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2012/2302(INI) - 12/09/2013 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading

The European Parliament adopted by 481 votes to 83, with 59 abstentions, a resolution on promoting the European cultural and creative sectors (CCS) as sources of economic growth and jobs.

For their continued development, Parliament considers there is a need for up-to-date and reliable statistics on the cultural and creative sectors, in particular as regards their actual situation, their specific features, including in terms of status, their potential in terms of creating jobs and growth. It therefore calls on the Commission to continue to develop studies and collect data on the economic and social role of the CCS.

The Commission is also called upon to:

  • bring together, on the basis of the existing platform on the potential of the cultural and creative industries, an expanded forum of stakeholders in these sectors, to develop specific solutions and thereby assume an active role in establishing a structured medium- and long-term policy-based programme;
  • create cross-sectoral linkages, producing agglomeration and cluster effects and providing new opportunities for investment and employment (e.g. in cultural tourism).

Parliament emphasises the very diverse nature of the cultural and creative ecosystems, and stresses the need to address this by promoting the emergence of a common identity through the encouragement of joint productions as well as the creation of areas of common dialogue and exchange between the various actors within the CCS, in order to create new links between actors and to enable skills and knowledge to be transferred to and from other branches of the economy.

These initiatives should allow their common interests to emerge while taking into account cultural diversity, which should be recognised for its richness, inspiring strength and development potential.

Parliament also draws attention to the diversity of rules on the CCS and recommends that measures be implemented to harmonise rules and practices in the Union.

Parliament also calls for measures to promote and recognise the visibility of the CCS, which make up Europe’s ‘cultural exception’.

Working conditions for professionals in the cultural and creative sectors: Parliament points out that professionals in the CCS must be guaranteed a social status so that they are able to enjoy satisfactory working conditions and appropriate measures with regard to tax systems, their right to work, social security rights and copyright, in order to improve their mobility across the EU. It calls for consideration to be given to measures for the fair funding and remuneration of independent artists and to adapt social security schemes to the worlds of creative work (taking appropriate account of the fact that people in creative jobs often have to alternate between employed and self-employed status or do both types of work simultaneously).

Parliament calls on the Commission and the Member States to enable CCS workers to access health insurance and (voluntary) unemployment insurance, as well as occupational and personal pension schemes for self-employed persons.

Parliament calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote minimum social security standards and collective agreements in the CCS.

Education and training: Parliament stresses the need for Member States to improve their training, learning and qualification systems, enabling students in cultural and arts disciplines to acquire a complete training qualification. It invites the Commission to recognise the specific nature of the master crafts, which are genuine sources of European jobs that are based on four criteria common to all the high-end CCS:

  1. innovation and creativity;
  2. xcellence and aestheticism;
  3. know-how and technology; and
  4. career-long learning and promotion of knowledge.

Parliament also considers it necessary to strengthen the links between the education system (including universities, while respecting their independence), research centres, training organisations and CCS companies (including SMEs).

The Commission is encouraged to:

  • set up knowledge and sector skills alliances between higher education, vocational education and training organisations, on the one hand, and businesses in the field of CCS, on the other;
  • make progress on mutual recognition of courses, vocational qualifications and diplomas in cultural and arts studies;
  • consider, with the Council, setting up a European directory of expertise with a view to preserving and promoting European expertise.

Funding for the cultural and creative sectors: Parliament takes the view that it is vital to enable and secure appropriate funding schemes, and to provide effective implementation instruments for the CCS, in particular for SMEs. It urges Member States to take into consideration appropriate support and funding for the CCS in their social and economic policies. It stresses the need to support European funding of the CCS, including in times of economic crisis and for Parliament to push for an ambitious and substantial culture budget, by maintaining pressure on the Council not to reduce the budget allocated by the Commission for the ‘Creative Europe’ programme.

Parliament also asks the Commission and the Council and the Member States to take the action required by recommending mixed methods of funding, such as public-private partnerships, by setting up loan-guarantee systems for small organisations and by looking into alternative means of financing such as crowd-funding and sponsorship.

As regards the audiovisual sector, Parliament calls for specific support and for the clear and quantified transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

It also recommends the putting in place of a favourable regulatory framework, and for further progress towards fiscal harmonisation for cultural products.

Parliament also makes reference to the opportunities offered by European funds to strengthen the cultural sector: the Structural Funds, the MEDIA Programme or the Creative Europe programme’s guarantee mechanism. It also deplores the proposal by some Member States to cut funding for the Connecting Europe Facility by EUR 8.2 billion in the multiannual financial framework (MFF).

Opportunities and challenges of digitisation, globalisation and access to international markets: Parliament believes that digital and online tools and platforms offer unprecedented opportunities for the CCS to develop new business models, attract new audiences and expand their markets both within the Union and in third countries. However, the existence of 28 different intellectual property rights management systems is a particular burden for Europe's CCS. As a result, the Commission is called upon, as regards respects for intellectual property rights (IPRs), to develop a regulatory framework which is adapted to the specific features of the various sectors, and to harmonise and reform the copyright framework in order to improve access to content and strengthen the position and choice of creators. Such a framework of protection would ensure appropriate remuneration for all categories of rightholders and to guarantee that consumers have easy and legal access to diverse content.

In parallel, Parliament stresses the need to strive towards the mutual recognition of the status of artists, to look into how to provide opportunities for mobility and how best to make use of training programmes, networking and the free movement of CCS professionals, particularly cultural stakeholders, as well as artists and works.

At international level, Parliament calls for the exclusion of cultural and audiovisual services, including those provided online, to be clearly stated in agreements between the Union and third countries, in particular in regard to the future EU-US free trade agreement. It underlines the importance of cultural diplomacy, as well as the need for the EU to act as a global player in order to enhance the global competitiveness of its CCS. It also stresses the important role played by the cultural and creative industries in the dissemination, attractiveness and promotion of European culture.

Local and regional development: Parliament stresses the importance of regional cultural and creativity policies, and hence the central role of local, regional and macro-regional authorities in promoting and supporting the CCS. In its view, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, it would be appropriate for local and regional authorities to include the CCS in their medium- and long-term economic strategies.

Highlighting the cross-sectoral nature of the cultural and creative industries as an attractive communications tool, Parliament stresses that they are often locally rooted and so should be supported by establishing local and regional platforms, networks, clusters, business incubators, and partnerships. Parliament advocates an approach based on territorial dynamics with a view to involving all stakeholders (artists, local authorities, representatives of professionals, etc) in cultural governance at local and regional level.

In terms of jobs created, Members stress the important role played by the CCS, in particular SMEs, as a lever for growth and development at local, regional and cross-border (Member State) level (e.g. in the tourism sector).

Parliament also highlights the importance of educational schemes in the promotion of creativity from early childhood on and for fostering artistic and cultural education by promoting an interest in the work and products of the creative industry during primary and secondary education.

It also points to the fact that the cultural and creative industries contribute to the maintenance and improvement of Europe’s immense cultural, historical, and architectural heritage. It believes, in view of this added value, that the CCS should be strongly supported by the future EU budget and through national and regional programming documents drawn up for the period 2014-2020.

Lastly, Parliament calls on the Member States to adopt adequate social and fiscal measures to support the creative economy and to support new business models for cultural and creative industries adapted to the European market, which would enable the mobility of artists and people working in the cultural and creative industries, as well helping them overcome obstacles related to different tax or social systems and language barriers, and to promote better understanding among countries and cultures.