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Impact of the EU Budget Decreases on Culture and Education Still Unclear

26 February 2013

On 11 February Culture Action Europe released a statement that "Political blindness prevailed over more farsighted positions when European national leaders agreed to severe cuts to the EU 2014-2020 budget." Despite this bleak prognosis the ultimate impact of EU budget decreases on culture and education still remain unclear.

On 8 February, the heads of state and government of all EU member states (European Council) reached an agreement on the EU's long-term budget. The agreement means that the overall EU budget, for the first time ever, will decrease. However, the member states recognised the importance of education, training, research and innovation for jobs and growth and the allocation for this area is proposed to increase compared to the current levels.

The suggested allocation for the "Creative Europe programme" supporting cultural and creative industries – a high contributor to jobs and growth in Europe – would still mean an increase, compared with the budget 2007 – 2013. While the agreement between member states is an important step towards a final budget decision it is by no means the last step. The new budget proposal will now be discussed in the European Parliament before it is put to a final vote in a few months' time. In the meantime, the Commission will take into account this new budget allocation proposal and come up with suggestions how the available funds could be concretely divided among the funding programmes.For an overview of the budget decisions visit euractiv.com

Culture Action Europe issued a critical statement about the cuts as a result of the recent Council agreement to the EU 2014-2020 budget. Based on available information, the result for Heading 3, which provides funding for citizenship, culture, rights, security, etc., represents an increase compared to the 2007-13 EU budget but at the same time a reduction by 15% of the European Commission’s proposal. As a whole, Heading 3 represents less than 1,8% of the overall EU budget. Yet it has an important future oriented significance, symbolically and practically. Cuts in this heading have no serious impact on the EU budget; it is simply a mistake, a sign of passivity and panic. See the full statement on the Culture Action Europe webpage.

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