Resolution on the cultural recovery of Europe  
2020/2708(RSP) - 17/09/2020  

The European Parliament adopted by 598 votes to 42, with 46 abstentions, a resolution on the cultural recovery of Europe.

The text adopted in plenary had been tabled as a joint resolution by the EPP, S&D, Renew, Greens/EFA, ECR and GUE/NGL groups.

Supporting the cultural sector in the framework of the recovery plan

Parliament expressed its solidarity with performers, artists, creators, authors, publishers, companies and all other creators and professionals in the cultural sector, including amateur creators, who are all seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It called for a significant part of the economic recovery package to be earmarked for the cultural and creative sectors in order to allow creative forces to continue working in the coming months and survive the crisis.

Members are concerned that no specific amount is explicitly earmarked for direct support to the cultural and creative sectors in the Next Generation EU recovery plan.

Given the importance of the cultural and creative sectors, which account for 7.8 million jobs and 4% of GDP, Members called on the Commission and Member States to earmark at least 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility dedicated to recovery for these sectors, according to their specific needs.

Member States shall consider the cultural and creative sectors as strategic and priority sectors in the framework of the European Recovery Plan and define a clear budget, with concrete and rapid initiatives, dedicated to the recovery of these actors.

Criticising the lack of additional funding for the Creative Europe programme in the Next Generation EU fund, Parliament called for the total budget for Creative Europe to be increased to EUR 2.8 billion.

Members called on Member States to:

- ensure (i) that the specific economic, fiscal and social rules generally applied to actors in the cultural sectors at national level can be extended during and after the crisis and (ii) that all professionals in the creative sector, including those in atypical employment, have access to social benefits;

- consider providing financial support to cultural venues and events as they implement new health and safety measures.

The Commission was called on, inter alia, to:

- develop guidelines for Member States on how to ensure the safety of cross-border tours, live cultural events and cultural activities;

- support the mobility of artists so that they can exchange practices and techniques among themselves and to promote the integration of artists into the labour market;

- identify and communicate clearly about a wide range of mixed funding sources that can be mobilised for the cultural and creative sectors.

Parliament is of the opinion that the current pandemic and its consequences for the economy shall not be used as an argument to further reduce European or national public spending in the field of culture. It stressed the fundamental role of the Creative Europe programme and its MEDIA, Culture and cross-sectoral strands in ensuring cooperation at European level by enabling projects to develop long-term partnerships. It also encouraged the Commission to come forward with initiatives specifically designed to support regional and local media as well as those operating in smaller markets.

In view of the cancellations of festivals and cultural events caused by the crisis, Members suggested creating European digital platforms for the performing arts in order to publicise as many European cultural productions as possible. These platforms shall be designed to ensure fair remuneration for artists, creators and companies.

Support for the tourism sector

Given that tourism accounts for 10.3% of the EU's GDP, of which more than 40% is linked to cultural offer, Parliament stated that the gradual recovery of tourism was an opportunity to promote European heritage and culture, while laying the foundations for sustainable European tourism. It called for the launch of an annual programme to enhance European heritage and culture and asked that the structural funds include heritage preservation and artistic creation in the projects they support.

The resolution also stressed the need to create a permanent platform, with organised civil society at its core, for cooperation and coordination of cultural heritage policies at EU level.