The new Creative Europe will mainstream cross-cutting priorities of the Commission, such as gender equality and the Green Deal, and introduce sectoral actions, from music to cultural heritage, from literature to architecture, while integrating i-Portunus, the first-ever EU fund dedicated to individual mobility for cultural professionals. One of the key objectives of the new programme will also be to promote access and participation of socially marginalised groups in the creative and cultural sectors, both as creators and as audiences. The new programme will also focus on media freedom and pluralism, journalism, and media literacy.
"Apart from the increase in the budget, we put a lot of effort in negotiating a bigger focus on inclusion and gender equality, as well as on the European added value as a necessary condition for receiving support from the programme," European Parliament rapporteur Massimiliano Smeriglio added.
While Creative Europe is the EU's most prominent funding scheme for cultural cooperation, the extraordinary support for artists, creators and cultural workers that were hit so hard by the pandemic should not be restricted to it. "In addition, we are asking for a fair share of the Next Generation EU to be devoted to culture," Verheyen recalled. "To do so, however, we need support from the Member States who will implement and manage the Recovery and Resilience Facility funds."
In past weeks, the European Parliament called on EU Member States to earmark at least 2% of their national recovery and resilience plans for culture. 110 European cultural networks and organisations echoed the call, asking the Commission to encourage such earmarking.
In order to acknowledge the pivotal role of culture in shaping the future of our lives and of the European political project, Capacity Building for ECoCs' partner Culture Action Europe, together with the European Cultural Foundation and Europa Nostra, is proposing a Cultural Deal for Europe, , an overarching framework to place culture at the heart of the EU's policy-making. In a joint statement, they call to mainstream culture across all policy fields to fully realise its potential for the European project: from the green transition to Europe's geopolitical ambition, and from the digital shift to a value-driven Union.
Beyond the aesthetic contribution of culture and the arts to societies, however, the cultural sector claims its political space too. "Now it is time to combine creative thinking and effective actions. We should make common pleads in order to address the lack of centrality of cultural perspectives in the European project which should be a cultural project above all. We need poetics but also politics, because in culture they should go hand-in-hand," said Tere Badia, Secretary General of Culture Action Europe.
The Cultural Deal for Europe aims to be an overarching cultural and political force that will put culture at the heart of public debate and decision making.