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Brussels Tips #5

European Culture Programme: Policy and Penny

It is only since 1992, year of the Maastricht Treaty, one of the jurisdictional pillars of the EU, that Europe is speaking about culture.

The European Commission deals with culture in two ways: first developing policies, mainly cultural policy, but also by mainstreaming the cultural dimension in other areas of EU interest such as for instance in competition or industrial policy.Secondly through financial support, primarily via the Culture Programme (2007-2013), which will be substituted in 2014 with the new Creative Europe Programme (2014-2020).

European policies are marked by key words. Up until 2013, the European Agenda for Culture sets three guiding concepts: cultural diversity and dialogue, culture as catalyst of creativity and innovation and culture as a vital element of EU’s international relations.

Starting from 2014 Creative Europe will set the new parameters for culture according to the new three general targets: grow smart, grow sustainable, grow inclusive! But this is an other story…

In this Commission Report (don’t expect a funny presentation….it is still a EC report) you will find a good synthesis of all what has been done from 2007 up to 2010 and how single Member States have been shaping their policies and actions according to the first set of goals. 

Words are important, but quite useless without money. So, let’s have a look on recent trends in European financial support to culture.

Just to set an order of magnitude, the total budget for Culture Programme was 400 millions €, while the 2011 nest egg amounted approximately to 60 millions €.

Just to give you some numbers, last year 36 countries took part to it and 1479 cultural organisations were reached in total. The Executive Agency received 1,509 applications: an extraordinary data if we think that they were 79,2% higher than the 842 received in 2010.

What is impressive is that Italy, surprisingly enough,  is by far the most active country in terms of applications to EU cultural funds: did you know thatItaly alone accounts for more than 12% of all applications (followed byFrance with 9% while the provenance of the remaining 79% is relatively evenly spread)? This record is not however reconfirmed if we talk about selected projects: in this case,Italy accounts just for 5% of 2011 granted projects.

You can check all Culture Programme 2011 selection results here, or have a look to the official statistics in the Activity Report 2011.

Let’s stay tuned…I will keep you up to date with new Creative Europe policy and funding framework soon!

A BAM! cultural spy from Brussels

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