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‘Culture Fosters Inclusivity’; Europe Plans €400 Million Culture Boost but UK Funding in Doubt

The planned increase for 2021–27 would take cultural sector funding to EUR€1.9 billion but post-Brexit, UK eligibility is uncertain

Pro-Remain poster designed by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2016.

Pro-Remain poster designed by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2016. Courtesy: the artist

Pro-Remain poster designed by Wolfgang Tillmans, 2016. Courtesy: the artist

The European Commission is proposing a significant 27% boost to the EU culture budget. The plans will impact the next funding round, running from 2021 to 2027, with available funding for the creative sector increased to EUR€1.9 billion. The proposal will require ratification by the European Council and the European Parliament.

The funding increase follows the Commission’s decision not to fold culture funding in with other projects. Creative Europe, the EU funding programme dedicated to the European cultural sector, will continue as a stand-alone. The Network of European Museum Organizations said the decision was ‘especially welcomed’ given the expected financial stress caused by the UK’s departure from the EU. The European Commission said the boost recognized how culture plays ‘a crucial role fostering diverse and inclusive societies’

EU culture support for the UK is guaranteed up until 2020. Indeed, the UK’s share in Creative Europe funding increased by 30% in the 12 months after the Brexit referendum: 35 creative and cultural outfits were given EUR3.2 million in 2016–17. But the UK’s eligibility for Creative Europe funding is in doubt beyond 2021. A joint statement from negotiators on both sides last year indicated that the UK might wish to be a part of such programmes as a non-member state, going forwards.

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