What is it about?

Cultural and creative sectors are comprised of all sectors whose activities are based on cultural values, or other artistic individual or collective creative expressions and are defined in the legal bases of the Creative Europe Programme. Support of these sectors is based upon Eurostat’s work as part of European Statistical System (ESS)-net Culture  and its work in further coordinating the harmonisation of statistics on the cultural and creative sectors (for instance, through review of Indicator typologies and terminologies, communicating through indicators and relevance for policy making). 

Cultural and creative industries, on the other hand, focus more on the further stages of the value chain – including the production and dissemination stages of industrial and manufacturing operations.

Why is it needed?

Cultural and creative sectors are important for ensuring the continued   development of societies and are at the heart of the creative economy. Knowledge-intensive and based on individual creativity and talent, they generate considerable economic wealth; more importantly, they are critical to a shared sense of European identity, culture and values. They show above-average growth and create jobs – particularly for young people – while strengthening social cohesion.

Cultural and creative sectors drive innovation, acting as a catalyst for change in other sectors – and stimulate invention and progress across Europe’s diverse cultural landscape. With the emergence of progressively complex, creative and intertwined business models, the cultural and creative sectors are increasingly becoming a decisive component of almost every product and service.

What is the European Commission
(EC)'s role?

The 2015-18 Work Plan for Culture, cites cultural and creative sectors, creative economy and innovation as one of its four main priorities for cooperation in cultural policy making. The New European Agenda for Culture and New Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022 underline the importance of cultural and creative sectors for innovation, job creation, cohesion and well-being of societies.

The EC has focussed on an ecosystem approach to supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals and European content. This policy agenda is complemented through a variety of actions and initiatives – such as the Creative Europe Programme – as well as funding from various Commission resources.

What is being done?

The European Union (EU) supports Cultural and Creative Sectors through:

EU support for CCS

Public policies for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in CCS

As a priority under the last EU Work Plan for Culture, public policies and entrepreneurship and innovation potential of cultural and creative sectors was one of the issues examined more in detail by Member States experts, stakeholders, and the Commission services:

  • a detailed Overview of all EU policies and studies related to entrepreneurship and innovation in cultural and creative sectors 
  • OMC Report (2018) on "The role of public policies in developing entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors"  
  • Structured dialogue ("Voices of Culture") report by CCS stakeholders on entrepreneurship and innovation potential and CCS

Creative hubs, peer learning and similar

As a priority under the last EU Work Plan for Culture, public policies toward entrepreneurship and innovation potential of CCS was one of the issues examined in greater detail by Member States experts, stakeholders, and the Commission services:

Studies and data

In order to help cultural and creative sectors with evidence-based policy-making, the European Commission and Eurostat are working on cultural statistics and other relevant studies, some of which can be found under the following links:

Financing for CCIs

Finding the right type of financing support for cultural and creative sectors/industries is a challenge… here are some interesting links to initiatives at EU level:

Relevant networks

Relevant regional networks:

  • RICC: Regional Initiative for Culture and Creativity
  • ERRIN: European Regions Research and Innovation Network – Working Group on Design and Creativity  

Find out more

Other relevant links