The 2015-18 Work Plan for Culture cites the cultural and creative sectors, the creative economy and innovation as one of its four its main priorities for cooperation in cultural policymaking. The New European Agenda for Culture and 2019-2022 Work Plan for Culture underline the importance of cultural and creative sectors for innovation, job creation, cohesion and well-being of societies.
Cultural and Creative sectors operate within ecosystems. At the heart of this ecosystems approach is the idea that cultural and creative sectors work in an inter-twined way with different sectors adjacent to their own, or with completely different sectors, and also in a cross-sectoral way. This has been pointed out by the OMC report on "The role of public policies in developing entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors".
Cultural and creative ecosystems are the nurturing ground for innovation, in particular within the increasingly recognised broad concept of innovation, going beyond pure tech-innovation from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and including social and societal innovation aspects. This approach is reflected in new programmes such as Horizon Europe and KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) for Culture and Creative Industries (CCIs), where cultural and creative sectors play a pivotal role.
EU support and co-creation
The European Commission has focused on an ecosystem approach to supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals and European content through a variety of initiatives, including funding under the Creative Europe Programme and other means of EU financial support, for instance.
The EU funded policy project FLIP (“Finance, Learning, Innovation and Patenting”) for CCIs has revisited the ecosystems approach. With the help of this project, a stock-taking conference involving the Commission and Member States experts was organised in January 2020 to look at achievements concerning finance, innovation and other important topics for CCS. Read the conference conclusions [pdf].
Additional information on CCS can also be found on the platform Creatives Unite. Policy experimentation and co-creation, peer-learning and exchange of good practice with civil society (Voices of Culture dialogue), other peer learning activities with creative hubs such as the EU network of creative hubs with cities and regions help to shape policies for cultural and creative ecosystems.
To implement the Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022, the Commission launched a study on the status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals that will be followed by an OMC group, as well as a Voices of Culture dialogue on artists’ working conditions. These actions build upon previous initiatives such as the 2012 OMC report proposing key principles for a strong framework to support the mobility of artists and cultural professionals (a stock-taking meeting took place in 2016). There is also the European Parliament's 2006 study on the Status of Artists in Europe, or the 2018 OMC group on Innovation and entrepreneurship in the culture and creative sectors, which recommends that recommended looking more closely at working conditions.
Wider funding and regulation
On the funding side, the EU supports ecosystems through programmes such as Creative Europe, Horizon 2020, COSME (including Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs) or European Structural and Investment Funds.
The EU regulatory environment, for instance Intellectual Property rights revisions in the framework of the Digital Single Market Strategy, also affects the development of CCS in the way they operate, as well as evidence-based policy-making.