Brussels, 4 September 2023

IMPALA is a signatory of the following letter addressed by a group of 70 European cultural and creative networks and organisations, urging member states to reconsider proposed cuts to the 2024 budget of the EU’s only programme fully dedicated to culture, Creative Europe. 

See the full letter here 

Letter of concern regarding the 2024 Creative Europe budget cuts

Dear Presidents, Dear Prime Minister, Dear Ministers,

We are writing as a group of 70 networks and organisations from across the Culture and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSIs) because we are deeply concerned by the proposed budget cuts of €40 million to the Creative Europe work programme 2024.

The Culture and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSIs) are vital for people’s well-being in Europe. Culture is what brings us together. CCSIs contribute to democratic development, togetherness and social cohesion, as they are essential for vibrant and thriving societies. The CCSIs are important drivers of the European economy, with a turnover of €643 billion and a total added value of €253 billion. In 2019, the core activities of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) represented 4.4% of EU GDP in terms of total turnover1. For 2022, Eurostat estimates there are 7.7 million cultural workers in the EU with a yearly growth of 4.5% and the smallest gender employment gap ever, with 3.9 million men and 3.8 million women working in the sector2.

As you will recall, cultural and creative sectors and industries have been identified among the ones most affected by the pandemic restrictions. And yet, while the health emergency is nearly over, these sectors are still in the midst of recovering from the pandemic. CCSIs are in need of continuous and reliable support to overcome the aftermath of COVID-19 as well as the ongoing cost of living crisis which has been heightened by the economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and skyrocketing energy prices.

The importance of culture has been widely recognised across the political spectrum and across the world – now is not the time, however, to let the cultural sector down. We encourage you to remember that artists, creators, cultural workers, and the whole cultural ecosystem are important social and economic players and that it is crucial to equip them with the necessary financial means.

The Creative Europe programme makes up only 0,198% of the overall MFF – and despite its very small amount compared to the overall budget, it has an enormous impact and expands the projects and programmes that it funds. While being among the smallest financial envelopes of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Creative Europe is the only EU programme specifically dedicated to transnational cultural cooperation, and an inestimable opportunity for cultural operators to act beyond borders and to make Europe’s culture thrive.

A cut of €40 million in Creative Europe will have barely any impact on the EU’s budget savings, but will significantly weaken the Creative Europe programme and cause damage to the CCSIs.

We would like to remind you that the Creative Europe budget was frontloaded as a reaction to the needs of the CCSIs coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nature of the front-loaded budget is that the annual budgets would start to decrease already as of 2024. Against this backdrop, imposing further cuts to an already decreasing budget will severely jeopardise the recovery efforts undertaken in the past years up until now.

We therefore strongly support the recent vote of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) to increase the Creative Europe budget 2024 by €43 million and request that you align to this position to increase the budget of the programme instead of reducing it. In this light we would also like to draw your attention to the letter written by the Cultural Creators Friendship Group (CCFG) of the European Parliament which we fully endorse.

We very much hope that you will reconsider the current budget cut and call on you to strengthen the Creative Europe programme for the year 2024 and in the future. In light of multiple challenges it faces, Europe needs strong funding for culture, and a programme such as Creative Europe, which has shown how vital it is for European creativity, diversity and togetherness.

With kind regards,

1. Culture Action Europe (CAE)

2. European Music Council (EMC)


4. Aktionstheater PAN.OPTIKUM gGMBH

5. Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE)

6. Artists’ Association of Finland

7. Association des Centres culturels de rencontre (ACCR)

8. Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et

Musikhochschulen (AEC)

9. Association of European Radios (AER)

10. Autor – danish composers and songwriters


12. BOZAR 

 13. CEATL (Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraires) 14. Centre Européen de Musique (CEM)

15. CEPI – European Audiovisual Production Association


17. CineRegio AISBL (European Association of Regional Film & AV Funds) 18. Circostrada


20. EDN – European Dancehouse Network

21. EFFORTS Europe

22. ELIA – Globally connected European network of art universities

23. ENCC – European Network of Cultural Centres

24. EUNIC – European Union National Institutes for Culture

25. Eurocinema – Association de producteurs de cinéma et de télévision 26. Europa Cinémas

27. Europa Distribution

28. Europavox

29. European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF)

30. European Arenas Association

31. European Choral Association (ECA)

32. European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity

33. European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO)

34. European Cultural Foundation

35. European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)

36. European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO)

37. European Festivals Association (EFA)

38. European Magazine Media Association (EMMA)

39. European Music School Union

40. European Network on cultural management and policy (ENCATC) 41. European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA)

42. European Orchestra Federation EOFed

43. European Theatre Convention

44. European Union of Music Competitions for Youth

45. European Writers’ Council (EWC)

46. Europeana Foundation

47. Eurozine

48. FEDEC – international network for professional circus education

49. Federation of European Publishers (FEP)

50. Federation of European Screen Directors (FERA)

51. Federation of Screenwriters in Europe

52. IAA Europe

53. IAO (International Artist Organisation)

54. ICMP – The International Confederation of Music Publishers

55. IETM – International network for contemporary performing arts


57. IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

58. International Music Council

59. International Union of Cinemas

60. Jeunesses Musicales International

61. Live DMA

62. Liveurope, the live music platform for new European talent 63. Michael Culture Association (MCA)

64. Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO)

65. On the Move

66. Opera Europa

67. Polish Music Council

68. Tenso Network Europe

69. Trans Europe Halles

70. YOUROPE – The European Festival Association

1Rebuilding Europe: The cultural and creative economy before and after the COVID-19 crisis. 2 Eurostat, Culture Statistics – Cultural Employment

2. Eurostat, Culture Statistics – Cultural Employment

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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