European Commission welcomes political agreement on the Creative Europe Programme

European Commission welcomes political agreement on the Creative Europe Programme

A budget of more than €2.4 billion for the cultural and creative sectors, including journalistic media.


The European Commission, the 27 EU member states and the European Parliament have reached agreement about the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF 2021-2027) to the tune of €1074.3 billion. This is €16 billion more than was previously agreed this summer. Around €15 billion is designated for the European programme Creative Europe, Horizon Europe (succeeding the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme), Erasmus+ (education, training, youth and sports) and the new EU4-Health programme. With the conclusion of the trilogue negotiations, the legislation now awaits final approval by the European Parliament and Council.

Creative Europe will receive an additional €600 million, adding up to a total budget of more than €2.4 billion for the coming programme period of 2021-2027 (index 2020). The budget of the current Creative Europe Programme 2014-2020 was slightly over €1.4 billion. This shows the increasing value that Europe places on culture and media, as it will increase the opportunities to support these sectors.

For Erasmus+, the European Parliament’s negotiators have secured an additional €2.2 billion, making a total of €26 billion. The key points are inclusiveness, sustainability, the simplification of systems and the mobility of adult students.

Finally, the deal for the new Horizon Europe programme includes the first specific EU budget ever drafted for cultural and creative industry research. The 2021-2027 budget will amount to €95.5 billion, of which €2.3 billion is earmarked for the cultural and creative industries cluster. This cluster will mainly offer opportunities to researchers, innovators and medium-sized and small businesses.

Furthermore, the Next Generation EU 2021- 2023 recovery fund will make approximately €750 billion available for support in the Covid-19 crisis. The cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors (CCS) will also be eligible for support from this fund.

The focus of Creative Europe 2021 - 2027
With Creative Europe’s increased budget of more than €2.4 billion, the new programme will continue to encourage cultural and linguistic diversity, heritage and competitiveness, enabling cultural and creative organisations and professionals to collaborate beyond national borders and reach wider audiences.

As is the case in the current programme, the MEDIA subprogramme will support projects with European and international dimensions. Fostering talent and using new technologies also remain important pillars for the reinforcement of the sector’s competitiveness. One third of the Culture subprogramme’s total budget retains the same designation, but there will be a greater emphasis on the Commission’s priorities, including gender equality and the Green Deal. A new aspect is the support for the cross-sectoral news media sector subprogramme. This support will be reflected in various activities promoting media literacy, pluralism and media freedom.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: "I welcome the political agreement on the new Creative Europe programme. The programme has been critical for promoting Europe's cultural diversity as well as the competitiveness of cultural and creative sectors. Now it has been modernised to better equip these sectors to face today's challenges, including those brought about by the pandemic."

Commissioner for Industrial Policy and Digital Internal Market, Thierry Breton, noted: "The culture and creative ecosystem continues to be deeply affected by the current crisis. Today's agreement is an important signal for all European media partners, small and big, and all our creators, at a time when they need our support more than ever before. Creative Europe is an essential tool for further digitalisation and internationalisation of these key sectors. It will also strengthen the resilience of our media and audiovisual industry and reinforce media freedom and pluralism across the European Union."

Implementation of the new programme will commence in early 2021 and will run until 2027. Following the final approval, the work programme 2021 must now be approved by the member states. This means that the calls for applications will be published later than usual; the deadlines will likely be set for the second quarter of 2021 at the earliest. The Creative Europe Desk will keep you informed. Those who already wish to start preparing for a Creative Europe application in 2021 will find a number of suggestions here.

Click here for the full press release from the European Commission.

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