Industry Report: European Policy
Creative Europe, A Tricky Path
by Julie Belgrado
- This year, Cineuropa is associated with the Forum d'Avignon for a white card on "creation, Europe's engine ?". Through unique discussions the Forum d’Avignon aims at strengthening the links between culture and the economy, suggesting subjects for reflection at global, European and local levels.
Creative Europe specially aims to promote our European culture while boosting our economic sectors. However, the path this proposition needs to follow to become a real law is a tricky one. In order to understand better European decision mechanisms, Cineuropa met Mrs. Silvia Costa, European deputy charged of leading the Creative Europe project. As leader of the project, she has to write it down and to complete it successfully. Let’s have a look on the backstage of a political battle.
In 2012 the Creative Europe political odyssey begins. During this first phase, the three European bodies charged of political decision taking – European Commission, EU Counsel and EU Parliament– define their own propositions in relation with the program. In 2013, a new phase starts: negotiations or “trialogue”. A trialogue is an informal meeting where representatives of each body meet and negotiate the conditions of the project. If they found an agreement, the law project has to be voted then by the Counsel and by Parliament. A positive vote in both bodies transforms the project into a law. Today, the Creative Europe project is in its first reading stage. This means that the trialogue representatives are meeting for the first time. Lots of people hope that the negotiation issues would be positive since the first reading, so that the program would be ready in early 2014. Nevertheless, Creative Europe’s political reality is a little more complex.
First of all, why do we need a program such as the Creative Europe one? According to Silvia Costa, culture and Education represent the hearth of the European future, of the new generation and European identity. The Creative Europe project supports the idea that arts and culture have an intrinsic value. This value is intellectual, of course, but it’s also economic. The good development of these two values needs a frame; this is the Creative Europe role.
However, as it’ll be a unique frame to three different programs, Creative Europe might outshine the visibility each program has acquired during the last 20 years. That’s why Silvia Costa and her political group, the socialists and democrats progressive union, demand a clear distinction between the MEDIA and the Culture levels, which have different objectives and defined budget allowances. “It’s essential to ensure that this super-program take account of the specific nature of cultural and creative sectors, particularly audiovisual sector, as well as their particular needs through made to measure approaches in two independent programs, though”. Silvia Costa has explained Cineuropa that she really insists on the writing of amendments to conserve logos used so far and to “ensure the Creative Europe program visibility, keeping its visual identity as well as an emblem.”
Silvia Costa has also explained Cineuropa that her parliamentary committee- Culture and Education (CULT)- tries to make clear to other European deputies that it’s really logical that cultural and audiovisual projects must receive other European funds. This being said, the CULT parliamentary committee wants particularly culture and audiovisual to have access to the 2020 Horizon funds, super-program for research and innovation that will be also launched in early 2014. Their argument is that cultural and audiovisual sectors are entangled with research and innovation.
Nevertheless, Mrs. Costa has confided us that her main hobbyhorse it’s probably the budget allowed to Creative Europe. Parliament has proposed a €1.8 million budget the ministers Counsel wants to reduce. “It would be an unacceptable reduction of more than a third part –from €1.8 to €1.3 million- , and it’s a proposition from the Creative Europe budget commission, new 2014-2020 program, because of the reductions the Counsel made in its new long-term plan, that’s not shared by the European Parliament” explained Sylvia Costa. Moreover, this budget also concerns frontiers countries . “I’ve asked all the S and D team and Ivailo Kalfin to support the re-establishment of these funds , because of the strategic importance of creative industries for development, growth, employment and also for territorial and social cohesion” added the euro deputy.
In order to fight such a reduction, the association Culture Action Europe launched a petition called “We are more, act for culture in Europe” that demands tokeep at least the beginnings budget. Silvia Costa herself supports this initiative. “I consider it’s truly important and I agree with the appeals launched by the European network We are more – act for culture in Europe, that represents more than 100 organizations and artists in Europe, as well as by the cultural Forum Eurocité”. Whether you want to sign the petition, go to http://www.wearemore.eu/ .
After budgetary negotiation problems, the project might not to be approved in its first reading. The consequence of this will be that the project will begin later in 2014 and would have a deficit because of its implantation delay. To the contrary, if it’s accepted after the first reading the Creative Europe program would be able to start in 2014 and to reduce the risks of financing deficit. Finally, all this tricks don’t take into account the Irish presidency that wants to enclose this major project before its end in June 2013.