EU support for artists and the cultural and creative sector during the coronavirus crisis

Briefing 05-05-2020

The EU's cultural and creative sectors (CCS) are a European Union economic and societal asset, providing an important contribution to GDP, and shaping identity and diversity. Despite the significant contribution of the CCS to the economy and people's wellbeing, the situation of operators and workers in the sector is often precarious and their work seasonal. The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic particularly threatens the future of artists, creators and cultural operators, who are severely impacted by the enforcement of social distancing measures and the consequent postponements, cancellations or closures of events, live performances, exhibitions, museums and cultural institutions. EU Member States reacted quickly to counterbalance the consequences of Covid-19 containment measures with support for cultural institutions and artists. At the EU level, measures have been introduced to protect the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which predominate in CCS; the self-employed, who are very numerous among artists and in CCS; as well as those who have lost their jobs, a constant threat for those working in CCS. Sector specific measures have also been discussed to protect the most vulnerable, including performing artists. A series of surveys and mappings of different sectors are planned to help design a path towards the sector's recovery from the confinement measures and the resulting change in audience behaviour. The European Parliament, and its Committee on Culture and Education, call for sector-specific support measures and funds to be earmarked for those who have supported confined populations and health service professionals in particular, with their artistic output.