The mid-term evaluation of the Creative Europe programme (2014 – 2020) was adopted by the Commission on 30 April 2018. It outlines the achievements of the programme while addressing its main shortcomings, building on the independent evaluation report, direct experience in managing the programme and wide consultations with stakeholders.

Key findings for MEDIA sub-programme

Creative Europe is divided into two sub-programmes, Culture and MEDIA, and is supported by a cross-sectoral strand.

Creative Europe MEDIA has effectively supported cultural and linguistic diversity by promoting a genre called 'European cinema', but also by creating an appetite for diverse 'European' content and supporting the distribution of films that would otherwise have found it more difficult to travel and be screened.  Every year, MEDIA supports the distribution of over 400 films, reaching cross-border audiences of about 65 million per year.  MEDIA also supports the development of about 400 new films per year, equivalent to 25% of Europe's production. 

The Programme has also brought together different players from different Member States, creating value for the whole European audiovisual sector. MEDIA also supports TV production, and has helped to support genres like Nordic noir. It has helped the audiovisual industry to scale up, for example through encouraging co – productions and by supporting transnational collaboration and networks as well as vibrant markets, thus building a European ecosystem. 

As for the weaknesses, the limited MEDIA budget has reduced the potential impact on the EU audiovisual industry. The programme has grown in scope over the years without an equivalent increase in budget. As a result, the funding is spread too thinly among thousands of beneficiaries. Furthermore, there are now 14 schemes with over 20 different actions. Support ranges from 4,000 euros to around 1 million euros per beneficiary, hence limiting the overall impact of the Programme. The limited flexibility of the Programme, which somehow discourages cooperation among different players of the value chain, is also a shortcoming.

Finally, by facilitating access to credit to creative SMEs, the Guarantee Facility has quickly contributed to fill a financial gap estimated at € 1 billion per year between 2014-2020. Launched in 2016, the Facility has supported € 50 million of loans by end of 2017.

More information about the findings of the mid-term evaluation:

Background

Culture and creativity play a crucial role in our societies today and in shaping our European future. Economically, the cultural and creative sectors generate approximately €509 billion in value added to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), representing 5.3% of the EU's total, and employs more than 12 million full-time jobs, equivalent to 7.5% of Europe's workforce. They are the third largest employer in the EU, after the construction and food and beverage sectors. They also contribute significantly to investment, innovation and creation of jobs throughout the economy. There are positive spill over effects in particular on the digital sector e.g. content triggers the development of broadband infrastructure, and cultural tourism. Culture and creativity also facilitate European exports around the world by strengthening the image of Europe and the European way of life.

Creative Europe programme is the European Union’s response to help the cultural and creative sectors unlock their potential for growth. These sectors are inherently diversified along national and linguistic lines, thus enriching our cultural landscape. At the same time, they face obstacles that hinder the transnational circulation of creative works and their ability to operate transnationally and reach new audiences in Europe and beyond. The programme takes into account the dual nature of cultural and audiovisual activities: on one hand as a driver of diversity and citizens' engagement, and on the other hand, as a driver of growth and jobs, recognising also their broader contribution to creativity, talent generation, entrepreneurship and innovation.