Europe should support the cultural sector during the Covid-19 crisis, say MEPs in a resolution adopted on 17 September.
Targeted support for culture
The Covid-19 pandemic led to the shutdown of cinemas, concert halls, festivals, museums, theatres and other mass cultural activities across the EU. Although some of the venues have reopened, continued health and safety measures prevent them from operating at full capacity.
Parliament is calling for direct and swift support for the cultural sector. In a resolution approved on 17 September, following a plenary debate on 10 July, MEPs argue that financial aid should come from both national budgets and EU funds.
MEPs are concerned that no specific amount has been earmarked in the Next Generation EU recovery plan to directly benefit the cultural and creative sectors and industries. That is why they call on the European Commission and EU countries to earmark at least 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility for their support.
They also stress the crucial role of the Creative Europe programme and call for doubling its funds. In June, Parliament’s culture and education committee criticised the proposed cuts to education and cultural programmes in the European Commission’s new budget proposal.
Parliament also calls on the Commission to come up with new ways of mitigating the impact of the crisis on the sector.
Culture in Europe
Culture is not only important in our everyday lives, but also forms an integral part of the economy. According to Eurostat, the European cultural and creative sectors employed 7.4 million people in the 27 EU countries in 2019, which constitutes 3.7% of all employment. Culture also drives tourism, as many of us choose our holiday destination because of its cultural heritage or events.
Due to its special nature, the cultural and creative sector is especially vulnerable in times of crisis. It is composed mainly of small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed, whose incomes come from public subsidies, private sponsors, revenue from audiences and copyright.
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, MEPs have called for measures to support the cultural sector.