support a qualitative and inclusive Creative Europe programme and plea for a further increase of the budget towards reaching the target of over EUR 2 bn.;
secure some key proposals of the Commission (simplification, inclusiveness and accessibility, including for SMEs; support to mobility; promote diversity; cross-border and transnational cooperation, including with third countries);
highlight the achievements of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and the need to further valorise and develop its legacy in the future Programme and Agenda;
welcome the central the role for cities and regions in the New Agenda and develop LRAs involvement in devising and implementing the measures at EU level (e.g. in monitoring performance and results);
ensure that local and regional diversity and specificities are taken into account in the allocation of funds for member states and during its process of mid-term review.
The EP legislative resolution adopted on 28 March 2019 and the CoR's opinion on the Creative Europe programme have several substantial overlaps in their views. They both support a higher standard of evaluation, both in terms of the Programme itself through its mid-term review and of organisations receiving funding through the Programme. The reference to local and regional development was taken on board in the position of the European Parliament. Equally important, views in common include the raising of the proposed budget for the Programme (EP asks to double the budget to aprox. EUR 2.8 billion, while CoR insisted to set a budgetary target of over EUR 2 billion) and a greater focus on collaboration networks within the CULTURE strand.
Out of the 15 amendments proposed by the CoR in its Opinion, 11 were taken on-board in the European Parliament almost in their entirety (see details in the table below). Furthermore, the EP proposes supporting cultural networks to help implement the Programme in practice (Am. 49). This mirrors the CoR's amendment proposing local and regional networks for this same purpose. The stricter evaluation norm which is introduced by both the EP and the CoR manifests itself in two different ways. First, the EP wants to shorten and clarify the deadline for publication of the Commission's mid-term review to 31 December 2024. Similarly, the CoR wants to clarify the deadline, specifying that the review should be 'delivered' rather than 'performed' within 4 years. Second, both the EP and the CoR want higher standards and more evaluation of the Programme and bodies receiving EU funds under the Programme. The EP wants greater adherence to industry standards, as well as an objective framework for assessing success. The CoR is generally weary of singling out specific cultural bodies (such as the EU Youth Orchestra) for the reception of funds, and proposes making funding strictly conditional on adherence to this Regulation.
One noticeable difference in approach is that the call from the CoR to delete the reference to the European Film Academy as eligible for direct Union support (Am. 3) that is kept by the EP. Another difference is that the EP requests the use of delegated acts and the establishment of annual work programme while the CoR expressed a preference for "committee procedure" (Am. 12).
On the budgetary side, the EP amendments regarding the Programme budget propose raising the overall budget to EUR 2 806 000 000 rather than the originally mooted EUR 1 850 000 000. This goes beyond the CoR's proposed increase to EUR 2 000 000 000 (Am. 10) but indicates general agreement that the Programme is currently underfunded.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the Commission's proposal on the continuation of the current Creative Europe programme as a stand-alone programme, worthy of all actors of the cultural sector. The Creative Europe programme is very important for developing the cultural sector and making it more international, and an increase in the programme's allocation is therefore positive;
- proposes further strengthening the reference to the key role of local and regional authorities in promoting and celebrating the artistic and cultural life of their communities and calls for enhancing the participation of regional and local authorities in the programme;
- underlines the need to ensure the right balance between the allocation of resources for major, large-scale projects and financing measures and activities focused at local and regional level, including by SMEs;
- proposes to set a budgetary target of over EUR 2 billion and underlines the need to better incorporate culture and cultural heritage into the priorities of the next MFF both through mainstreaming and synergies with other programmes and policies;
- welcomes the New European Agenda for Culture as a remarkable and comprehensive policy basis to strengthen European identity through acknowledging the diversity of European cultures, to reinforce the European cultural and creative sectors and their relations with partners beyond Europe;
- underlines that the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 has catalysed a resounding participation on the ground, with thousands of activities taking place across Europe, encouraging the sharing and appreciation of Europe's cultural heritage as a shared resource, raising awareness of history and common European values, and reinforcing a sense of belonging to a common European space.