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European Commission officially launches €2.5bn Creative Europe programme

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel launched on June 17 in Lisbon the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme that will provide the European creative sector with an injection of €2.5 billion over the next seven year.

Mariya Gabriel (Photo: Christophe Licoppe)
Mariya Gabriel (Photo: Christophe Licoppe)

 The new programme, which has doubled in budget over the previous programme (€1.47 billion for 2014-2020), comes at a critical time for the creative sector, emerging from 15 months of lockdown and is facing an uncertain future. Gabriel said the new programme will help guarantee a “sustainable reopening of the sector.” Some €300 million in funding will be allocated in 2021.

  “Culture knows no borders and no nationalities. Art represents a window to the world and contributes to building bridges among all of us. At a time when museums, cinemas, cultural heritage sites, theatres, all start to reopen, I want to reiterate the Commission’s support for the cultural and creative sectors. With an increased budget, Creative Europe will strive to reinforce the recovery of the sectors while promoting the immense diversity and creativity that they offer us,” said Gabriel, who noted that over 8 million people across the EU work in a cultural activity.

  She added that the programme would “contribute to this revitalisation of the system, supporting creators so that they can do more for people,” while “promoting and safeguarding European linguistic, cultural and heritage diversity” and “increasing the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors.” 

  The launch conference for the new Creative Europe Programme was organised by the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, in collaboration with the European Commission.  

  The input from the previous Creative Europe programme has proven invaluable to the creative sectors throughout Europe, in particular for smaller member states that do not always have the scale to finance fully-fledged projects.

  Ireland, for example, welcomed the launch of the programme. As part of the 2014-2020 budget, Irish audiovisual companies were awarded over €13m while cultural and artistic organisations received  €5m. In addition, under the Culture sub-programme, 68 Irish organisations involved in cooperation projects received direct funding of just over €5 million.

  Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin said she encouraged the culture, audiovisual and media sectors in Ireland “to fully engage with the funding, partnership, training and networking opportunities presented by the Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027.”

 The Creative Europe Programme aims at fostering artistic and cultural cooperation across Europe in the fields of literature, music, architecture, cultural heritage, design, cultural tourism and more. It also includes a scheme for mobility of individual artists. 

  The oldest part of the initiative relates to the support for the European audiovisual sector via the MEDIA programme, which includes funding for slate projects, co-productions, structured networks, high-quality TV series, in addition to gaming and virtual reality experiences, as well as schemes to support training, distribution of audiovisual content and audience development.

  The Commission has already launched a series of calls under the Culture strand of the new Creative Europe programme.

  > Call for European Cooperation projects  

  With a budget of over €60m, this call will support projects involving a large diversity of players active in different cultural and creative sectors. The focus is on European artistic cooperation and innovation on topics such as audience engagement, social cohesion, digitisation, contribution to the European Green Deal and sector-specific challenges in the book, music, architecture and culture heritage sectors. 

  Deadline: 7 September 2021  

  > Call for European networks of cultural and creative organisations  

  With a budget of €27m for the period 2021-2023, this call will support capacity-building projects implemented by representative, multi-country, membership-based networks of European cultural organisations.  

  Deadline: 26 August 2021  

> Call for Pan-European cultural entities  

  With a budget of €5.4m for the period 2021-2023, this call will support cultural entities – in the case of this call, orchestras – whose aim is to offer training, professionalisation and performance opportunities for young highly-talented artists.  

  Deadline: 26 August 2021

> Call for Circulation of European literary works  

  This call will support projects that will translate, publish, distribute and promote works of fiction.

  Deadline: 30 September 2021

> Call to support publication of literary translations  

  With a budget of €5m, this call will support projects that will translate, publish, distribute, promote a package of minimum 5 works of fiction (novels, poetry, comics etc.). 

  Deadline: 30 September 2021.