Original publication: June 2018
Authors: KEA: Philippe Kern, Arthur Le Gall, Teodora Pletosu
Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/2JD2y60
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Creative Europe: Towards the Next Programme Generation

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Cultural initiatives have become one of the main agents for change in society. Cultural investment and cultural workers influence the attractiveness of places (cities), economic development, the spirit and morale of people, as well as social cohesion, entrepreneurship, and wellbeing. The Cultural and Creative Sectors equally make a significant economic contribution, with more than 12 million full-time jobs (7,5% of the EU workforce), and €509 billion in value added to EU GDP.[1]

The manifold impacts of culture for Europe’s society and economy are more and more broadly acknowledged across EU policy documents. This is reflected in the new European Agenda for Culture, and Creative Europe is the main EU instrument to deliver on these ambitious goals. The paper aims at providing an analysis of the Creative Europe programme, including its objectives, structure, aspects related to decision-making and the impact of its implementation.

The Creative Europe programme has identified the right objectives and policy tools across the value chains to address the CCS’ weaknesses and help them to benefit more from the Single Market. Creative Europe actions that support the circulation of EU works and audience development in culture and audiovisual sectors contribute to the EU objective of promoting cultural diversity across Europe.

However, the EU has yet to make the most of its extraordinary cultural resources. Creative Europe is still a small programme of the European Union. Its budget is too slim considering the importance and the contribution of the CCS to EU’s economy and society. Too much is required from a 1,46 billion budget (over 7 years) whose actions is to be scattered throughout 27 countries for geographical balance.

Our main findings are the following:

  • Creative Europe is a popular programme considering the amount of applications and the very low success rate ratio (in particular for the culture sub-programme). This indicates the thirst of artists and cultural workers to engage at European level and to transform the Single Market into a space for creative expressions that values imagination and cultural exchanges.
  • Creative Europe tries to overcome the difficulty for cultural operators to benefit from the Single Market whilst they operate in different linguistic and cultural market.
  • Creative Europe is excellent in networking CCS and especially audiovisual professionals and help them apprehend the European challenge.
  • Creative Europe ambitions to develop an international strategy but has yet to acquire the human and financial resources to implement this ambition.

Creative Europe will have to adapt to new realities linked to:

  • Changes in cultural consumption patterns (especially amongst youth audience).
  • Role taken by cities and local authorities in supporting cultural investment as part of economic and social development strategies.
  • The role taken by CCS in developing new forms of working practices (more collaborative, grassroots and cross sectorial).
  • The power of digital networks (Netflix, Google, Amazon, Tencent, Apple, Facebook) that will influence business models, financing and distribution of “content”.
  • The willingness and interest of third countries to engage with EU’s CCS as part of trade, diplomatic and cultural exchanges.

The discussion on the future Creative Europe programme is the opportunity to inspire the European project with alternative values and objectives to statistical as well as productive ends. Art and culture make a vital contribution to the achievement of objectives that reconcile the creation of wealth with sustainability and transcend purely economic or utilitarian constraints.

We have entered a period characterised by enormous economic, social, technological and environmental challenges. The development of a genuinely ambitious policy for creativity associating art and culture can help us to address many of those challenges.

Existing support mechanisms need to adapt to favour sustainable and collaborative outcomes such as experimentation and cross disciplinary activities mixing technology, artistic and business skills. This is why we would like to formulate recommendations for an ambitious future for Creative Europe and equip the programme with the adequate resources and tools to achieve its objectives:

Creative Europe: Towards the Next Programme Generation


[1]    Christian Ehler, Luigi Morgano, European Parliament Own-Initiative Report on a coherent EU policy for CCIs, 2016. 2016/2072(INI).


Success rates of applications per country 2014-2017

The following graphs show the total number of applications for Creative Europe funding and their success rates per country for the analysed period. The success rate was calculated by comparing the total number of received applications against the total number of funded applications for each Culture and the MEDIA sub-programmes, for all support actions.

Important observation: All data is taken from the EACEA database related to the calls for actions and submitted projects. The graphs show approximate results, as the EACEA database is not updated for all available calls for actions in all precedent years.

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Link to the full study: http://bit.ly/617-479

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