The European Commission has put forward an important recovery plan for Europe based on harnessing the whole potential of the EU budget to offset the social and economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to drive Europe’s recovery and protect employment. In order to mobilise the investments required, the Commission has unveiled a two-prong response: “Next Generation EU” (a €750 billion recovery instrument) + A reinforced long-term EU budget for 2021-2027. This all needs to follow the steps, negotiating process and be approved by the European Council (19th June, and the 17th and 18th July), and by the European Parliament.


In her different Next Generation EU speeches and ad hoc documents on 27 May , Van der Leyen, the President of the European Commission stressed the importance of culture and recognised that it has been one of the worst-hit sectors in the COVID pandemic and its fit in a resilient, digital and sustainable/green recovery. And likewise, for the first time, culture expressly comes into play in the cohesion and financing policy, with it being included as a sub-goal in its own right.


In the Official Communication from the Commission of 27 May to present Next Generation EU, it stressed that the first Commission estimates show that tourism, the social economy and the creative and cultural ecosystems could see a more than 70% drop in turnover in the second quarter of 2020. As regards the 3 pillars of Next Generation EU (Support to Member States for investment and reform, Kick-start the economy by incentivising private investment, and Learning the lessons of the crisis), culture and CCI come under pillar 2, with the CCIs being included in the 14 cultural and industrial ecosystems in REACT EU.


With respect to the EU traditional programmes – EU programmes 2021-2027 (Competitive calls): Creative Europe, Horizon Europe, Erasmus, etc, and financial guarantees and other options (INVEST EU, COSME):

• As regards the future Creative Europe Programme aimed at European creative and cultural sectors, a €1.5 billion budget is proposed for the coming 2021-2027 period. Furthermore, the Commission plans to create the InvestEU programme to pool the financing of the EU budget in the form of loans and guarantees under a single structure. The existing Creative Europe financial guarantee (which has already financed several Basque films) would henceforth form part of InvestEU.

• It should be stressed that there are other financing channels for the CCI and cultural sector (outside the traditional European Creative Programme), and which may be of interest:

- Horizon 2020: It is the EU Innovation programme and there are calls to finance initiatives to digitalise the audio-visual sector, strengthen partnerships and ecosystems that foster innovation in the CCI, etc,

- ERASMUS+ Programme for training and specialisation, and CCI skills,

-INVESTEU: For the coming 2021-2027 period, the Commission proposes to create the InvestEU programme to pool the financing of the EU budget in the form of loans and guarantees under a single structure. The Creative Europe financial guarantee would henceforth form part of InvestEU.

(Source: Delegation of the Basque Country to the EU)