What is it about?
Statistics in the field of culture serve two essential functions:
- Providing a reliable evidence-base for decision-making;
- Providing information of use to the culture sector and potential financiers.
As such, it is essential that statistics on the cultural and creative industries, as well as culture sector professionals, are readily available to the general public.
Why is it needed?
The European Commission relies on statistical information to contribute to decision making; accurate information on the contribution of cultural industries to the economy and employment can assist in the development of effective policies.
Statistics are also essential to cultural and creative industries; one of the barriers to finance, as noted in the communication on Creative Europe, is that there is a lack of reliable data in the sector. This lack of data limits the ability of smaller organisations in the sector to secure financing from investors and institutions.
What is the Commission's role?
The role of the Commission in this field is two-fold:
- Establish a reliable body of statistical information to contribute to policy-making;
- Establish a reliable body of statistical information to support investment in the culture sector.
This is, predominantly, achieved through cooperation with experts to identify the potential solutions to the identified needs, as well as cooperation with the European Member States, organisations such as the European Audiovisual Observatory, and the European statistical office, Eurostat.
What has been achieved so far?
The Commission has, for several years, been taking steps to improve the body of statistics at its disposal, principally through the establishment of a European Statistical System network on culture (ESSnet-culture). These efforts culminated, in 2012, with the publication of an extensive report on cultural statistics(5.1 Mb)
Prior to that, Eurostat published a collection of information from the Member States in a "pocket book" on culture statistics.
What are the next steps?
The next steps principally involve further strengthening of the evidence-base and statistical information available.
On the basis of the ESSnet report, among others, the Commission has started to develop a toolkit for culture administrations on data sampling. This work is being carried out by an expert group to provide practical information on sharing approaches to data collection, notably for artists and culture professionals.