Europe Commission proposes 37 percent increase in cultural spending

Posted on: July 2, 2012

In Monday’s (7/2) Art Newspaper, Emily Sharpe reports, “Europe’s cultural heritage is to get a major boost from the European Commission. According to Androulla Vassiliou, the commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, the committee has proposed that the European Union earmark €1.8bn for culture, including restoration projects, over the next seven years, beginning in 2014. This is a 37% increase from the funds currently allotted. … Part of the ‘Creative Europe’ plan, the proposed increase in funding includes new provisions for loans for small creative industries. ‘Credit is one of the biggest issues for small industries,’ Vassiliou said, adding that 4.5% of the EU’s GDP comes from the cultural sector. ‘Cultural heritage is an essential part of our history—our shared history,’ said Vassiliou. ‘It belongs to all of us and we have a duty to our children and our grandchildren to protect it.’ She also stressed the importance of economic tourism: ‘Around 40% of international tourism is related to culture—it’s what makes Europe a top tourist destination.’ The president of Europa Nostra, the renowned Spanish tenor and conductor Plácido Domingo, echoed Vassiliou’s views on tourism. ‘Tourism is important in our economy and therefore, it is fully justified for the EU to invest funds [in it]. Culture is by no means second, even during an economic crisis,’ he said.”

Posted July 2, 2012