The Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), a strategic industry for Europe, call for a long-term approach to support and recovery measures


The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is affecting all countries in Europe. The Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) are one of the sectors most affected – where thousands of businesses, most of them SMEs, have been impacted – by the current crisis. The suspension of live shows, concerts, film & TV production, exhibition and distribution, sporting events, writers’ readings and photo assignments, and the dramatic drop in the sales of books (to name a few) – on such a scale and for such an extended period of time – with the loss of many jobs, freelance and otherwise, is unprecedented.

The creative and cultural sectors are a European strategic asset, and a significant provider of jobs and economic growth. According to the EUIPO/European Observatory, CCIs generated approximately ? 509 billion in 2018 and represented 5.3% of the EU’s total GDP. CCIs employ 15 million people[1] (directly and indirectly), accounting for 7.5% of the EU’s employment workforce and making our industries the third largest employer sector in the EU[2].

The current crisis will have long term impacts on the competitiveness and sustainability of our sectors as it will take months – if not years – for them to return to a “new normal”.

Creativity Works! welcomes the initial steps taken by the European Commission in support of the economy. The creative and cultural sectors have a hugely important role to kick-start the recovery process as providers of local, high growth services and quality employment. We call for strong immediate measures to translate solidarity into action by:

  • Ensuring the Creative and Cultural Industries are eligibleto benefit from support measures and incentives at EU and national level, including financial schemes, direct public funding, tax credits, and other relief measures to safeguard the foundations of our sector; And encourage Member States to make use of these measures to support the CCIs;
  • Granting maximum flexibility to Member States regarding State Aidmeasures;
  • Facilitating coordination between national and European initiativesin the context of any sector-specific measures, including the creation/allocation of CCI dedicated funds by several Member States. We welcome the recent call by the European Parliament to unlock support for our sectors;
  • Accelerating the promotion of measures and sanctions to tackle online disinformation and bolster editorial responsibilityin a time where quality information can save lives.

Longer-term measures are also needed to ensure the robustness of our ecosystem and we call on the Commission to:

  • Recognise the Creative and Cultural Industries as a strategic industry for Europeand ensure CCIs feature prominently in the longer-term recovery plan as part of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework;
  • Secure sustainable support schemesas many of our industries’ business models are dependent on rights and royalties, meaning they will be facing serious commercial harm well into 2021;
  • Ensure a future EU regulatory frameworkwhich promotes, supports and sustains recovery in the Creative and Cultural Industries, in the physical as well as in the online environment;
  • Preserve and protect the two founding principles of our sectors – copyright and territorial exclusivity– as you consider future legislative activity which may affect these elements. These principles are key to our sustainability and fundamental to our economic recovery.

The Creative and Cultural Industries are and will be playing their part in the recovery process. We count on your support in these challenging times and stand in solidarity with you and national governments as you put in place strong, and much needed, measures to help mitigate and address the short and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the lives of EU citizens and on the EU’s creative and cultural economy.

[1] IPR-intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union” study, EUIPO & EPO, 25th September 2019, see table p. 9
[2] From the study “Boosting the competitiveness of Cultural and Creative industries for growth and jobs” published by the Commission in 2016 and produced by the Austrian Institute for SMEs/VVA Europe