The Chair of EP Committee on Culture and Education warns that the cultureal and creative sectors have been ravaged by the impact of stringent public health measures.
Commenting on yesterday’s approval by the EP of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, Culture and Education Committee Chair, Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE), issued the following statement.
"The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative adopted yesterday – once approved by Council – will free up a total of 37 billion EUR to help efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic ramifications of the essential public health measures that have been put in place. This is welcome news, if only the beginning of the response. The cultural and creative sectors across Europe have been ravaged by the impact of stringent public health measures, with concerts cancelled, theatres, museums and cinemas closed, and film and television production halted. The list, sadly, goes on."
"Under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, Member States will be able to use Structural Funds money to support small businesses and employment schemes. It is imperative that businesses and individuals in the cultural and creative sector ‑ whose livelihoods are under existential threat – get access to this financial support. My message to Member States is clear – this money must reach them immediately."
"I also welcome the Commission's swift responses to Member State requests for derogations from state aid rules to support struggling businesses. Once again, cultural and creative businesses are among those struggling the most and they need financial support now. I call on Member States to ensure that financial support at national level reaches them."
"The Committee on Culture and Education stands with the cultural and creative sector in these difficult times. We will continue to monitor developments closely and do everything we can to mobilise further support for these critical sectors".
On 26 March the European Parliament approved in an extraordinary plenary session three urgent proposals as part of the EU’s joint response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Corona Response Investment Initiative, meant to channel €37 billion from available EU funds to citizens, regions and countries hit the hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic, was adopted with 683 MEPs voting in favour, 1 against and 4 abstentions.