Act for Culture in Europe!
The newsletter of the we are more campaign # 4 - July 2011
La version française ci-dessous
SPECIAL EU BUDGET EDITION ›››
Last week, the European Commission published its proposal for the future EU budget: time to mobilise for culture and call on our policymakers to make the right choices. A Message book full of arguments and advocacy tips is now available to help you make the case for culture!
The EC’s budget proposal for the period 2014-2020 was published on 29 June. It is made of a series of documents that review the current policies and programmes, put forward a general budget framework, and sketch out the envelopes and structures of the future funding programmes. In general terms the EC’s proposal is rather ambitious as it asks for an increase of the overall EU budget (+4,8%) and introduces the idea of creating new sources of own income (an EU VAT and/or an EU financial transactions tax). In terms of spending priorities, the EC does not propose any drastic changes to the main areas of EU expenditure (agriculture and regional policy), but suggests to increase the budget in a couple of areas, namely external affairs and home affairs. The budget also makes room for increased budgets in a number of other fields such as (yes!) education and culture.
The new ‘Creative Europe’ programme proposed by the Commission aims at bringing together the current Culture and Media Programmes, along with a ‘cultural and creative industries’ guarantee fund. The idea is to maintain distinctive action strands and budgets for the cultural and audiovisual sectors but with common, overall objectives. The proposed budget for the new programme is of 1.6 billion Euros, so an estimated increase – when compared to the current budgets of the actions it aimed to replace – of around 465 millions.
Entering the EU budget negotiations with such a reinforced position for culture can only be positive, but we still have to make sure that the initial EC proposal develops into operational instruments that serve the needs of all actors of the cultural sector. First of all, the proposed budget increase will, without doubt, be seriously challenged in the months to come by a number of Member States that will be fighting hard to reduce the overall EU budget altogether. Second of all, the ‘Creative Europe’ programme is very much presented at the moment as a tool for the cultural and creative industries only, with objectives that, almost exclusively, focus on economic growth. This narrow view on our diverse sector raises a lot of questions, and will ask for strong advocacy actions and demands in the months to come. Finally, we will have to actively engage in the Structural Funds negotiations at EU, national and regional levels, to make sure that support to culture is properly earmarked in the next generation of Structural Funds.
The we are more campaign has prepared a first formal statement on the EC budget proposal that we will now distribute widely to EU and national policymakers. We will also continue to monitor and give qualitative input in the next steps of the budget negotiations, like the preparation by the EC of the detailed ‘Creative Europe’ proposal to be published by the end of the year, the negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council on the overall budget framework, and the adoption of the Structural Funds guidelines. For this purpose, members of Culture Action Europe will also receive shortly a deeper analysis of the EC budget proposal.
More than 18.000 people (and counting!) have already signed the campaign manifesto. Now is the time to capitalize on our efforts so far to influence the political decisions in the upcoming months in a positive and concrete way! Help us make European decision-makers, national governments and local and regional politicians aware of our demands – send our statement to your Minister of Culture, your local and regional authorities, or your national MEPs now!
When sending the formal statement, why not also take the opportunity to ask for a meeting to present the campaign? Would you like to support the campaign but still feel a bit unsure of what arguments to use? Our new campaign advocacy tool is here to the rescue! The newly produced Message book provides you with key arguments and solid facts to back them up. Apart from a campaign pitch and statistics, the Message book also includes a EU jargon glossary and a selection of further reading. So far, the Message book is only available in English – please do not hesitate to contact us if you are willing to help us with translation to different languages – your support will be most appreciated!
Thank you very much for helping us show that civil society cares about the future of public funding for culture, heritage and the arts - let’s keep up the positive energy and continue to mobilise together!
With warm regards,
The Culture Action Europe team
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Culture Action Europe is funded with support from the European
Commission and the European Cultural Foundation. This communication
reflects the views of Culture Action Europe and the Commission cannot
be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information
contained therein. we are more is a Europe-wide arts advocacy campaign
set up by Culture Action Europe in strategic partnership with the European
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