Culture, EU – Baltic States, Funds, Modern EU

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 23.03.2019, 03:15

Promoting “creative business”: Commission’s proposal for the next budget

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 12.07.2018.Print version
For the next long-term 2021-27 EU budget, the European Commission is proposing to increase funding for Creative Europe, the EU program to support numerous cultural and creative sectors, as well as audiovisual works in the member states, to about € 2 bln. The Baltic States have a great chance to use financial support for creative businesses.

Present Commission’s “Creative Europe” program expires at the end of 2020; the proposal for a new program goes in line with the "Investing in people" chapter of the EU's long-term budget proposal. Its main objective is to promote European culture that contributes to a European identity. The new programme will also empower citizens by promoting and protecting fundamental rights and values and to create opportunities for engagement and democratic participation in political and civil society.

On the EU budget see:

European support to culture and the audiovisual sector has been provided through various funding programmes for many years. The Creative Europe programme 2014-20 constitutes a unique platform for coordinated and constructive support to cultural and creative sectors across the continent. The new proposed programme builds on the experiences and sets out to continue and strengthen well working elements. It also builds on the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage which aims to raise awareness of Europe's shared yet diverse heritage, and to strengthen European identity.

On European Year of Cultural Heritage see:

Commission’s opinion

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, said that the digital environment has transformed European cultural landscape, bringing new challenges and opportunities to Europe's cultural and creative sectors. “We want EU authors, creators and producers to make the most out of these new digital opportunities”, he underlined.

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics added that culture had been always been at center of EU activities, as it helps to unite Europeans. The cultural and creative sectors also have a crucial role in driving economic and social development, and they enable the EU states to build strong international relations. He called on all EU states and the European Parliament to back this approach.

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel underlined that the Commission’s support for the cultural sectors is essential in helping Europe's industry foster its competitiveness. For example, strong audiovisual sector, which can be achieved through Creative Europe's MEDIA programme, will bolster European culture, identity and diversity, and will help reinforce EU’s common values of media freedom and pluralism.

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New proposal: main items

The Commission's proposal to reinforce the EU's cultural and creative sectors is focused on three areas: Media (the Creative Europe program to support the EU's film and other audiovisual industries), culture and cross-sectoral action:

1. Media: Over €1 bln will fund audiovisual projects and stimulate competitiveness in the European audiovisual sector in. The MEDIA programme will continue to support the development, distribution and promotion of European films, TV programmes and video games. More money will be invested in the international promotion and distribution of European works and innovative storytelling, including virtual reality. An online directory of EU films will be created to reinforce the accessibility and visibility of European works. 

2. Culture: About €609 mln will be allocated to promoting Europe's cultural and creative sectors. Cooperation projects, networks and platforms will be set up to connect talented artists across Europe and make it easier for creators to cooperate across borders. 

3. Across cultural & media sectors: €160 mln will fund SMEs and other organisations working in the cultural and creative sectors. The funding will also be used to promote cultural policy cooperation across the EU, to promote free, diverse and pluralistic media environment, as well as supporting qualitative journalism and media literacy.


Culture has a positive role to play in reinforcing the resilience of European society in general and the member states economy. Due to digitisation and global competition, stronger support is needed for the European cultural and creative sectors. More can be done to stimulate cross-border productions, to ensure that European works are more widely distributed, and to ensure that the member states are making the most out of digital technology, while maintaining Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity.

The Commission is proposing an increase of funding for the Creative Europe program due to the need for reinforcing European culture and creativity, stimulating and supporting media freedom and pluralism, which are crucial for maintaining open, inclusive and creative societies.

Next steps

A swift agreement on the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals is essential to ensure that EU funds start delivering results on the ground as soon as possible.

New long-term budget shall be adopted without delays, as thousands of cultural and creative organisations, networks and/or business would not be able to start their projects on time. Festivals featuring European movies or European music may also face financial troubles and thousands of audiovisual professionals would be unable to attend Creative Europe-funded projects.

An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a smooth transition from the current budget (2014-20) to the new one and would ensure predictability and continuity of funding for the Creative Europe program.

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