Brussels, 26 September 2012
Commission launches strategy to boost growth and jobs in cultural and creative sectors
The European Commission today presented a strategy to unlock the full potential of the cultural and creative sectors in the EU to boost jobs and growth. These sectors, which include companies and other organisations active in architecture, artistic crafts, cultural heritage, design, festivals, film and television, music, performing and visual arts, archives and libraries, publishing and radio, already account for up to 4.5% of GDP and up to 8.5 million jobs in the European Union. But the creative and cultural sectors also face major challenges stemming from the digital shift and globalisation, as well as from a high fragmentation of markets along cultural and linguistic lines. Access to finance remains a major difficulty.
The Commission's new strategy aims to increase the competitiveness and export potential of these sectors, as well as to maximise their spill-over benefits for other areas such as innovation, ICT and urban regeneration. The Commission is calling for a range of actions to promote the right conditions for the cultural and creative sectors to flourish. They focus on skills development, access to finance, promotion of new business models, audience development, access to international markets and improved links to other sectors.
"Europe's cultural and creative sectors are not only essential for cultural diversity; they also contribute a great deal to social and economic development in our Member States and regions. At the local and regional level, strategic investments in these sectors have often delivered spectacular results, as exemplified by many European Capitals of Culture. They also produce important spill-over effects, as well as enhancing a dynamic image of an attractive and creative Europe which is open to cultures and talents from across the globe," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
The strategy, outlined in a document entitled "Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU", envisages a series of policy initiatives and the promotion of a modern regulatory environment. The Commission also wants to encourage stronger partnerships between different policies, in particular culture, education, industry, economic affairs, tourism, urban and regional development, and territorial planning. It also plans to mobilise EU funding to increase support for the sectors, notably through the proposed €1.8 billion 'Creative Europe' programme for 2014-2020 and through Cohesion Policy funds.
According to the 2010 European Competitiveness Report and other sources, the cultural and creative sectors account for between 3.3% and 4.5% of GDP and employ between 7 and 8.5 million people. Evidence collected at European, national, regional and local levels confirms the economic importance of the sectors, which have shown a relative resilience in the current economic downturn.
Independent research has shown that firms spending twice the average amount on creative inputs are 25% more likely to introduce product innovations. Other spin-offs include a positive impact on tourism, fashion and high-end industries as well as traditional manufacturing industries.
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