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Tuesday, 26 November 2013 18:04

European Union Increases Culture Budget

The European Parliament has decided to increase the culture budget for its 28 member nations by nine percent and will designate $1.97 billion for the Creative Europe program, which will help support artists, museums, performing arts institutions, and other cultural organizations. Creative Europe also plans to launch a new financial guarantee facility in 2016, which will enable small cultural and creative businesses to access up to 750 million euros in bank loans.

The goal of Creative Europe is to boost cultural and creative sectors to help stimulate economic growth, employment and innovation. Europe, which is in the midst of an economic crisis, has seen its overall budget cut down to 960 billion euros (from 975 billion euros) for the seven years between 2014 and 2020.

At a recent press conference, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, said, “I am very pleased that we have achieved a 9 percent increase [for the program] despite the fact that the European budget in general has been decreased. We have to recognize that culture has an increasing value as a public good, especially in times of crisis, because it helps the social cohesion of our societies. Research clearly shows the strong growth potential of the cultural and creative sectors. They play a major role in Europe’s economy and account for about 4.5 percent of the EU GDP, employing about 8 million people. This is not to be underestimated.”

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