Creative Europe framework can play 'significant role' in economy

The EU must invest in 'research, innovation and creativity' if it is to 'deploy the creative potential' of young Europeans, argues Kinga Göncz.

By Kinga Göncz MEP

26 Feb 2014

The cultural and creative sectors make a great contribution to the economic growth of the EU. According to the latest figures, 4.5 per cent of the EU's GDP comes from the cultural and creative sectors, and 3.8 per cent of people of working age are active in this field. 

In the era of digitalisation and globalisation, these sectors have huge capacity for creating jobs and contributing more to the EU economy. The cultural and creative sectors promote cultural and linguistic diversity, while helping artists to reach new audiences.

A major aim of the creative Europe framework programme – which brings together the former Media, Media mundus and culture programmes – is to promote the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy. It enables the sectors to reach their potential so that they can contribute to the Europe 2020 goals for sustainable growth, improvement in the employment situation and social cohesion. 

The programme is expected to bring about significant advances in the life of the operators of the creative and cultural industries, if it is set up well and answers to the needs and challenges of the sectors and those of all their operators.

The policy of fiscal consolidation has led to record unemployment in the European Union, especially among young people. According to the latest statistics, in November 2013, more than 26 million men and women were unemployed in the EU28. More than 5.5 million young people aged 15-24 are unemployed in the European Union. In some member states, every four or five out of ten young people are inactive. In these circumstances, we have to support those sectors that have the potential of creating jobs. 

In cultural and creative sectors the key players are young people. Many internationally recognised start-up businesses have taken off in Europe in the audio-visual and IT fields, including the Hungarian Prezi software.

[pullquote]In order to deploy the creative potential of young Europeans, we have to invest in research, innovation and creativity. We have to create an environment where young people opt to develop their skills in Europe, rather than leave and set up their businesses overseas[/pullquote]. 

We need to provide people working in the cultural and creative industries with the necessary skills. The programme should support them to operate transnationally by equipping them with entrepreneurial and communication skills, and it should also promote the availability of managerial, business and entrepreneurial trainings specifically tailored for professionals in the sectors in order to strengthen their financial autonomy and make their activities sustainable.

It is important, in my view, that the framework programme be accessible to disadvantaged groups in society, people with disabilities, and Roma. It should also be accessible to SMEs and micro enterprises. Micro enterprises employ 53 per cent of the workforce in Europe. They also play a significant role in the cultural and creative sectors, so safeguarding our programme would be beneficial for them and is of utmost importance. 

In some member states having lower production capacity, limited purchasing power and sponsoring capacity, the situation of the cultural and creative sectors is much more difficult. The common resources to support creative industries should also be provided to enterprises in member states or regions with limited funding possibilities. The task of the member states is to create a synergy between the framework programme and the national regulatory environment. This will ensure that the programme really does contribute to the accomplishment of its stated aims.