Brussels, 18 May 2020

As the EU’s Ministers of Culture prepare to meet tomorrow to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on cultural and creative sectors, IMPALA reiterates its call for an ambitious 5-year recovery strategy for this sector. 

At the end of April, IMPALA outlined a proposed ten-step Recovery Roadmap focusing on boosting investment, growth and jobs in Europe’s cultural and creative industries.

IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith said: “Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, we are highlighting key steps which can be taken quickly by member states with a short-term impact on the livelihood of creators and sustainability of small and medium businesses.”

Boosting loans for small and medium businesses – To increase liquidity in the sector, it’s important that member states boost loans for small and medium businesses. This means interest-free loans with delayed repayment and as little red-tape as possible. 

Reduced VAT – Governments should be able to grant VAT holidays on cultural goods and services as an immediate relief measure. We call for a temporary relaxation of rules to allow member states to take this type of emergency response. The EU should now adopt its proposed review of VAT reduced rates to give member states more flexibility than the current VAT regime, subject to appropriate conditions. 

Adopting national tax credit schemes – We encourage member states to introduce tax credit schemes for small and medium sized businesses investing in creation. This is already used to great effect with certain sectors by a few countries. In France, every euro spent via the tax credit scheme for music production generates 3 euros for the public purse. 

Implementing the EU copyright directive – Accelerating the implementation of the copyright directive is an effective, quick and cost-less way for member states to help smaller creators and the cultural and creative sector as a whole financially.

Helen Smith concluded : “Now is the time for a swift and massive recovery package specific to music and culture. Our roadmap is a good place to start, as well as co-ordinating de-confinement strategies which also will play a key factor in recovery. Music’s contribution to Europe’s economy and of course our citizens’ wellbeing is vital. It underlines the need for a strategic approach at EU and national level.”

More information: 

-Other steps in IMPALA’s Recovery Roadmap include recognising music and culture as priority sectors, coordinating de-confinement and mobility strategies across Europe, allocating sector specific EU and national crisis funds, adopting a 5-year state aid framework, increasing allocation for culture in future EU budget, and reviewing tools to value music and culture properly.

-Earlier this month, IMPALA and over 80 European cultural and creative organisations published an open letter to EU leaders calling for ambitious EU budgetary measures to get through the COVID-19 crisis.

More about IMPALA

IMPALA was established in 2000 to represent independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are small, micro and medium businesses and self-releasing artists. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists. Independents account for more than 80% of all new releases and 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA has its own award schemes to help promote cultural diversity and new talent and highlight the artistic contribution of independent music. To help the sector face the coronavirus crisis, IMPALA set up a task force and produced a mapping tool to map responses to its crisis plan calling for urgent action from the EU, national governments and also the music sector.  IMPALA also promotes the #LoveRecordStores campaign to support local record stores during the crisis.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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