PRESS RELEASE: EU Ministers of Culture videoconference

GESAC issued the following press release in response to the videoconference between EU states’ Ministers of Culture and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

The release features our recommendations on steps forward to ensure creators and the broader creative sector can recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.





EU Ministers of Culture videoconference: GESAC urges use of available resources for creators and ambitious budget


GESAC welcomes the initiative to bring together EU states’ Ministers of Culture for the second time, in a videoconference on the 19 May, to discuss the best way to respond to COVID-19 and support the full recovery of the cultural and creative sectors.

We welcome Commissioner Gabriel’s efforts to ensure multiple resources are available for Member States. Adoption of temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE) is a very significant development following the previously approved structural funds and relaxation of state aid rules.

We now urge Member States to take the concrete steps to make the most of the resources at their disposal for the cultural and creative sector, and we further urge them to ensure that funding and support reaches individual creators as well. It is essential that the creators, who are at the heart of the creative sector, especially those who continue to suffer the most during this economic crisis, be eligible for the use of afforementined funds at national level.

Looking forward, the pending multiannual financial framework (MFF) will be crucial in testing the EU’s long-term commitment to Europe’s creative sector. While current efforts provide some welcome relief, the European Commission must be ambitious in its budgetary plans for culture. In particular, it must foresee culture as an ecosystem under the recovery plan, which can include a “solidarity fund” for Europe’s creators to ensure immediate help to those most vulnerable, in addition to more sustainable and long-term measures for the businesses and SMEs in the sector.

GESAC’s General Manager, Véronique Desbrosses, says: “We look forward to seeing the concrete action Member States undertake in order to fully utilise available resources. GESAC and its members will follow-up and collaborate with national governments, where possible, to ensure their proper utilisation.

On behalf of more than one million creators in Europe, we also urge the European Commission to further these steps it has already taken and commit to a cultural recovery plan, with a creators focus that can include a dedicated solidarity fund for them.

Expansion of the Creative Europe budget, the Horizon Programme’s cultural strand and InvestEU have been useful for the sector for a long time and they are even more important now. This crisis has highlighted the fragility of our cultural and creative sector, but also its importance to the unity of societies across the European Union, as well as the European economy.”

She adds: “We are also encouraged by the careful note of the Presidency, Member States and the Commission on the necessity of quick and faithful transpositions of the newly adopted Copyright Directives to ensure a solid framework in which our sector can further develop.”