Preliminary overview of the next EU funding programmes for culture

 Three children are engaging with a museum display, by turning a steering wheel. In the background is a tractor.

NEMO has summarised preliminary information concerning the upcoming EU funding programmes that are relevant to museums. The programmes will be part of the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which lasts from 2021-2027.

Although we are already one month into 2021, the final decisions on the budget and the specific funding strands are not likely to be taken until Spring 2021. However, the current drafts are not likely to be changed. Thanks to an excellent report by Creative Europe Desk DE, NEMO is able to provide a preliminary overview of the most relevant funding strands for museums. As soon as new information is released, NEMO will update its dedicated funding page.

Due to the current pandemic, the next MFF is supplemented by Next Generation EU (NGEU), an additional budget for Europe’s recovery. That means that additionally to the MFF, which consist of 1074.3 billion euro, the NGEU provides 750 billion euro, resulting in an overall EU household of 1.8 trillion euro for next seven years.

The budgets are fixed in prices from 2018.

Creative Europe

With an estimated budget of 2.24 billion euro, Creative Europe aims to support cultural diversity and cultural heritage in Europe as well as to increase the competitiveness of the Cultural and Creative Sector.

Creative Europe is the only EU programme specifically dedicated to the cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors. It promotes the European cooperation between cultural organisations and the protection of common European cultural heritage and cultural diversity in Europe. The new Creative Europe programme increase of 800 million euro in comparison with the previous funding period. It is still divided into three sub-programmes:

  • Culture
  • Cross-sectoral strand

The four main CULTURE funding schemes as known from the previous programme will be continued:

  • Cooperation projects: Support to cooperation between at least three different organisations from the different eligible countries.
  • Networks: Support to networks which represent a cultural sector and which help building capacity in their field.
  • Platforms: Support to platforms which facilitate the access to the European market for emerging talents.
  • Literary Translation: Support to publishers and publishing houses for the translation of European literature

Erasmus +

With an estimated budget of 23.4 billion euro, Erasmus + aims to foster the access and quality of formal and non-formal education as well as to facilitate mobility across Europe.

Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme for education addressing a wide range of formal and non-formal educational fields. The main priority is to promote lifelong and inclusive learning across Europe. Museums are often mentioned in connection to Erasmus+ since they, together with other cultural institutions, provide valuable informal learning opportunities.

Horizon Europe

With an estimated budget of 79.9 billion euro, Horizon Europe aims at supporting European research and innovation as well as increasing Europe’s competitiveness.

Horizon Europe is the main EU funding instrument dedicated to research and innovation. It is divided into three pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Excellent Science
  • Pillar 2: Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness
  • Pillar 3: Innovative Europe

All three pillars are relevant to culture, but especially the second pillar is of interest since it introduces culture, creativity and inclusive societies composed by three priorities:

  • Enhancing democracy and governance
  • Culture, cultural heritage and creativity
  • Management of social and economic transformations

EU Structural Funds

In the previous Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU Structural Funds consisted of five different funds that all provide different kinds of funding opportunities for museums and the cultural sector at large. We have found updates on three out of the five funds.

  • European regional development fund: 226.9 billion euro. This fund aims to support cohesion policies and sustainable and inclusive regional development.
  • European social fund+: 87,319 billion euro. This fund aims to build a more social and inclusive Europe.
  • European agricultural fund for rural development: 77.850 billion euro. This fund aims to support sustainable and inclusive rural development.
  • Cohesion fund: Not mentioned.
  • European maritime and fisheries fund: Not mentioned.

Find more information and more funding programmes in the full report by the Creative Europe Desk DE.