Creative Europe

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The dedicated programme for audiovisual and news media sectors

The main goal of the Creative Europe programme is to promote, strengthen and protect European cultural and linguistic diversity, cultural heritage and creativity, as well as the competitiveness of Europe's cultural and creative sectors. Culture plays a pivotal role in addressing key societal and economic challenges, especially in promoting active citizenship, common values, wellbeing, innovation, economic growth and job creation.
The Creative Europe programme includes a MEDIA strand to support the European audiovisual industry, a CULTURE strand to promote other European cultural and creative sectors, and a CROSS-SECTORAL strand to support actions spanning across the audiovisual and other cultural and creative sectors.

Budget 2021-2027 Current budget
Overall: €2.4 billion Overall: €1.46 billion
MEDIA: €1.081 billion MEDIA: €820 million
Culture: €609 million Culture: €450 million
Cross-sectorial strand: €160 million Cross-sectorial strand: €190 million

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?

Internationalisation and networking

  • Increased cross-border cooperation for culture operators
  • Increased funding for European cultural networks
  • Learning via residencies in cultural organisations abroad


  • Focus on innovative story-telling and Virtual Reality
  • Network of Video-on-Demand platforms
  • Support more cinemas featuring EU movies
  • Pan-European distribution strategies
  • Develop more successful European works
  • Create a directory of European movies
  • Create a network of European festivals
  • Invest in 5.000 audiovisual professionals
  • Work with updated rules for audiovisual media

International promotion of EU creative works

  • International marketing, branding and promotion of European works
  • Increased presence of European works in international festivals
  • Increased international networking for young creative entrepreneurs


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The programme for education, training, youth and sport

The Erasmus+ programme provides opportunities for education, training, young people and sport in Europe, enabling millions of Europeans to study, train or learn abroad while broadening their experience and awareness of Europe, and increasing the future chances on the job market. A double funding for the 2012-2027 period will boost the programme's effectiveness in building a European Education Area by 2025, empowering young people and promoting a European identity through youth, education and culture. The new programme will enable:

  • More people to engage in knowledge exchange and international cooperation;
  • Better outreach to disadvantaged people through new formats such as virtual exchanges and shorter learning periods abroad;
  • Better outreach to small and grassroots organisations, so participants can set up small-scale partnerships (creating shorter projects involving lower sums of money and simpler administrative requirements);
  • The development of 'Centres of vocational excellence' — establishments offering vocational education and training that will act as drivers of excellence and innovation in this field;
  • Cooperation among European universities located in different Member States to establish networks of 'European Universities' in order to increase their quality, performance and attractivity.
Budget 2021-2027 Current budget
Overall: €26.2 billion Overall: €14.7 billion
(opportunities for 12 million people) (opportunities for 4 million people)

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?

Skills acquisition

More opportunities to benefit from training to acquire digital skills needed for the deployment of new technologies, including related to artificial intelligence and augmented/virtual reality. In the field of digital skills, the Digital Europe Programme will complement the wide approach of Erasmus+.

Experience abroad

Increased mobility opportunities to individuals in various sectors of activity, including the creative industries to have a learning experience abroad allowing them, at any stage of their life, to grow and develop professionally.

Horizon Europe

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The next research and innovation framework programme

Horizon Europe is the EU scientific research initiative meant to succeed the current Horizon2020 programme. Its general aim is to deliver scientific, technological, economic and societal impact from the Union's investments in research and innovation, to strengthen the scientific and technological bases of the Union, and foster its competitiveness in all Member States. Horizon Europe has three pillars:

  • Excellent Science Pillar: supports frontier research projects, funds fellowships and mobility of researchers, invest in world-class research infrastructures;
  • Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness Pillar: supports research into societal challenges, reinforces technological and industrial capacities, and sets EU-wide missions tackling issues such as: health, climate change, clean energy, mobility, security, digital, materials;
  • Innovative Europe Pillar: develops the overall European innovation landscape with a focus on market-creating innovation and SME growth.
Budget 2021-2027 Current budget
Overall: €95.5 billion Overall: € 80 billion

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?


Via the European Innovation Council: Increased opportunities to develop promising ideas and breakthrough innovation in any economic sector and help the most innovative start-ups and companies to scale up.

Importance of storytelling and new media

Opportunity to contribute (via innovative stories and new media solutions, such as interactive animations, video games, augmented realities) to the key missions taken forward by the new Horizon Europe. Audiovisual and News media industries can be powerful tools in guiding the process of connecting citizens with science and public policies in the areas of climate change adaptation, smart cities and climate-neutral activities.

Digital Europe

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The programme for the digitalisation of economy

Digital Europe is the new EU programme aiming to build the strategic digital capacities of the Union and to facilitate the wide deployment of digital technologies, to be used by Europe's citizens and its businesses. It is meant as a step forward from the Digital Single Market Strategy which aimed to create the legal framework for an overall digitisation of the EU. The Digital Europe Programme will shape and support the digital transformation of Europe's society and economy. Digital Europe will invest its budget for the deployment of innovative digital technologies in five key areas:

  • Supercomputing: financing world class European supercomputers and connecting them to business around Europe through national competence centres;
  • Artificial Intelligence: financing the advancement of AI applications, including testing facilities in order to put AI at the service of EU citizens and economy;
  • Cybersecurity: investing in quantum secured public communication infrastructure, knowledge and capacity, setting up a European Cybersecurity certificate;
  • Advanced Digital Skills: supporting long and short-term training activities for advanced digital skills by higher education institutions and professional certification bodies;
  • Deployment: of these digital technologies across the economy and society.

Budget for 2021-2027: €9.2 billion

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?


  • New opportunity to focus on adapting to the digital shift, by partly or completely shifting business activities to digital spaces;
  • Increased opportunities for acquiring digital skills, relevant in particular for incorporating new digital technologies (such as AI/VR) into filming practices, or incorporating AI techniques into digital media platforms.

InvestEU Programme

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A 'one-stop shop' for all EU's financing instruments

The InvestEU Programme aims to give an additional boost to investment, innovation and job creation in Europe. It brings together, under one roof, the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 EU financial instruments currently available, including the Loan Guarantee Facility and Equity facility for Growth under COSME, Connecting Europe Facility Debt Instrument and Equity Instrument, InnovFin Equity and SME Guarantee, Student Loan Guarantee Facility and the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility. By using an EU budget guarantee to crowd-in other investors, the InvestEU Fund will give an added boost to investment in the EU. InvestEU is expected to mobilise at least €650 billion in additional investment between 2021 and 2027. The InvestEU Fund will support four main thematic areas for investment:

  • Sustainable Infrastructure (€9.9 billion): financing projects in sustainable energy, digital connectivity, transport, circular economy, water, waste and other environment infrastructure;
  • Research, Innovation and Digitization (€6.6 billion): financing projects in research and innovation, taking research results to the market, digitization of industry, scaling up innovative companies, artificial intelligence;
  • Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs)(€6.9 billion): facilitating access to finance for SMEs and small mid-cap companies;
  • Social Investment and Skills (€2.8 billion): financing projects in skills, education, training, social housing, schools, universities, social innovation, healthcare, microfinance, social enterprise, integration of migrants, refugees and more.

Investment trigger for 2021-2027: €650 billion

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?

A wide palette of financing instruments

  • Increased opportunities to obtain EU-backed financed in a variety of shapes: microfinance, gap financing, equity investment;
  • Increased opportunities to finance a wide variety of activities from idea and product development, to product deployment to new markets and overall activity scale-up;
  • The dedicated EU Guarantee facility for Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS GF) facilitates financing for businesses and projects in the creative industries. The audiovisual and news media sectors make for an important share of previously financed activities within the CCS GF.

Single Market Programme

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Strengthening the European Union's internal market

The Single Market Programme is the new EU programme which aims to empower and protect consumers, and enable Europe's many SMEs to take full advantage of the Single Market. The new programme will strengthen the governance of the EU's internal market. It will support businesses' and in particular SMEs' competitiveness and will promote human, animal and plant health and animal welfare, as well as establish the framework for financing European statistics. The new Single Market Programme will support six main policy areas:

  • Competitiveness: building on the success of the current programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME), the new programme will strengthen the support given to small business to scale up and expand across borders;
  • Consumer protection: the programme will guarantee the enforcement of consumer rights, ensure a high level of consumer protection and product safety and assist consumers when they encounter problems, for example when shopping online;
  • Food safety: funding will support the safe production of food, the prevention and eradication of animal diseases and plant pests, and the improvement of animal welfare in the EU;
  • Effective standards: the programme will strengthen cooperation between EU countries and the Commission to ensure that EU rules are properly implemented and enforced;
  • Effective Digital Single Market: the programme will help the Commission to further enhance its IT tools and expertise that it uses to effectively enforce competition rules in the digital economy (i.e. to respond to market developments such as the use of big data and algorithms);
  • European statistics: funding will support national statistics institutes for the production and dissemination of European statistics which are indispensable for decision-making in all policy areas.

Budget for 2021-2027: € 4 billion

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?

SME growth

  • Increased opportunities for businesses to grow, internationalise and innovate via the Enterprise Europe Network which provides an integrated package of advice to SMEs in all sectors, including audiovisual and news media, on how to scale-up and enter new markets;
  • The programme will also manage the SME Window available under the InvestEU fund, which will make available debt and equity financing.

Next Generation EU

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Europe's moment: Repare and prepare for the next generation

The Next Generation EU package is the major recovery plan proposed by the European Commission to immediately address the socio-economic damage created by the COVID-19 pandemic and to start building a more resilient, sustainable and healthier society capable of better facing future global health and economic threats. The proposal aims to boost the long-term budget of the European Union for 2021-2027 (earmarked at €1100 billion - 2018 prices). In July the European Commission borrowed €750 billion (at 2018 prices) on the financial markets to fund the Next Generation EU package over the next 3 to 6 years. Next Generation EU will be channelled through existing EU programmes and a number of new instruments:

  • The new Recovery and Resilience Facility (€ 672.5 billion) offers financial support for investments and reforms undertaken by the EU Member States. Its main aim is to help achieve an economic and social recovery and resilience and convergence, especially against the background of the green and digital transitions.
  • The new REACT-EU initiative (€ 47.5 billion): a top-up of the Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 funding programmes through Structural and Investment Funds, making the latter the highest single-policy grant instrument in the EU budget;
  • An additional €10 billion through the Just Transition Fund to assist regions with a heavy dependency on energy production and the extractive industries to address the social consequences of transition to a greener economy;
  • An additional €7.5 billion through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to support rural areas and farmers in making the structural changes necessary to implement the European Green Deal;
  • An additional €5.6 billion through the InvestEU to provide crucial support to enterprises in the recovery phase and support the EU in its long-term green and digital transition;
  • An additional €5 billion through Horizon Europe to provide valuable support to top researchers and innovators to drive the systemic changes needed to ensure a green, healthy and resilient Europe;
  • An additional €1.9 billion through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism to enhance both the protection of citizens from disasters and the management of emerging risks.

Budget for 2021-2024: € 750 billion

How can audiovisual and news media sectors benefit in 2021-2027?

Opportunities at regional level

A large part of the Next Generation EU budget will be managed at national levels through the Recovery and Resilience Facility and through the REACT-EU initiative. The latter delivers on a strengthened Cohesion Policy to support workers and SMEs, health systems and society's green and digital transition. As a cross-sectorial initiative, it presents important opportunities for the creative industries.
Over the past years, the creative industries have increasingly benefited from regional investment under the Cohesion Policy via the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) which are its main financial instrument. Regions need to create development strategies by identifying strategic areas for intervention - the so-called Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3). These strategies can channel support for the audiovisual and news media sectors to enable them to contribute to a number of key objectives, such as competitiveness of SMEs, improving access to culture, digitisation of services, sustainable tourism infrastructure and ICT etc.
Below are 3 examples of strategies developed around audiovisual and news media sectors in different regions across Europe:

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

S3 Priority: Media and creative industries

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to vibrant film and gaming industries and a strong publishing and media sector. The diverse cultural scene and the high concentration of TV and radio stations, network operators, telecommunication giants and content providers accelerate the process of media convergence and a productive crossover between the arts, culture and the media, thus boosting creativity, innovation and eventually economic growth. In order to consolidate its leading position in the media sector in Europe, the region supports the media and creative industry through numerous funding programmes, notably for start-ups and young entrepreneurs, such as the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. With an annual budget of nearly € 35 million, the Fund supports films for cinema and television during the stages of production and distribution, as well as the development of innovative audiovisual content.

Wallonia, Belgium

S3 Priorities: Creative economy; Technologies and Industry 4.0 including games, transmedia, digital media

Wallonia region's smart specialisation strategy is focused on clusters development along four axis, including the creative economy, recognised as priority to stimulate creativity and innovation (including non-technological). A number of regional initiatives support the development of this strategic sector. The Creative Wallonia program supports cross-fertilisation between creative industries (including film, gaming, transmedia) with other economic sectors, such as health and information and communication technology (ICT), to boost territorial development. The St'Art Investment fund supports SMEs active in the creative industries, including non-for-profit organisations, with a budget of nearly € 37 million. The fund provides financing in the form of loans and investments and contributes to the creation of companies and the development of existing structures in order, for example, to undertake new projects, create new products and win new markets.

Veneto, Italy

S3 Priority: New technologies for the creative industries

The Veneto Region hosts numerous cultural and creative industries (particularly in the audiovisual and heritage sectors). The region highly invests in the strong potential of its creative industries as driver of economic and social development. In particular, the region promotes cross-sectorial collaboration between creative industries and ICT, new technologies and eco materials for new products and services. The region launched two specific calls for projects with the European Regional Development Fund (2 for start-ups and 2 for innovation). This is the first formal recognition of "culture as business" for the Veneto government. The calls will co-fund the purchase of technical equipment or software to support the digital transformation of creative businesses. The total budget invested in the creative industries is € 11 million (an additional 5€ million feeds the support for audiovisual and cinema productions).