European Commissioner for Education and Culture Androulla Vassiliou and the Hungarian Minister of State for Culture, Géza Szöcs participated in a conference on the contribution of culture to the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy.
The conference highlighted the economic impact of the cultural and creative industries and the link between culture, creativity and innovation. The culture’s spillover effect on other economic sectors and its role as a motor for social inclusion was also discussed. “Culture has an important role to play in supporting our 2020 objectives for smart, objective and sustainable growth. The sector employs five million people and contributes nearly 3% to Europe’s GDP,” said Commissioner Vassiliou. “Cultural creativity supports innovation, diversity, entrepreneurship, tourism and public services - and that’s why we back it at the European level.” The conference raises awareness of the multi-faceted impact of culture and offer examples of the added value that Europe can provide through its support for job-creation and transnational projects aimed at enhancing access to European culture. Around 6.5 billion euros is available from the EU's Culture Programme and the Structural Funds to support cultural projects in 2007-2013. This money is matched by funding from other public and private sources at national and regional level.