What place for culture in a Europe orientated towards ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth‘? (Europe 2020 strategy)

Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ is the theme for the new European Union framework programmes for 2014-2020. The specific objectives of Creative Europe (for culture and media), the Cohesion Policy and Horizons 2020 (for research and innovation) will align with this policy. Many of you are developing European projects, and you will be aware that we are today in the legal and budgetary negotiation phase for these new programmes. The Commission has proposed an increase of 36% in the budget for the single framework programme dedicated to culture, Creative Europe. Nevertheless, culture is not always explicitly mentioned in the proposals of the Cohesion Policy and Horizons 2020, the de facto principal funding sources for culture and heritage in Europe.

The ACCR is working on a national scale with the Ministry of Culture and on a European level with We are more, Culture Action Europe, the platform Access to Culture and the European Commission and Parliament. To all these contacts we present your requirements for an increased support for culture (a key driver of innovation and development), for new ventures, shared projects and administrative flexibility.

To make these new programmes more accessible to you, here is a brief summary:


/  Creative Europe

The European Commission has put forward a proposal for a single framework programme for cultural activity in Europe. Creative Europe is an independent financing instrument which brings together the three existing strands – Culture, Media and MEDIA Mundus. The Council of the European Union has adopted a common general position, which is under discussion at the European Parliament.

The Commission proposes objectives responding to four challenges, the first two of which are of particular interest to the CCRs:

/ A fragmented cultural sector – to be tackled through the financing of platforms and projects allowing cultural operators to acquire competencies and knowledge which facilitate the circulation of works (tours, events, exhibitions).

/ The digital shift – addressed by encouraging sharing projects and the development of specific digital competencies aimed at increasing audiences.

/ Access to funding – through putting in place a financial instrument facilitating access to loans. A policy will be dedicated to informing and training banking professionals in the issues facing the cultural domain. A topic of debate, as you can imagine.

/ Lack of data – through a policy of closer transnational cooperation.

Switzerland, together with the countries making up the European Neighbourhood Policy (North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Ukraine and Belarus) may participate in the programmes. Other countries will also be linked to projects.

/  Where are we?

The Council of the European Union has adopted a common position on the Commission’s proposal:

/ with improvements due to more explicit mentions of the social and economic value of culture, the addition of access to culture as a general objective, a reinforcement of the recognition of the role of European networks etc.

/ there are also more problematic proposals such as the greater influence of Member states in the management and application of the Programme, which may lead to a more complex administrative structure. Cf. analysis of Culture Action Europe.

The Netherlands are opposed to the increase in the culture budget, and there has not been a decision concerning the future of the financing instrument.

The European Parliament has appointed rapporteurs and the Commission is preparing a Programme Guide which will be available at the end of June. This tool will be the reference document for calls for proposals and thus your primary information source for putting together a European project. For projects beginning in 2014, calls for projects must be ready for July 2013.

You will find several preliminary documents as well as a glossary, and we remain available for any further information you may require.

/  Cohesion Policy

The Cohesion Policy aims to reduce differences between the 271 regions of Europe, and for the 2013-2020 period will respond to the objectives of Europe 2020 – ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. The Commission’s proposal is under discussion at the European Parliament and before the Council.

Culture is not always mentioned explicitly in this framework programme, nevertheless there are finance strands which allow regions to support cultural projects. Heritage is mentioned in the key actions of the ERDF in the line ‘investment in the diversification of local economies by protecting and enhancing cultural heritage and landscapes, in both rural and urban contexts’.

The proposal has three main objectives:

–       to achieve the aims of the Europe 2020 strategy

–       to put an emphasis on results

–       to maximise the impact of European aid

The proposed budget is 376 billion euros, focused on:

/ The reinforcement of effectiveness and performance;

/ A more coherent use of the available European funds;

/ A list of themed objectives, of which 6 correspond to the activities and policies of the CCRs:

–      1) reinforce research, technological development and innovation;

–      6) protect the environment and promote the rational use of resources;

–        8) promote employment and support workforce mobility;

–        9) promote social inclusion and fight poverty;

–       10) invest in lifelong education, skills and training;

–       11) reinforce the capacity of institutions and the efficiency of public administration.

/ The concentration of resources with the aim of maximising impact;

/ The reinforcement of the European Social Fund with a section on inclusion and the fight against youth unemployment.

For the ACCR, investment financing will be available under theme number 6 for our members, notably for heritage projects. With regard to artistic creation, the European Social Fund will still exist. With its activities in developing a platform, the ACCR can fit into the policy of ‘local development by local people’ which aims to develop practical approaches on the ground, to enhance local capacity and stimulate innovation, to promote community buy-in and to support governance at all levels.

/  Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the next framework programme for research and innovation. This type of funding has been used for research projects on the heritage protection and restoration. It is also available for research on innovative governance tools.

Alliance 3.3 is a lobbying platform coordinated by Europa Nostra, of which the ACCR is a member. Il campaigns for the respect of paragraph 3 of article 3 of the European Treaty, which stipulates that the European Union ‘shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced’. In the opinion of Alliance 3.3, cultural heritage has been omitted from the Commission’s proposals, and a petition is being circulated which requests that this article be taken into consideration in cultural policy.

Positon Europa Nostra sur Horizon 2020

Position Culture Action Europe sur l’accord du Conseil (en)

Calendrier politique des négociations des nouveaux programmes(fr)

Position Culture Action Europe sur la Politique de cohésion(en)

Presentation de Europe créative par la Commission européenne(en)