UNIC Renews Call for Ambitious Financial Support for European Cultural Sector

With the European Commission due to propose a new long-term budget and recovery plan for the EU, UNIC—along with 78 other organizations across the European audiovisual/film space—has renewed its advocacy for the European cultural sector. 

So far, said this group in a statement, “The EU has provided much-needed financial support to Member States to protect jobs, workers, and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but has failed to adequately address the specific needs of our sectors. The Cultural and Creative Sectors, which stand at €509bn in value added to GDP and over 12 million full-time jobs (7.5 % of the EU’s work force), must be considered as priority sectors and benefit from ambitious budgetary measures.” Action from the EU, the group argues, is particularly essential given “only a limited number of countries” have introduced their own plans to see furloughed professionals working in the creative space—including the film exhibition industry—receive compensation. 

This group of companies, per an official statement, call upon the European Commission to integrate the following measures into the EU’s budget and recovery plan: 

  • To propose an ambitious budget for the future Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027 – the only EU framework Programme specifically dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors – which represents today a mere 0.15% of the overall EU Budget. The European Parliament’s proposal for a budget of €2.8bn should be considered the absolute minimum for a Programme commensurate with the sector’s contribution to the EU economy and wellbeing, and with its needs and challenges in these times of crisis.
  • To ensure that the cultural and creative sectors, are included as priority sectors in the EU’s planned Recovery Fund, with sector specific funding. Our sectors are among the hardest hit, and our interconnected value-chains are fragile – if they are to get through the crisis, especially SMEs, urgent support is needed, including liquidity/cash flow measures leading into 2021.
  • Boosting the EU’s loan guarantee facility for the cultural and creative sectors under the future Invest EU programme, with increased budget, guarantees and flexibility. Loan guarantee instruments have a demonstrated trigger effect on investment, which is urgently needed in these difficult economic times.
  • To secure a strong budget for Horizon Europe’s new cluster “culture, creativity and inclusive society”. In light of their innovation-driven and risk-taking nature, Europe’s cultural and creative sectors should benefit from a strong budget under Horizon Europe.
  • To ensure that EU funds, notably structural funds, reach the cultural and creative sectors swiftly and effectively.
  • To ensure that a meaningful part of the EU funding is also deployed to support the livelihood of creators, creative workers and freelancers throughout this unprecedented crisis.