At a time when museums, cinemas, theatres, all start to reopen, we reiterate our support for the arts. €2.4 billion in EU funding will help our cultural and creative sectors bounce back from the crisis – more competitive, inclusive & digital than before! #EuropeForCulture

The Commission has launched new actions to support the cultural and creative sectors in Europe and beyond, following the adoption of the work programme for the first year of the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme. In 2021, Creative Europe will allocate an unprecedented budget of around €300 million to help professionals and artists from all cultural sectors to collaborate across disciplines and borders, in order to find more opportunities and to reach new audiences. Today’s adoption lays the foundations for the first calls for proposals under the new programme. These calls will be open to all organisations active in the relevant cultural and creative sectors. The total programme budget of €2.4 billion over seven years has increased by 63% compared to the previous one. Creative Europe also aims to increase the competitiveness of cultural sectors, while supporting their efforts to become greener, more digital and more inclusive. Special attention is given to reinforcing the resilience and recovery of the cultural and creative sectors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “Over 8 million people across the EU work in a cultural activity. Culture knows no borders and no nationalities. Art represents a window to the world and contributes to building bridges among all of us. At a time when museums, cinemas, cultural heritage sites, theatres, all start to reopen, I want to reiterate the Commission’s support for the cultural and creative sectors. With an increased budget, Creative Europe will strive to reinforce the recovery of the sectors while promoting the immense diversity and creativity that they offer us.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “Artistic and creative expression is at the heart of the cultural and creative industries and of our European identity. The reinvigorated Creative Europe programme will give a boost to European stories that resonate globally, and nurture Europe’s creators, producers, distributors and exhibitors, so badly hit by the pandemic. By supporting collaboration across the value chain and linguistic borders, as well as new innovative business models, MEDIA will bolster a vibrant and culturally diverse audiovisual ecosystem. For the first time, and at a time of growing threats to media pluralism, Creative Europe will also promote a healthy and sustainable news media sector across the Union.  

The Creative Europe programme in 2021 sets out common goals for the cultural and creative sectors. It puts a stronger emphasis on transnational creation, global circulation and promotion of European works, innovation across sectors, and ease of funding access through higher EU co-financing rates. All funded actions and projects should respect gender equality and the EU’s environmental commitments in the design and implementation of their activities.

Within Creative Europe, the MEDIA sub-programme supports the development and distribution of films and audiovisual works with international appeal, in Europe and beyond. It contributes to the nurturing of talents, and manages targeted actions to enhance media literacy, pluralism and freedom. The programme will continue to promote European cultural and linguistic diversity.

Actions covered by Creative Europe include:

  • A scheme to support the translation of literary works and the development of publishing partnerships;
  • EU Prizes in the fields of literature, music, architecture and cultural heritage, as well as the European Capitals of Culture and European Heritage Label initiatives;
  • Strengthening the accessibility and visibility of European audiovisual works across platforms and borders;
  • Creative Innovation Lab – encouraging innovative approaches to content creation, distribution, and promotion across different sectors;
  • Promotion of media literacy, pluralism and freedom, as European values.


The cultural and creative sectors have always been a rich facet of European life, contributing not only to Europe’s social cohesion and diversity, but also its economy – representing 4.2% of the EU’s total GDP and 3.7% of the EU’s workforce.

In 2014, EU support to the cultural and creative sectors was consolidated into a stand-alone funding programme – the Creative Europe programme. The programme has since consisted of three strands: the CULTURE strand covers all areas of the cultural and creative sectors except the audiovisual and news media sectors; the MEDIA strand provides support for the audiovisual and film sectors; and the CROSS-SECTORAL strand provides opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration.

Some 41 countries participated in the 2014-2020 Creative Europe programme, which provided over 13,000 grants, each of which benefitted several organisations. It co-financed 647 cultural cooperation projects between 3,760 organisations across Europe, training for over 16,000 professionals, the development and/or distribution of over 5,000 films, the operations of 1,144 cinemas, and the translation of 3,500 books all over Europe.

For More Information

Creative Europe 2021-2027 factsheet

Creative Europe 2021 annual work programme