EU Ambitious Covid Recovery Package & long term EU budget proposal

Next Generation EU & long-term EU budget

On the 27th of May, the European Commission put forward its proposal to create a new recovery instrument, “Next Generation EU”. The Commission also presented a new proposal of the long-term EU budget for the next Multinannual Financial Framework 2021 – 2027 in response to the new context:

  • Next Generation EU of €750 billion
  • targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget €1.85 trillion

Next Generation EU recovery package will be channelled through EU programmes. In order to make these funds available as soon as possible, the Commission proposed an amendment to the current multiannual financial framework (2014 – 2020) by adding 11.5 billion euro.

Next Generation EU will be invested across three pillars: 1. Support to Member States, 2. Kick-starting the EU economy by incentivising private investments, 3. Addressing the lessons of the crisis.

The recovery plan is based on the objective to support the European Green Deal and digitialization. Detailed information on the announcements here.

It is no upon the shoulders of the European Council to reach a political agreement on the proposal of Next Generation EU and the overall EU long-term budget. A decision is expected in July.

How is the cultural sector taken in charge in this recovery plan?

In its communication to the European Parliament, the European Commission recognizes the creative and cultural ecosystems among the hardest hit sector by the crisis. In addition to the three pillars of the Next Generation EU revovery package, the Commission proposes to strengthen a number of other programmes in the EU budget, including Creative Europe Programme and Erasmus+ – the two main funding programmes for cultural projects.

While the proposed recovery plan is unprecedented in its aspiration, the new EU budget is less ambitious for culture:

Ursula Van der Leyen proposes 1.52 billion euro for Creative Europe programme, which is just a slight increase from what the President of the European Council Charles Michel tabled in February 2020 (€1.32bn) and decreases from the Commission’s proposal (€1.64) made in May 2018.

There is also a high uncertainty how the recovery package will reach Europe’s creative and cultural organisations and actors.

Reaction from the European Commission’s Culture and Education Committee

In reaction to this revised proposal for the 2021-2027 budget for the Erasmus+, Creative Europe and European Solidarity Corps programmes, CULT Committee Chair, Sabine Verheyen and several Rapporteurs issued the following statement:

“While the Commission’s proposed recovery plan has a lot going for it, the specific figures for the education, culture and youth programmes are deeply disappointing and simply not in line with the statement by the Commission President on the importance of future generations, along with education and culture.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has also ravaged the cultural and creative and media sectors across Europe, but the proposal – a decrease compared to the 2018 proposal – ignores this impact completely. Creative Europe is the only EU programme that provides direct support to these sectors. The European Parliament has called on the Commission time and time again to put in place an ambitious plan to help the sectors recover, but the Commission is missing this opportunity and sending a terrible message.”

Link to the press statement.

Reaction from the European cultural and creative sectors

Live DMA shares the mixed feeling on the impact of the recovery package on the cultural sector and the disappointment on the unsatisfying Creative Europe budget proposal.