support tens of thousands of artists, cultural and audiovisual professionals and organisations in the performing arts, fine arts, publishing, film, TV, music, interdisciplinary arts, heritage, and the video games industry. The funding will allow them to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills needed in the digital age. By helping European cultural works to reach audiences in other countries, the programme will also contribute to safeguarding cultural and linguistic diversity.

Why does Europe need a Creative Europe programme?

Culture plays a major role in the EU economy. Studies show that the cultural and creative sectors account for up to 4.5% of EU GDP and nearly 4% of employment (8.5 million jobs and many more if account is taken of their impact on other sectors). Europe is the world leader in exports of creative industry products. To retain this position, it needs to invest in the sectors’ capacity to operate across borders.

Creative Europe responds to this need and will target investment where the impact will be greatest.

The new programme takes account of the challenges created by globalisation and digital technologies, which are changing the ways cultural works are made, distributed and accessed, as well as transforming business models and revenue streams. These developments also create opportunities for the cultural and creative sectors. The programme seeks to help them seize these opportunities, so that they benefit from the digital shift and create more jobs and international careers.

Which countries can apply for funding from Creative Europe?

Creative Europe will be open to the 28 Member States, and, so long as they fulfil specific conditions, to the European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), to EU candidate and potential candidate countries (Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) and to neighbourhood countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Israel). Non-EU countries have to pay an ‘entry ticket’ to participate in the programme. The cost is based on the size of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in relation to the budget of the programme

Can individuals apply for funding?

Creative Europe will not be open to applications from individuals, but around 250 000 individual artists and cultural and audiovisual professionals will receive funding through projects submitted by cultural organisations. This is a much more cost-effective way to achieve results and a lasting impact. The Commission estimates that millions of people will be reached directly or indirectly through the projects supported by Creative Europe.

What will Creative Europe exactly support?

Virtually all of the projects receiving support will have a cross-border dimension. Most of the budget will be used to provide grants to individual projects. However, the programme will also support initiatives pursuing similar objectives such as European Capitals of Culture, the European Heritage Label, the European Heritage Days and five European Union prizes (EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture, EU Prize for Literature, European Border Breakers Awards, and EU Prix MEDIA).

What challenges is the programme tackling?

The cultural and creative sectors do not currently make the most of the Single Market. One of the biggest challenges that the sector faces is market fragmentation, linked to different cultural traditions and languages: the European Union has 24 official languages, 3 alphabets and approximately 60 officially recognised regional and minority languages. This diversity is part of Europe’s rich tapestry but it hinders efforts by authors to reach readers in other countries, for cinema or theatre goers to see foreign works, and for musicians to reach new listeners.

A Eurobarometer survey last month (IP/13/1023) has shown that only 13% of Europeans go to a concert by artists from another European country, and only 4% see a theatre performance from another European country. A stronger focus on support for audience building and on the sectors’ capacity to interact with audiences, for example through media literacy initiatives or new interactive online tools, has the potential to open up more non-national works to the public.

How will Creative Europe differ from the current Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes? Will these names disappear?

Creative Europe will combine the current separate support mechanisms for the culture and audiovisual sectors in Europe in a one-stop shop open to all the cultural and creative sectors. However, it will continue to address the particular needs of the audiovisual industry and the other cultural and creative sectors through its specific Culture and MEDIA sub-programmes. These will build on the success of the current Culture and MEDIA programmes and will be adapted to future challenges. MEDIA Mundus, which supports cooperation between European and international professionals and the international distribution of European films, will be integrated into the MEDIA sub-programme.

A single framework programme will maximise synergies between the different sectors and increase efficiency gains.

Creative Europe will include a cross-sectoral strand. What does this involve?

This strand will consist of two parts: the Financial Guarantee Facility, managed by the European Investment Fund and operational as of 2016, will make it easier for small operators to access bank loans. The cross-sectoral strand will also provide support for studies, analysis and better data collection to improve the evidence-base for policy-making, funding for experimental projects to encourage cooperation between the audiovisual and other cultural and creative sectors, and funding for the Creative Europe Desks which provide assistance to applicants.

How will Creative Europe be managed?

Creative Europe will be a simpler, easily recognisable and accessible gateway for European cultural and creative professionals, regardless of their artistic discipline and it will offer support for international activities within and outside the EU. The current system of management, through the Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency, will continue.

1: €1.46 billion taking account of estimated inflation. This is the equivalent of €1.3 billion in ‘fixed’ 2011 prices.