3rd European Culture Forum with the participation of José Manuel Barroso
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, participated in the 3rd European Culture Forum. In his keynote speech the President stated that Culture was the cement that bound Europe together. It was an essential part of the very foundations of the European project and had to remain firmly entrenched in the ideals to succeed in achieving a more united, stronger and open Europe. José Manuel Barroso also explained that the culture and creative industries accounted for up to 4.5% of the European Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for more than 8 million jobs, which were resisting the financial crisis better than other sectors of the economies. He added that the EC proposed a budget for the "Creative Europe" programme of €1.8 billion. The agreed budget stood at 1.46 billion, which represented 9% increase of the funding levels.