Dear Minister, dear Peter, [Altamaier]

Dear Christian, [Ehler]

Dear Martin, [Kern]

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to attend this closing event of the European Creative Industries Summit 2020.

This is a very difficult year for all of us and for the cultural and creative sectors in particular.

As we are unfortunately witnessing, the virus is still here, which means that our recovery will take longer than foreseen.

It is therefore extremely important to use all the available instruments - beyond the traditional ones -, at local, national and European level to support this crucial sector that contributes to as much as 4 % of our GDP and provides more than 7 million jobs.

Allow me to go through them.

First, general instruments that will support also the culture and creative sectors.

From the very beginning of the crisis, we made sure that the sector could benefit from the horizontal measures put forward.

In particular the Temporary Framework for state aid measures, the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and the instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE).

The challenge is that all Member States use them.

Beyond these, as you know, we proposed a recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility will provide an unprecedented €672.5 billion of loans and grants in frontloaded financial support for the first years of the recovery.

This is an opportunity to be seized.

The European Parliament, through its resolution Cultural recovery of Europe adopted in September, called to earmark for the cultural and creative sectors and industries at least 2 % of the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

I fully support this proposal. And would like to thank the European Parliament represented today by Christian Ehler.

The budget proposal also foresees that cultural and creative sectors benefit from other EU programmes and initiatives, including Horizon Europe, REACT-EU and future cohesion policy as well as Invest-EU - for debt financing and equity instruments-, or the Digital Europe programme.

It is up to the Member States to include the cultural and creative sectors among priority beneficiaries and refocus structural funding.

For the cohesion policy funds, national culture authorities should discuss funding possibilities with their respective Managing Authorities at national or regional level.

Second, sector-specific support.

As regards the new Creative Europe programme, I am happy to say that we are now back to the negotiating table.

Our common aim is to reach as soon as possible an agreement so that we can start implementing the new programme swiftly in 2021.

Creative Europe will remain the only EU instrument entirely dedicated to the cultural and creative sectors.

It is therefore crucial to secure an ambitious budget for it.

Our proposal brought forward some novelties:

  • Specific sectoral support for instance for music, book, architecture or cultural heritage;
  • The reinforcement of the competitiveness of the sector in line with our current Creative Innovation Labs;
  • Building on the successful pilot scheme i-Portunus, a new, cross-border mobility scheme for artists and cultural professionals.

The German Presidency and the European Parliament will have a crucial role in securing an appropriate budget for this programme.

However, this crisis pushes us to help the sector in another way.

First, to look at the sector as an ecosystem.

Second, to pay more attention to research, on one side, and to innovation on the other.

For this reason, beyond Creative Europe, I would like to stress two novelties.

Under the upcoming Horizon Europe programme, for the very first time, we will have a specific cluster dedicated to culture, creativity and cultural heritage.

This is an important milestone.

Within Horizon Europe, we also proposed a new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on Cultural and Creative Industries under the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

I am glad that the EIT director, Martin Kern, is here with us today. The Institute will have a big role to play in supporting this holistic and integrated approach, aimed at unlocking strategic opportunities for economic, technological and social innovation.

The KIC will aim at strengthening ecosystems.

It will connect the various institutional and individual players, facilitating access to finance, and retraining and upskilling professionals from cultural and creative sectors.

I count on ECBN and its partners to support initiatives under this upcoming KIC – given the size of this flagship programme, an important coalition of partners will be needed to make it a success.

Before concluding, I would to underline the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation.

In preparation of today’s event, you have discussed different topics: solidarity, creative bureaucracy, sustainability, cross-innovation, and education-and-skills.

All extremely relevant to finding solutions.

In this regard I would like to inform you about our new call ‘partnerships for creativity’, that, in my view, touches upon all the different topics you raised.

It will reinforce cross-sectoral cooperation with a focus on creativity, European citizenship and cultural awareness of all citizens.

Enhance social inclusion through the arts, by fostering innovative participatory and intercultural dialogue approaches linking education, training and youth stakeholders with the cultural and creative sector grassroots organisations.

We secured €100 million for this extraordinary Erasmus call for culture and creativity to respond to the educational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, it is my intention to closely involve the cultural and creative sectors in our Missions, which as you know are an integral part of Horizon Europe and will aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world.

The Green transition that we aim to achieve will only be possible if we turn it into a cultural project, for this we need a strong contribution from the sector.

Here, the link with the New European Bauhaus movement announced by President von der Leyen: a bridge between the world of science and technology and the world of art and culture.

The involvement of the citizens and the sector itself in the policies and the solutions we put forward is crucial.

This is why, and I will finish here, I am working together with the President of the Committee of the Regions on a joint Action Plan for the next two years that will include specific actions for the cultural and creative sectors in view of its local and regional dimension.

Only by working together, we can protect and make the cultural and creative sectors and industries thrive in the EU.

Thank you.