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Boosting the EU culture budget - A call from Europe's cultural & creative sectors

Dear President Juncker, Cc Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-President Ansip, Commissioner Oettinger, Commissioner Navracsics, We are writing to share our thoughts on the place of culture in the EU budget ahead of the presentation by the European Commission of its draft Regulation for the post-2020 MFF in May 2018. The signatories of this letter are 67 organisations from across the cultural and creative sectors, urging the EU to give a significant and much-needed boost to the EU’s budget dedicated to culture. The cultural and creative sectors provide more than 12 million full-time jobs (7.5 % of the EU’s work force), and create approximately €509bn in value added to GDP (5.3 % of the EU’s total GVA)1. This is to be contrasted with the €1,4bn allocated to the EU support programme for culture, Creative Europe, over a period of 7 years, which represents 0,15% of the overall EU budget. Culture’s contribution to the social, economic and artistic development of Europe has been fully attested2, substantiating the EU added value of cultural investment. Cultural and creative sectors are significant drivers for sustainable growth and job creation and generate major spillover effects for other industrial sectors, placing them among the EU’s main assets. And yet, they are notoriously underfinanced and their huge potential remains largely untapped. In 2011 already, it was estimated that there was a finance gap of some €2.8bn to €4.8bn in terms of bank loans for cultural and creative SMEs3. The cultural and creative sectors are eager to grow and build upon their recognised excellence. A significant increase to the EU budget dedicated to culture would provide a welcome boost to the EU economy and help European culture shine even brighter. At a time when the EU is trying to overcome the current investment gap, and prepares for the shortfall created by Brexit in the next EU budget, we need to capitalise on our strengths. In your 2016 State of the Union, you proclaimed that artists and creators were Europe’s “crown jewels”4. More recently, addressing the EU Culture Forum, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani stated that “culture, more than our economy, is the glue which holds Europe together and must be the starting point of our efforts to revitalise our Union”5. The Commission also has a duty to consider cultural and creative sectors as a horizontal priority within EU funding schemes and programmes6. Given their strategic role in the EU’s economy and their crucial impact in European society, cultural and creative sectors should also be able to benefit from sources of EU funding outside Creative Europe, such as the EU’s structural and investment fund, COSME and Horizon 2020 programmes, education and enlargement/neighbourhood policy and programmes. As the Commission asserted in its reflection paper on the future of the EU finances, "How the budget changes - and what it is used for - depends on what future we want for our Union and on the level of ambition we choose to work together to shape that future"7. This is why we call on the EU to double the budget allocated to the successor of Creative Europe, the EU’s programme dedicated to the cultural sectors, and ensure these sectors also have access to other sources of EU funding. Yours sincerely, The signatories

Signatories: ACT (Association of Commercial Television in Europe)

AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen) AEPO-ARTIS (Association of European Performers' Organisations)

AER (Association of European Radios)

Circostrada (European Network Circus and Street Arts)

Culture Action Europe

CEPIC (Centre of the Picture Industry)


Europa Distribution


EI (Europa International)

EAS (European Association for Music in schools)

EBU (European Broadcasting Union)

European Choral Association - Europa Cantat

ECCD (European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity)

ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance)

ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation)

ECCO (European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers' Organisations

CEPI (European Coordination of Independent Producers)

ECF (European Cultural Foundation)

EFA (European Festival Association)

GESAC (European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers)

EIBF (European and International Booksellers Federation)

EJN (Europe Jazz Network)

ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts)

EMC (European Music Council)

EMEE (European Music Exporters Exchange)

EMU (European Music School Union)

ENCC (European Network of Cultural Centres)

ETC (European Theatre Convention)

EUYO (European Union Youth Orchestra)

EWC (European Writers' Council)

Eurozine (European network of cultural journals and online magazine)

FIM (Fédération Internationale des Musiciens)

FIA (International Federation of Actors)

FIAD (International Federation of Film Distributors' Associations)

IMMF (International Music Managers Forum)

FERA (Federation of European Film Directors)

FEP (Federation of European Publishers)

FSE (Federation of Screenwriters in Europe)

IN SITU (European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space)

IMPALA (Independent Music Companies Association)

IMPF (Independent Music Publishers Forum)

INES (Innovation Network of European Showcases)

ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe)

IAO (International Artist Organisation)

IAMIC (International Association of Music Information Centres)

ICMP (International Confederation of Music Publishers)

FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations)

IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies)

IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts)

IVF (International Video Federation)

JMI (Jeunesses Musicales International)

KEA European Affairs

Live DMA (European network for music venues and festivals)

Liveurope NEMO (Network of European Museum Organisations)

On the Move (Cultural Mobility Information Network)

Pearle* (Live Performance Europe)

REMA (Early Music in Europe)

Res Artis (Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies)

SAA (Society of Audiovisual Authors)

SHAPE (Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe)

TEH (Trans Europe Halles)

UNI MEI (UNI global union - Media and Entertainment International)

UNIC (International Union of Cinemas)


1 Report on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries (rapporteurs MEPs Ehler & Morgano), 2016:

2 The value and values of Culture. Culture Action Europe, 2018:

3 Commission staff working paper – Impact assessment accompanying the Creative Europe Regulation, 2011:

4 President Juncker, State of the Union, 14 September 2016:

5 President Tajani, Opening speech at the European Culture Forum, Milan, 7 December 2017:

6 Report on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries (rapporteurs MEPs Ehler & Morgano), 2016:

7 Reflection paper on the future of EU finances, June 2017:

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