August 7th, 2020
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, responded to the European Association of Independent Performing Arts‘ letter, in which we outlined our concerns regarding the current crisis and asked the Commissioner to share with us the measures the Commission is currently implementing to counter the effects of the pandemic.
The EU has so far implemented a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and put forward a European Solidarity Instrument which amount to 8 billion and 100 billion euros respectively. In future, these investment strategies will be expected to continue in the form of REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe), InvestEU and Cohesion policy programmes across all economic sectors. However, these funds are structural investment packages that can be applied to all sectors and businesses. It is therefore in the hands of the respective EU member states to decide where this funding will go and consequently unclear whether funnelling these funds through health expenditure programmes or short-term employment schemes will have any effect on the cultural sector, or even the performing arts sector, as this clearly depends on the individual member state’s national policies.
The Commission, however, offers assistance to Member states who want to direct some of the EU’s horizontal investment measures specifically for cultural and creative sectors. The platform creativesunite.eu was set up to „offer a common space for all cultural and creative sectors to share their initiatives and co-create solutions in response to the crisis“.
In other news, the new „Platform for the Cross-border Distribution of European Performing Arts Works“, as part of the upcoming Creative Europe programme, will soon support both physical circulation and digital distribution of performing arts works across European borders. Meanwhile, the overall envelope of 1.52 billion (2018 prices) of the Creative Europe Programme will increase by 8% compared to 2014-20 levels, according to the latest review of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.
The EAIPA welcomes the expected increase of the EU budget for Culture and Media and will closely monitor all activities regarding the next Creative Europe Programme. In general, EAIPA’s board is optimistic that a constructive and appreciative exchange process with EU Culture representatives has been established.