UNI MEI is one of 90 organisations calling EU Member States to support an ambitious budget for the next Creative Europe Programme (2021-2027).  This coalition of the cultural sector is bringing together employers, unions, professional organisations and other civil society organisations from across the entire sector.  

Ahead of the debate in the Council of Ministers during the first week of December, the coalition issued a joint letter  to Members of the European Parliament and EU Member States. As negotiations on the general EU budget will intensify in the coming months, the goal of the letter is to underline the need for a strong budget for culture in general and for the Creative Europe programme in particular. Those negotiations are expected to last for several months and continue under the Croatian Presidency (1 January – 30 June 2020). 

In its joint statement, the coalition underlined that Creative Europe represents a mere 0,15% of the overall EU Budget. This is by no means proportionate to the cultural sectors’ contribution to the EU economy, which stands at €509bn in value added to GDP and over 12 million full-time jobs (7.5 % of the EU’s work force).

Our culture and our talents support artistic freedom and media pluralism, which are crucial for maintaining open, inclusive and creative societies. Yet, culture is low on the EU’s political agenda, and these sectors remain structurally underfinanced. The financing gap for Europe’s cultural and creative SMEs alone is estimated to be somewhere between €8bn and €13bn.

The organisations welcome the European Parliament’s proposal to increase the Creative Europe budget to €2.8bn and calls on members States and the Council of Ministers to support this much-needed boost to the future of Europe’s arts, culture and heritage, and the values they promote.

Download the letter here