Cultural infrastructures, cultural activities and creative industries can be a major part of a region's attractiveness and vision for its economic development. The production of content matters more and more, and this often depends on the existence of a cultural environment. Cohesion Policy for 2007-13 aims at fully mobilising culture and creativity for regional development and job creation.
The structural funds can provide suitable conditions for mobilising cultural and creative industries, for example by encouraging cultural heritage for business use, supporting the restructuring of urban areas in crisis. Culture, creative businesses and related branches can be valuable sectors in this respect, as they are a source of common identity and shared values, two notions that are typically closely linked with the regional and local dimension.
Between 2007 and 2013, planned EU expenditure for culture under Cohesion policy amounts to more than EUR 6 billion representing 1.7% of the total budget. EUR 3 billion is allocated for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, EUR 2.2 billion for the development of cultural infrastructure, and EUR 775 million to support cultural services. In addition, support for creative industries can be provided under other headings, such as research and innovation, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, information society and human capital.