Investing in Europe’s next generation by investing in culture

As the EU has started discussing the proposed recovery plan, 99 organisations from across Europe’s cultural and creative sectors are uniting their voices to alert EU leaders: our sector needs strong and systemic support measures to recover from this crisis.

As it is now well understood, the cultural and creative world is one of the first and hardest hit by the crisis. According to the Commission’s own estimates, some parts of our sector – which accounts for €509bn in value-added to GDP and over 12 million full-time jobs – are expected to lose up to 80% of their turnover in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

We have a higher than average percentage of self-employed workers, freelancers, micro-businesses and youth employment, which makes us particularly vulnerable in times of crisis. 
As the European economy is slowly restarting, it is far from business as usual. Cultural actors are gradually resuming their activities, but all have to implement strict safety rules which means they won’t be operating at full capacity for the foreseeable future and are therefore facing challenging economic decisions. From individual creators and creative workers all the way to big production and media companies, the whole value chain is impacted.

And yet the recovery package announced by the Commission on 27 May does not reflect the reality of the cultural and creative sector, despite the encouraging messages by the Commission and the strong position taken by the European Parliament. The proposal on the table falls way short of our sector’s expectations: 

  • Despite being identified as one of 14 of the hardest hit ecosystems, there is neither a sector-specific instrument for culture, nor a clear indication on whether or how we can benefit from different instruments. The section on REACT-EU in the Commission’s Communication1  refers to culture, but there is no guarantee that we will receive appropriate support.
  • As for Creative Europe, the EU’s only programme specifically dedicated to the cultural and creative sector, the Commission’s announcement is a missed opportunity and a real disappointment. Along with the budget dedicated to education and youth, the budget dedicated to culture is the only one to decrease compared to the Commission’s own 2018 proposal, and it is a far cry from the European parliament’ position2. Quite ironic for a recovery plan named “Next Generation EU”.  

To bring the EU’s support for our sector to a level that is commensurate with its contribution to the EU’s economy and its citizens’ wellbeing, we call on Member States and the European Parliament: 

  • To push for a substantial increase of the Creative Europe budget. We fully support the European Parliament’s proposal for a budget of €2.8bn.
  • To guarantee that the entire sector can benefit appropriately from the recovery plan’s various instruments. 

Let’s invest in culture to show the EU’s #NextGeneration that we really care about their future!

2. The European Commission is proposing €1.5bn for Creative Europe (€1.7 in 2018 prices) while it proposed 1.85bn in 2018 (€1.6bn in today’s prices).

Download the letter in pdf here.

Download the letter in pdf


1. AEPO ARTIS – Association of European Performers’ Organisations

2. AER – Association of European Radios

3. Animation Europe

4. BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts Brussels

5. CALLIAS Foundation

6. CEATL – European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations

7. CEDC – European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity

8. CEM – Centre Européen de Musique

9. CEPI – European Audiovisual Production

10. CEPIC – Centre of the Picture Industry

11. CICAE – International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas

12. CIRCOSTRADA – European Network for Circus & Street Arts

13. De Concert!

14. EAA – European Arenas Association

15. EAS – European Association for Music in Schools

16. ECBN – European Creative Business Network

17. ECHN – European Creative Hubs Network

18. ECSA – European Composer and Songwriter Alliance

19. EDN – European Dancehouse Network

20. EFA – European Festivals Association

21. EFFORTS – The European Federation of Fortified Sites

22. EFJ – The European Federation of Journalists

23. EFNYO – European Federation of National Youth Orchestras

24. EFP – European Film Promotion

25. EGDF – European Games Developer Federation

26. EHTTA – European Historic Thermal Towns Association

27. EIBF – European and International Booksellers Federation

28. EJN – Europe Jazz Network

29. ELIA – Globally Connected European Network of Higher Arts Education

30. EMC – European Music Council

31. EMCY – European Union of Music Competitions for Youth

32. EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange

33. EMMA – European Magazine Media Association

34. EMMA – European Music Managers Alliance

35. EMU – The European Music School Union

36. ENCATC – European network on cultural management and cultural policy

37. ENCC – European Network of Cultural Centres

38. ENPA – European Newspaper Publishers Association

39. EOFed – European Orchestra Federation

40. EPC – European Publishers Council

41. ERIH – The European Route of Industrial Heritage

42. ESNS – Eurosonic Noorderslag

43. ETC – European Theatre Convention

44. Eurocinema

45. Europa Distribution – The European Network of Independent Film Publishers and Distributors

46. Europa International – the network of European sales agents

47. Europavox : music online media & festivals

48. ECA – European Choral Association – Europa Cantat

49. EVA – European Visual Artists

50. EWC – European Writers’ Council

51. FEDEC – European Federation for Professional Circus Schools

52. FERA – Federation of European Film Directors

53. FEP – Federation of European Publishers

54. FIA – International Federation of Actors

55. FIAD – The International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations

56. FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations

57. FIM – International Federation of Musicians

58. FSE – Federation of Screenwriters in Europe

59. GESAC – European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers


61. IAMIC – International Association of Music Information Centres

62. IAML – International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres, member of EMC

63. IAO – International Artist Organisation of Music

64. ICMP – The Global Voice of Music Publishing

65. IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts

66. IFJ – International Federation of Journalists

67. IFPI – International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

68. IFRRO – International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations

69. IGCAT – International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism

70. IMMF – International Music Managers Forum

71. IMPALA – The Independent Music Companies Association

72. IMPF – The Independent Music Publishers International Forum

73. IMZ – IMZ International Music + Media Centre

74. In-Situ – European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space

75. INES – Innovation Network of European Showcases

76. ISCM – International Society for Contemporary Music on behalf of the

77. ISFE – The Interactive Software Federation of Europe

78. IVF – International Video Federation

79. Live DMA – European network for live music venues & festivals

80. Liveurope – The live music platform for new European talent

81. KEA European Affairs

82. MCA – Michael Culture Association

83. NAMM – National Association of Music Merchants

84. NEMO – The Network of European Museum Organisations

85. News Media Europe

86. On the Move

87. Pearle* – Live Performance Europe

88. REMA – European Early Music Network

89. Res Artis – Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies

90. SAA – Society of Audiovisual Authors

91. SEEHN – South East European Heritage Network

92. SHAPE – Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe

93. Sistema Europe – The Sistema Europe Association

94. TEH – Trans Europe Halles

95. Tenso Network Europe

96. UNI MEI – UNI global union – media, entertainment & arts

97. UNIC – International Union of Cinemas

98. We Are Europe

99. Yourope – The European Festival Association