Next Generation EU support should go to hard-hit European culture, say MEPs  


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  • Earmark at least 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility for culture and creators 
  • Overall budget for “Creative Europe” must be doubled in 2021-2027 
  • Unwarranted Schengen restrictions should stop hindering European culture 

On Thursday, Parliament called for direct EU funding to support European culture and creators, who continue to be severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

In a resolution adopted by 598 to 42 and 46 abstentions, MEPs are “alarmed” that “Next Generation EU” recovery funds are not being allocated to directly support European culture. They call on the Commission and the member states to earmark at least 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility for the cultural and creative sectors and industries.

They recall that European culture is not only a strategic sector that carries the European values and way of life, but also accounts for 4 % of the European GDP and 3.7 % of total EU employment. They stress that the cultural sector and creators have likely lost as much as 80 % of their turnover during the COVID-19 crisis and continue to be affected by health and safety measures that have “disastrous financial consequences”.

Insufficient long-term funding

European Parliament strongly reaffirms its position by repeatedly calling for the overall budget of the “oversubscribed and underfunded” Creative Europe programme to be increased to EUR 2.8 billion in the next long-term budget, thereby doubling the funds allocated in the 2014-2020 period.

Limit unwarranted travel restrictions

They note that travel restrictions continue to hinder European culture by restricting touring and international mobility, and call on EU countries to limit “unwarranted Schengen restrictions”. Instead, the Commission should develop guidelines for member states for safe cross-border touring and live cultural events, they say.

Access for freelancers

MEPs are concerned about the lack of access to financial resources and social safety for the many freelancers and micro-organisations that largely make up the cultural and creative sector. They call on member states to seek out ways to also support non-formal entities in the sector and to provide adequate guarantees so that the EU’s SURE instrument, intended to support short-time working measures, could be rapidly operational and available for all.

Support for the media

By stressing that a free, independent and sufficiently funded media is an “antidote to disinformation”, they point to the currently weakened media ecosystem and ask the Commission to present medium- and long-term strategies with specific initiatives to support media, as well as to consider establishing a news media fund.