Brussels, 19 May 2021,

Today, the European Parliament gave the final seal of approval to the EU’s culture programme Creative Europe for the period 2021-2027.

With a budget of €2.4bn in current prices, it will be the biggest yet and the programme will have a new focus on music, inclusion and promotion of female talent.

IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith, said: “This is great news and we welcome the support of the European Parliament and the Commission in getting this over the line with national governments. The music sector has been severely impacted by the Covid crisis. It is also a sector which is under-funded and has historically not been getting a level of support from the EU which is in tune with its social, cultural and economic contribution – now is a good time to change this and make the most of this new programme and its increased budget. IMPALA’s priorities are to make sure the programme covers a wide range of projects that will build capacity in the sector in a sustainable and diverse way. This will be our priority and we look forward to music playing a key role in the future programme”.

Helen Smith concluded: “We are eager to explore the opportunities offered by the new Creative Europe programme in terms of boosting local and diverse repertoire, measuring the value of music and its impact on the EU’s economy, promoting diversity, inclusion and gender equality as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the sector.” 

The programme will enter into force immediately after being published in the EU’s official journal, as the deal has been already approved by member states. To guarantee a transition from the previous programme, the new Creative Europe is retroactive and enters into effect from 1 January 2021.

The CULTURE part supports cross-border cultural and creative projects – cooperation (networks, platforms, innovation projects) between organisations and professionals in areas such as music, books and promotion of European literature, architecture, as well as various EU prizes and other initiatives.

The largest part of “Creative Europe”, the MEDIA programme (1.4 billion EUR) will support the development, promotion and distribution of European films and audiovisual works within Europe and beyond.

Key parliamentarians also commented, with the rapporteur Massimiliano Smeriglio noting: The new generation of the programme has been developed with two important objectives in mind: firstly, the safeguarding, development and promotion of European cooperation on cultural diversity and heritage. Secondly, to increase the competitiveness and economic potential of the cultural and creative sectors, in particular the audio-visual sector. This is particularly important given the disastrous effects of the pandemic. The Parliament worked hard and fought for a strengthened and enhanced programme; now it is time also for member states to make concrete efforts in supporting the sector to recover”.

Chair of the Culture and Education Committee Sabine Verheyen added: Around 3.8 % of Europeans work in European cultural and creative sectors. However, this sector has always faced challenges ‑ such as competition with big commercial productions and the very fragmented transnational cultural market. Now, current lock-downs have had a dramatic effect on the EU’s cultural communities, and they need our help more than ever. This significantly better-funded programme recognises the added value of culture to our European way of life and is a first step towards helping it stand up to the challenges of globalisation and digitalisation.


IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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