Brussels, 20th February 2020

As EU leaders meet in Brussels to try and agree the EU’s long-term budget 2021-2027, IMPALA urges leaders to take a stance on culture in the negotiations.

The President of the European council has suggested cutting the Creative Europe budget by 20% compared to what was originally proposed. That’s half the amount proposed by the parliament and 6% lower than the current budget. 

The European Parliament, which has consistently been calling for a substantial increase, has called this proposal “unacceptable”. Creative Europe is already one of the EU’s smallest framework programmes, at 0,15% of the overall EU budget. 

IMPALA’s Executive Chair, Helen Smith, said: “What’s on the table would take the EU’s cultural policy back in time by 10 years. The Parliament is right to call the latest proposal worrying and unacceptable. Investment in culture should be among our top priorities.”

Smith continued: “The past few years have held great promise for the EU’s cultural and creative sectors, with their economic and social contribution getting the recognition they deserve. Accounting for 7,5% of the EU’s workforce and €509bn in value added to GDP, these sectors are great engines for growth, cohesion, well-being as well as for the EU’s soft power on the global stage.”

Over 90 organisations from across the sector wrote to EU leaders in November 2019 to ask them to support an ambitious budget for culture, in line with the European Parliament’s position.

Smith concluded: “Culture is one of Europe’s main strengths and cultural diversity lies at the heart of the Union. Investing in culture is investing in Europe’s future. We call on member states to remember this when they decide on the fate of Europe’s culture programme for the next seven years. They should reject the proposal on the table and instead support an increased budget for the future Creative Europe programme.”


IMPALA was established in 2000 to represent European independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs (for more information, see the features of independents). IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector. See the organisation’s key achievements in IMPALA’s milestones.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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