Business News Legal

Creators call on EU leaders to properly support COVID-hit cultural industries

By | Published on Wednesday 15 July 2020

European Commission

As political leaders from across the European Union head to Brussels this Friday to discuss a COVID-19 response plan and a new long-term EU budget, 45 leading cultural figures from across Europe have called for more to be done to support and protect the creative industries.

Among those signing an open letter to the political leaders are music-makers like Aga Zaryan, Benny Andersson, Björk, Evelyn Glennie, Jean-Michel Jarre, Maryla Rodowicz and MØ.

Recapping the impact the COVID-19 shutdown has had on the creative and cultural industries across the continent, the letter declares that “European culture is in the midst of a crisis”, adding that: “How decision-makers choose to respond now will set the scene for the next decade of cultural and creative life in our union”.

It goes on: “Cultural and creative sectors are Europe’s third largest employer. Meaning the economic consequences of a stagnant sector have reached far beyond the realm of culture. But, despite such a diminished cultural landscape, it is to culture that we have all turned during this time of great personal and societal adversity”.

“It is music that has brought us together on balconies, films and TV series that have entertained us, documentaries, books, performances, pieces of art that have all truly comforted us in our solitude and helped us to escape intellectually and creatively”.

Focusing in on the current challenge and future prospects, the letter continues: “Despite strong messages from leaders of the European Union that our sectors would be firmly supported, the current proposals for a recovery plan and a European budget strangely fail to consider the needs of the cultural and creative sectors. As creators and professionals from the sector, we call on the EU leaders to be bold and to invest in culture and the arts, to invest in all our creative futures”.

“We need a plan that revives our cultural ecosystem and inspires the next generation of Europeans”, it argues. “This means providing the financial resources at a level which will allow art, culture, cultural and creative enterprises, creators and creative workers to continue their work, to survive and thrive into the future. This is an opportunity for the EU to amply demonstrate that it can honour its values. The time is now for Europe to be ambitious and invest in its creative future”.

You can read the full letter on IMPALA’s website here.