MEPs would like to see a coherent policy for cultural industries
by Thierry Leclercq
- MEPs feel that the potential of cultural and creative industries warrants a coherent, long-term policy
In a historical first, which sends a strong message to the European Commission, the Culture and Industry committees of the European Parliament have joined forces to draft a resolution calling for a coherent policy to support the development of cultural and creative industries.
We need to make the current strategy, which is not monitored nearly enough, more cross-cutting", stated the Chair of the Committee of Culture and Education, Silvia Costa, during the examination, last Wednesday in Brussels, of the joint report drafted by MEPs Christian Ehler and Luigi Morgano. And indeed, why is so little attention paid to cultural and creative sectors? Representing 12 million jobs and €509 billion in added value, they are 2 ½ times as big as the car sector, and five times as big as the chemical industry.
The rapporteurs have plenty of reasons to demand more consistency for cultural and creative industries: aside from the undeniable role they play in spreading European values, they are a breeding ground for small and micro-businesses, employ a significant number of young people, are a driving force for growth and innovation, and proved to be the most resilient in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Not to mention that they are “characterised for providing jobs that can hardly be offshored, as they are related to specific cultural and historical skills, territorially and traditionally bound and determined.”
Proposing a clear definition of cultural and creative industries, MEPs call upon the Commission to establish a series of indicators enabling it to analyse the impact of its initiatives on the sector, and to come up with long-term solutions to the challenges of training, funding, and intellectual property.
In this regard, they call on the Commission to establish a legal framework tailored to suit the specificities of the sector which will improve remuneration for authors and creators; as stated by the latter, it’s about "making it clear that liability exemptions can only apply to genuinely neutral and passive online service providers and not to services that play an active role in distributing, promoting and monetising content at the expense of creators”. We must also stop procrastinating in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting, which "remain a serious concern for cultural and creative industries and citizens alike".
With regard to access to funding, the time has come for synergies: a one-stop shop – like a website – should be set up listing the various funding opportunities in the cultural and creative sectors, which are currently granted through different programmes (Creative Europe, Structural Funds, Horizon 2020, etc). MEPs also believe that the budget for Creative Europe and its guarantee mechanism needs to be increased, and that EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments) funds should be allocated to cultural and creative projects that have, up until now, not been eligible.
The draft resolution should be adopted in plenary at some point between now and the end of the year.
(Translated from French)