Back in September 2023, NEMO and 70 other cultural organisations co-signed a letter of concern issued by Culture Action Europe regarding the proposed 40 million budget cut of the 2024 Creative Europe programme. It is with great relief that NEMO can report that the European Parliament has taken a clear stance in favour of a budget increase, rather than a decrease.
At its plenary on 18 October, the European Parliament reversed the cuts initially proposed by the Council in its negotiating text. In July 2023, EU governments in the Council proposed 772 million euros less in funding for programmes next year, which resulted in a highly criticised cut of 40 million euros to Creative Europe out of the roughly 310 million committed by the Commission. The budget was already due to decrease in 2024 compared to the first period (2021-2023) of the 7-year financial framework because of the front-loaded nature of the budget, agreed upon in late 2020 as a way to help the cultural and creative sectors get out of the pandemic.
In paragraph 37 of its motion for resolution, the European Parliament suggested increased funding for the Creative Europe programme, the only EU funding scheme for transnational cultural cooperation, since it “fosters media literacy, combats disinformation, promotes media freedom and pluralism as the basis for a functioning democracy.” When also considering the “soaring energy prices and inflation” that “have had a significant impact on the cultural and creative sectors, which are often made up of small organisations and individual artists”, Members of the European Parliament propose to “increase financing for the Creative Europe programme by 25 million” above the draft budget as prepared by the Commission in June. If this position goes through in the talks with the Council, 15 million would go to the Culture strand and 10 million to the cross-sectoral strand.