13.5 billion euros for cultural and creative sector in COVID-19 crisis

The European Parliament demands that at least two percent of European Corona aids should flow into the cultural and creative sector. A respective resolution was passed today with an overwhelming majority. The Greens/EFA were able to push through a doubling of the share demanded by the European People’s Party.

This summer, the European Union launched an aid package of historic scale to tackle the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Parliament welcomes this step, but is alarmed that neither the Commission nor the Council have yet presented concrete plans for financial support of the European cultural and creative sectors.
 
Now, in a cross-party resolution, the Parliament demands that at least two percent of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) should flow into the European cultural and creative sector. This would amount to around 13.5 billion euros. In addition, the Parliament advocates that the cultural program Creative Europe should receive additional funds from the Corona aids. The total budget of the program should thus be increased to 2.8 billion euros.
 
Niklas Nienass, MEP (Greens/EFA) and member of the Culture and Education Committee, sees the resolution as an important signal in times when the freedom of the arts is under increasing pressure: 
 
„Thousands of European cultural workers are currently fighting for their economic survival. And authoritarian nationalists like Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Viktor Orban are delighted. They are using the crisis to literally starve critical artists and intellectuals. The freedom of arts is also defended by securing the livelihood of cultural workers. Europe thrives on shared cultural diversity. The European Parliament stands alongside all those who enrich our lives with art and culture on a daily basis“.
 
The resolution was initiated by representatives of all political groups except the extreme right-wing ID. In the paper, the Greens/EFA were able to push through a doubling of the one percent of the RRF funds demanded by the European People’s Party (EPP).
 
As a result of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European cultural and creative sectors are estimated to have suffered a loss of about 80% of their turnovers in the second quarter of 2020. „The cultural and creative sectors provide around 7.4 million jobs within the European Union and account for four percent of the gross domestic product,“ says Niklas Nienass. „This is comparable to ICT or accommodation and food services. Culture is a pivotal economic factor that we must not neglect.“

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