Propping up cultural sector affected by the lockdown

How the current pandemic affects the cultural and creative sectors and possible measures for alleviating negative effects of the crisis, were among the main topics during the video conference of the EU Ministers of Culture, held on Wednesday afternoon. 

The session was led by Croatian Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek. Given the importance of these sectors, at the sitting took part Věra Jourová, EC VP for Values and Transparency, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth and Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market.

During the talks, the ministers and the commissioners exchange views on the different rescue measures implemented nationally in order to mitigate the destructive impacts of the crisis and on measures that should be taken at the European level. These sectors were among the first severely hit by the lockdowns on public life across Europe.

After the end of the meeting, Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek underscored that the discussion showed that all Member States have undertaken the necessary steps in order to help artists, cultural workers, cultural institutions and companies in the cultural and creative industries in situation when cultural events are being postponed or cancelled. We also discussed how the public consumes cultural content on various online platforms during the isolation and we are all faced with the same challenges, she said.

The minister also said that during the talks was highlighted the role the journalists in this crisis situation in particular in the fight against the fake news and was outlined the need to extend the measures for support of cultural and creative sectors as to assist media and journalists.

In a similar vein, VP Vera Jourová emphasised the importance of the media sector, professional work of journalists and the responsibility of the media to prevent fake news and disinformation.

Commissioner Thierry Breton outlined a number of measures already taken for the internal market and noted that the media and audiovisual industry are playing a very important role during the crisis, emphasising the need for the immediate action.

Commissioner Gabriel informed ministers about the activities already launched by the EC in the cultural and creative sectors focused on minimising the negative consequences of the pandemic for the citizens.

Along with the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, SURE instrument, the Temporary framework for State aid measures, culture professionals can benefit from Creative Europe Programme. The application deadlines under the current schemes were extended and the evaluation procedures accelerated.

The Commission plans special measures to support cinemas, and also is preparing a €2m scheme to prop up the cross-border dimension of the performing arts. There will be additional funding for translation of books.

Together with Commissioner Breton, we will work to optimise the parameters of the Guarantee Tool for the cultural and creative industries so that it offers better conditions for lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, Commissioner Gabriel pointed out.

The ministers welcomed her idea for creation of a platform for the sharing of good practices by Member States in support of the cultural sector during the crisis. The commissioner will organise also a videoconference with people from the cultural and creative sectors in order to create a platform for sharing common solutions.



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