A proposal by the European Parliament aims to increase the budget of the Creative Europe programme supporting the cultural and audiovisual sectors to €2.8bn. In an open letter, 90 European cultural institutions, including ERIH, adopted this initiative and underlined the urgent need for increased cultural funding. The letter is addressed to Donald Tusk, the outgoing President of the European Council, as well as to all MEPs in the Culture and Education and Budget committees.
Currently, the Creative Europe Fund accounts for only 0.15 % of the total EU budget. According to the open letter, this is by no means proportionate to the cultural sectors’ contribution to the EU economy, which stands at €509bn in value added to GDP and over 12 million full-time jobs (equivalent to 7.5 % of the EU’s work force).
"Our culture and our talents", says the letter, "support artistic freedom and media pluralism, which are crucial for maintaining open, inclusive and creative societies." Nevertheless, the signatories complain that culture is low on the EU's political agenda and remains structurally underfinanced. As evidence, it is cited that the financing gap for small and medium-sized cultural enterprises alone is estimated to be somewhere between €8bn and €13bn.
The letter concludes with a strong plea: „Our common values and our unique cultural diversity lie at the center of our collective European project and are the best ambassadors for the EU’s global influence in the world. Investing in our culture is investing in our future. Let's show a high level of ambition and shape a brighter future for Europe".