The European Parliament wants to give MEDIA back the means for its ambitions
by Thierry Leclerq
- At the next meeting of the Committee on Budgets on 11 October, MEPs will put forward a motion to increase the budget of the Creative Europe programme by more than €28 million
On 28 September, during a preparatory meeting, the members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets reversed all of the cuts proposed by the Council of Ministers in the draft 2017 EU budget.
This draft was aimed at decreasing the funding allotted to culture, media and citizenship (-€24 million) in order to free up funds for the management of the refugee and migrant crisis. Completely arbitrary cuts, which jeopardise the implementation of cultural programmes, budgeting for which is already limited, the draft resolution prepared by German Social Democrat MEP, Jens Geier, claims.
The Council’s proposal would see the budget of the MEDIA sub-programme increase to €102.6 million, as opposed to the €107 million promised in the draft tabled by the European Commission last May. In much the same way, funding for the Culture branch of Creative Europe would fall to €51.8 million (a €2.5 million cut), while that for horizontal actions, which includes the Credit Guarantee Fund for the cultural and creative sectors, would fall to €28.4 million.
The decision is a difficult one for MEPs to get their heads around, “as the guarantee mechanism was only just launched last June, and is an excellent example of an innovative solution to address market failings” when it comes to credit for the cultural and creative sectors.
Since then, MEPs have been advocating the restoration of operating means for the programme (“support expenditure”) as well as going further than the initial proposal, by awarding the MEDIA programme an increase of €10.88 million, resulting in an overall budget of €118 million. The Culture sub-programme would receive an increase in budget of €13 million, for a total of €68 million, with €35 million (+€4 million) allocated to horizontal actions and the guarantee fund.
The full European Parliament is set vote on the 2017 draft budget on 26 October. Then begins the difficult three-week “conciliation” process with the Council, before a final vote and approval in December.
(Translated from French)