New funds should reach creative sectors immediately

CULT Chair: "It is imperative that businesses and individuals in the cultural sector get access to this financial support"

Photo: EP Sabine Verheyen

During the special plenary session on Thursday, MEPs approved with overwhelming majority the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, proposed by the Commission. In a statement Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE), Chair of the Culture and Education Committee commented how the funds can help the cultural and creative sectors, that indeed have been ravaged by the impact of stringent public health measures.

Once approved by Council , the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative adopted yesterday – will free up a total of €37bn to help efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic ramifications of the essential public health measures that have been put in place, Sabine Verheyen, pointed out. “This is welcome news, if only the beginning of the response. The cultural and creative sectors across Europe have been ravaged by the impact of stringent public health measures, with concerts cancelled, theatres, museums and cinemas closed, and film and television production halted. The list, sadly, goes on," she underscored.

The CULT Chair emphasized that under the initiative, EU countries will be able to use money from the Structural Funds to support small businesses and employment schemes. It is imperative that businesses and individuals in the cultural and creative sector ‑ whose livelihoods are under existential threat – get access to this financial support, she stressed adding: "My message to Member States is clear – this money must reach them immediately".

She welcomed as well the Commission's swift responses to Member State requests for derogations from state aid rules to support struggling businesses. Once again, cultural and creative businesses are among those struggling the most and they need financial support now, Sabine Verheyen said and urged Member States to ensure that financial support at national level reaches them.

"The Committee on Culture and Education stands with the cultural and creative sector in these difficult times. We will continue to monitor developments closely and do everything we can to mobilise further support for these critical sectors", reads also the CULT Chair statement.

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