Music and architecture, video games, crafts, design and fashion offer considerable growth potential which the EU should support and exploit, says a draft resolution voted by the Culture Committee on Tuesday. It calls for a stronger partnership with universities to equip young people with the requisite skills. It also advocates creating a social status to counter the precarity of many professionals in these fields.

Contributing between 3.3 and 4.8% of GDP and sustaining over 7 million jobs in the EU, the cultural and creative sectors are expanding rapidly and could do more to reduce unemployment, particularly of young people, says the text, drafted by Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmidt (EPP, FR).

A consistent long-term policy at EU level needs funding at EU, national and local levels to sustain and promote cultural production and the creative industries, says the text, adding that education and training need to be diversified to respond better to the demand for specific skills in these innovative areas.

Reduce the tax burden

The committee did not take up Ms Sanchez-Schmidt's proposed reduced VAT rate on cultural goods, but they did stress the need for a more suitable harmonised regulatory and fiscal framework to help small and medium-sized enterprises, of which there are many in this sector, to deploy their potential across national frontiers.

To support public-private partnerships, sponsorship and even collective financing schemes, loan guarantees through current (MEDIA programme or Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP)) and future EU instruments (COSME or Creative Europe) should be more easily accessible, says the text.

Overhaul training

As a large share of the jobs created by cultural and creative industries are held by young people, universities and other training centres should adapt the training they offer so as to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship in young people. Synergies between training and research centres and firms working in these sectors should be better exploited through knowledge alliances, skills alliances, and professional platforms, says the text.

A social status for creative types and artists

Finally, the resolution advocates creating a social status for independent professionals in the cultural and creative sectors to ensure that they have affordable access to health insurance, retirement pensions, social benefits and protection in the event of unemployment.

In the chair: Doris PACK (EPP, DE)