Open Letter to Commissioners Breton and Gentiloni to urge for appropriate support via InvestEU

To: Commissioner Breton, Internal Market, and Commissioner Gentiloni, Economy, European Commission

 

Dear Commissioner Breton,

Dear Commissioner Gentiloni,

  

We are writing regarding InvestEU 2021-2027.    

As organisations from the cultural and creative sector, we are very concerned that the proposed severe cuts to the EU’s flagship investment programme could have a dramatic impact on the ability of Europe’s cultural and creative businesses to access much needed affordable debt and equity financing.  

With this letter, we urge the EU to ensure that the cultural and creative sector will benefit from an appropriate level of support via InvestEU.

The European Parliament recently called for 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to be earmarked for the cultural and creative sector[1]. In the same vein, a set percentage of the future InvestEU fund should be earmarked for the sector. At the very least, the budget allocated for the sector should match the budget of the existing Cultural and Creative Sector Guarantee Facility (CCS GF).

The CCS GF, which was launched in 2016 and is managed by the European Investment Fund, is a very successful instrument. It is in high demand from the sector and has a demonstrated leverage effect of public resources. Its initial budget has already been more than doubled (to €250m today).

As the CCS GF is being moved out of Creative Europe, InvestEU is meant to continue facilitating access to finance for cultural and creative businesses, especially via its SME policy window. As part of the EU’s response to the Covid crisis, InvestEU is also supposed to “provide crucial support to companies in the recovery phase (…)”[2].

Cultural and creative businesses have important investment needs. It is now well established that culture and creativity are among Europe’s strongest assets, accounting for 4,4% of EU GDP and 12 million jobs. But these sectors remain structurally underfinanced. The financing gap for creative SMEs across Europe is estimated at between €8bn and €13bn by the European Commission[3]

Access to affordable debt and equity financing was already needed before the pandemic, and it is even more essential today as the cultural and creative sector is one of the hardest hit by the Covid crisis.

For these reasons, we call on the EU to preserve this innovative way of generating investment for cultural and creative businesses by ensuring that a suitable budget is earmarked for our industry in the InvestEU fund.

 

Yours sincerely,

The signatories:

 

  1. AER – Association of European Radios
  2. Animation Europe
  3. Culture Action Europe
  4. CEDC – European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity
  5. CEPI – European Audiovisual Production
  6. CEPIC – Centre of the Picture Industry
  7. EFA – European Festivals Association
  8. EGDF - European Games Developer Federation
  9. EIBF – European and International Booksellers Federation
  10. EMC – European Music Council
  11. EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange
  12. Eurocinema
  13. ETC - European Theatre Convention
  14. FEP – Federation of European Publishers
  15. FIAD – The International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations
  16. FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations
  17. GESAC – European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers
  18. ICMP – The Global Voice of Music Publishing
  19. IFTA – Independent Film and Television Alliance
  20. IVF – International Video Federation
  21. IMPALA – The Independent Music Companies Association
  22. IMPF – The Independent Music Publishers International Forum
  23. LiveDMA – European network for live music venues, clubs & festivals
  24. Liveurope – The live music platform for new European talent
  25. Pearle* – Live Performance Europe
  26. UNIC – International Union of Cinemas

 

[1] European Parliament Resolution on the cultural recovery of Europe, adopted on 17 September 2020 : https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2020-0239_EN.pdf

[2] European Commission Communication « The EU Budget powering the recovery plan of Europe », May 2020 :

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0442

[3] European Commission Impact assessment accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation establishing the InvestEU Programme, May 2018 :  

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/budget-may2018-investeu-impact-assessment_en.pdf

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