Last updated on 12/11/2020

European Parliament

During the European Parliament’s plenary session of 10th of March 2020, Members of European Parliament discussed the COVID-19 outbreak with the Commission and the Croatian presidency, underlining the need to slow down the spread across Europe. Member states must focus on containing the virus to slow down its spread, so that health systems can cope and the impact on the economy and social life is limited as much as possible. Many also highlighted the need for EU solidarity.
>> Read the European Parliament’s press statement.

On the 17th of March 2020, the CULT committee of the European Parliament issued the statement “Support students and creative industry to mitigate effects of containing COVID-19“. The document, written by the Chair Person of CULT, Sabine Verheyen, notably mentions the live music sector:

In the cultural sector, we have seen cinemas, small concert venues, theatres and museums close their doors. I salute the incredible response from the sector, for example in making performances available for free online. But we must recognise that so many active in the sector are individual artists and small businesses, whose very existence is under threat. I call on the Commission and member states to reassure the sector that they will do whatever they can – notably through substantial financial support – to mitigate the effects on the sector. The creative sector is hit by this crisis in the same way as the food and drink service sector and needs the same level of support […] The Committee on Culture and Education stands with the education and culture sectors and indeed with everyone affected by the virus outbreak,” she concluded.”

On the 27th of March, after the European Parliament voted in favour of the implementation of the EU Commission’s Corona Response Investment Initiative (CRII) of €37 billion, Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the CULT committee of the European Parliament released a press statement asking that the Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS) immediatly access funding from the CRII.

” [The CRIII] is welcome news, if only the beginning of the response. The cultural and creative sectors across Europe have been ravaged by the impact of stringent public health measures, with concerts cancelled, theatres, museums and cinemas closed, and film and television production halted. The list, sadly, goes on. […]
My message to Member States is clear – this money must reach them immediately. […]
I also welcome the Commission’s swift responses to Member State requests for derogations from state aid rules to support struggling businesses. Once again, cultural and creative businesses are among those struggling the most and they need financial support now. I call on Member States to ensure that financial support at national level reaches them.”
The Committee on Culture and Education stands with the cultural and creative sector in these difficult times. We will continue to monitor developments closely and do everything we can to mobilise further support for these critical sectors”.
>> read the full press statement (27/03/2020)

Thursday, September 17th, the European Parliament (EP) voted a Resolution on EU Cultural Recovery. The text was voted by a broad majority of Members of European Parliament (MEP): consensus arose for all political groups of the EP, except the far-right Identity & Democracy group. Out of 686 voters, 598 MEPs voted in favour of the text (42 against and 46 abstentions).
The Resolution on EU Cultural Recovery is a thourough text with very strong arguments – some of which Live DMA advocated for. Here are the main points of the text:

  • 2% of the Recovery & Resilience Facility budget (part of the European Commission’s Recovery Plan) should be guaranteed for the Cultural & Creative Sectors. This means that Member States would jointly have €13 billion to inject in the CCS;
  • The text urges the European Commission and Member States to take care of transborder circulation of artists and cultural workers;
  • The text highlights the economic value of the CCS as well as their social and cultural value, highlighting the crucial role of culture to fight xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination;
  • The text advocates for structural European funds for the cultural sector, underlining that the crisis should not be an excuse for reducing existing subsidies for the cultural sector at national or European level;
  • Overall budget for “Creative Europe” must be doubled in 2021-2027;
  • The text highlights as well the specificities of the workers of the cultural sector, which use a lot the freelancer model, and warn governments and EU institutions that recovery plans for employees may not reach freelancers.

The text will serve as a basis for dialogue between the EP, the EC and Member States.
>> Read the EP’s press release on the Resolution here.

European Commission

On Wednesday, the 11th of March 2020, the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, announced in a public statement the implementation of “Corona Response Investment Initiative” (CRII). This investment will provide 25 billion euros to:

  • “the health care systems,
  • SMEs,
  • labour markets
  • and other vulnerable parts of our economies.”

The statement also mentions that this Investment Initiative will be aimed at “sectors particularly affected in the current circumstances.”
>> Read the full statement here.

On Friday, the 13th of March 2020, during a press conference of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen announced that the Corona Response Investment Initiatve (CRII) was brought up to 37 billion euros. The public announcement asked EU member states to take porportionate measures to avoid the spreading of COVID-19. The European Commission announced flexibility in State Aid. They mentioned their approval of the compensation scheme implemented in Denmark for events that were cancelled.
>> Read the full press statement here and see the video of the press conference here.

On the 8th of April 2020, the Ministries of Culture of all 27 member states met to discuss the EU response to COVID_19 crisis for the cultural sector. In a press conference, commissionner Mariya Gabriel presented the results of the discussion:

  • Culture is 1 out of 5 sectors qualifying for special state aid scheme
  • Possibility for Member States to activate the €37 bn Corona Crisis Investment Initiative
  • Artists & creators out of work can benefit from temporary unemployment scheme SURE
  • In May 2020, a 2 million euro support scheme for cross-border dimension of performing arts, focus on digital & virtual exchanges
  • Maximum flexibility for ongoing Creative Europe activities

The following measures are available for the cultural and creative sectors although the accessibility may sometimes depend on national regulations

Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative: 37 billion Euro of the structural funds will be provided to alleviate the effects of the pandemic. Stakeholders of the cultural and creative sector can access these funds if the respective member state agreed to it.

Temporary Support Employment: This measure is designed to protect against loss of jobs and income and encompasses 100 billion Euro. It is up to the Member States to make it available for creators, artists and other independents in the cultural and creative sector.

Temporary Framework for State Aid: It enables Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy. Culture is listed as one of the sectors most severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

>> view the full press conference


Next Generation EU is not especially for culture but for all sectors: It consists in €312 billion that will be split between the Member States (+ a €360 billion of loans facilities). This fund includes €47,5 billion of cohesion fund (targeted to the regions). It is important to specify that, in most of the cases, the recovery money coming from EU does not come on top of the already announced national recovery fund; EU Recovery Fund will be included in national support measures. The Recovery and Resilience facility is notably part of Next Generation EU.

Many organisations from the cultural sector are advocating for 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to be earmarked for the cultural sectors. Find our advocacy statement here.

The European Music Council have released a great set of resource on Next Generation EU and the EU Recovery Funds. Read their article “Make sense of the EU financial support jungle“.

Creative Europe

For the Creative Europe scheme, the following measures were announced: 
1. Maximum flexibility within the existing rules of the ongoing and planned actions: extension of deadlines for applications.
2. Clear instructions to Creative Europe Desks on how to invoke the force-majeure clause.
3. Special measures for cinemas: 5 mio. Euro in the form of vouchers for cinemas most affected by the lockdown.
4. Redirecting the work of the support scheme of the cross-border dimension of the performing arts works towards digital culture and virtual mobility. The call of 2 million Euro will be published in May.
5. Speeding up the selection procedure for the literary translation scheme.
6. Speeding up the evaluation procedure for the 2020 cooperation projects.
7. Explore together with Commissioner Thierry Breton how the Guarantee Facility for the cultural and creative sector can adapted to mitigate the effects of the crisis on the sector.

>> Information for beneficiaries whose activities are impacted by coronavirus (06/03/2020)
>> Corona Virus: Consequences for Creative Europe programme and related activities (13/03/2020)
>> Coronavirus: Implications for the implementation of programmes managed by EACEA (25/03/2020)
>> Questions and Answers concerning Creative Europe activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (14/04/2020)

Live DMA, with other EU cultural organisations, are pleading for the UK to stay in the next Creative Europe programme 2021-2027. Read more about the campaign here.