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Culture and Creativity

Cross-sectoral strand

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What is it?

On 11 December 2013, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation 1295/13 establishing the Creative Europe Programme (from 2014 to 2020). As specified in the Regulation, the Cross-sectoral strand shall facilitate the access to finance for SMEs and organisations from the cultural and creative sectors as well as promote transnational policy cooperation. The Cross-sectoral strand shall support:

"transnational exchange of experiences and know-how in relation to new business and management models, as well as peer-learning activities. It will also support networking among cultural and creative organisations and policy-makers related to the development of the cultural and creative sectors, promoting digital networking where appropriate".

There are different actions supported under the Cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme:

  1. The establishment of a Guarantee Facility targeting the cultural and creative sectors
  2. The promotion of transnational policy development
  3. Supporting a network of Creative Europe Desks

Why is it needed?

The three main activities of the Cross-sectoral strand target three separate, horizontal aims of the programme.

The Creative Europe Guarantee Facility

The Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility is the first EU investment instrument with a wide scope in the culture and creative sectors. The Guarantee Facility is managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) on behalf of the European Commission. It benefits micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative sectors, often facing difficulties in accessing loans. The guarantee is a trigger for financial intermediaries to provide financing within a less familiar sector. In addition, financial intermediaries operating under the facility will have the opportunity to receive capacity building through customised training. The Capacity building programme will help the financial sector improve its understanding of the creative sectors and encourage the financial intermediaries to become more active lenders to creative SMEs in the future. 

Since this innovative financial instrument has been launched in July 2016, agreements with financial intermediaries have been signed in different Member States, expecting to offer over EUR 1 billion in loans for cultural and creative entreprises and more agreements are underway.

Transnational policy development

The Transnational policy cooperation activities are designed to support the exchange of experiences and know-how relating to new business and management models, as well as:

  • collect market data, studies, analyses of labour, skills, market needs, policies, and support statistical surveying

  • pay the contribution fee for European Union membership of the European Audiovisual Observatory

  • test new and cross-sector business approaches to funding, distributing, and monetising creation

  • organise conferences, seminars, and policy dialogue, including in the field of cultural and media literacy and the promotion of digital networking.

Different policy actions are being funded under the Cross-sectoral Strand of the Creative Europe programme, as specified in the yearly Work Programmes of the Creative Europe Programme, such as the following:

The project Culture for Cities and Regions was a peer-learning project for cities and regions (EUR 1 million, implemented by DG EAC). It's objective was to examine existing cultural initiatives and their impact on local and regional development. It took stock of existing practices all over Europe to exchange and promote transfer of knowledge, to better understand successful cases of cultural investment, and to go into the details of policy planning and implementation regarding support to cultural and creative industries, cultural heritage and culture for social inclusion. The project has been implemented on behalf of the European Commission by EUROCITIES and KEA European Affairs, in partnership with ERRIN (European Regions Research and Innovation Network) from January 2015 to September 2017 with an overall budget of EUR 1 million. In terms of activities, the project produced a very interesting catalogue of 71 case studies, 15 thematic study visits and expert coaching for 10 cities/regions. 

The European Network of Creative Hubs project is funded as a grant under the Creative Europe Programme/Cross-sectoral Strand for 2 years (February 2016 - February 2018, EUR 1 million, implemented by DG EAC). The project has been carried out by the British Council and a consortium of small creative hubs in different cities (Factoria Cultural - Madrid, Kulturni Kod/Nova Iskra - Belgrade, BIOS - Athens, Creative Edinburgh, Betahaus - Berlin as well as the European Business Network (EBN) in Brussels. The aim of the project is to reinforce networking between creative hubs at European level and enhance exchanges of experience and capacity-building between creative hub managers, entrepreneurs and cultural and creative professionals. A platform and a peer-to-peer mobility scheme have been developed, as well as publications and policy papers. Through empowering players to work cross-sectorally and tackle digitisation, these have a direct local impact at the city-level and contribute to wider societal challenges. 

The Master Module in Arts and Science aims to foster cross-sectorial curricula and policy innovation, combining technology and the arts. It is funded as a grant (EUR 1,5 million, implemented by DG CNECT) and a call for proposals has been launched in 2017 to design innovative interdisciplinary modules for Master degrees, combining arts and ICT with entrepreneurial skills and business exposure.

The action will be implemented through the design and implementation of innovative modules that will be included in existing arts, culture, science, engineering, technology and/or other relevant masters. They are expected to bring positive and long-lasting effects in the development of cross-sectorial approaches bringing arts, audiovisual, entrepreneurship and ICT together and thus foster the innovation capacity of the higher education institutions.

As specified in the 2018 Work Programme of Creative Europe, a new action is planned under Creative Europe's Cross-sectorial strand for 2018-20 (EUR 1,5 million, implemented by DG EAC) to provide support to cultural and creative spaces as well as other actors, in particular at local level. In addition, the following will be explored:

  • the wider context of creative hubs, cultural centers and the local context
  • better use of public spaces for social regeneration through culture
  • connecting urban development, social inclusion, job creation, skills development as well as innovation policies better,

to create a space for policy experimentation, support new approaches and to test ideas on culture and the creative economy in the context of the collaborative economy.

Innovative cities are thus a cornerstone of EU policy-making in different policy areas.

Call for proposals EAC/S08/2015, deadline: 05/02/2018 

In order to promote transnational policy cooperation, the Cross-sectoral Strand of the Creative Europe Programme (2014-2020) shall support: 

"the collection of market data, studies, analysis of labour market and skills needs, European and national cultural policies analysis and support for statistical surveys based on instruments and criteria specific to each sector and evaluations, including measurement of all aspects of the impact of the Programme" (Art. 15.1.b).

There have been studies funded under the Cross-Sectoral Strand, in particular the following:

  • Study on creative value chains: analysis of the creative value chains for each one of the different cultural and creative sub-sectors, focus on market imperfections exacerbated through the digital shift in the cultural and creative sectors, examining effects of digitisation and resulting evolution of revenues for CCS, roles of internet intermediaries, platforms etc. Published in May 2017: 

  • Crowdfunding for the CCS: This is a pilot project aiming at collecting data on the crowdfunding market for CCS and reinforcing connections among crowdfunding communities. As part of the market analysis, an online survey has been launched addressing creative SMEs, individuals and cultural organisations, investors, crowdfunding platforms and decision-makers. 

More information about the mentioned actions as well as about other types of actions funded under the Cross sectoral strand (studies, evaluations, presidency conferences, communication and valorisation activities etc.), you can find in the Annual Work Programmes of the Creative Europe Programme. 

Supporting a network of Creative Europe Desks

The Creative Europe Desks are designed to:

  • provide information about and promote the Creative Europe programme in their country

  • assist the cultural and creative sectors in relation to the programme and provide basic information on other support opportunities

  • stimulate cross-border cooperation within the cultural and creative sectors

  • provide assistance regarding the cultural and creative sectors in participating countries

  • support the Commission in ensuring proper communication and dissemination of the results and impacts of the programme

  • ensuring the communication and dissemination of information concerning funding awarded to and results in a participating country.

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