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Culture, creativity, innovation and new technologies – important drivers of the European economy

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12-10-2016

There is a need to ensure a strategic framework for the cultural and creative industries as they now represent a major and growing part of our economies, Members of the Culture Committee and of National Parliaments agreed on Tuesday evening at the interparliamentary meeting on the subject.

Representatives of the Slovak Presidency and of the European Commission also underlined the role of younger generations in developing these sectors, highlighting an urgent need to “take them on board” for all future plans regarding innovation based on common values and cultural heritage.

 Silvia Costa (S&D), chair of the Culture Committee, opened the debates by stressing the opportunities that the cultural and creative sectors offer for the economy, taking into account that they account for more than 8% of Europe’s GDP. “We have to meet new digital challenges, look for new challenges in the future and find new models of management” to ensure that Europe remains highly competitive in these areas“, she said.

Use of cultural heritage, creativity and new technologies for new products

 The discussions focused on the ways that Members States or private companies have used cultural values and cultural heritage, creativity, innovation, digital skills and digital technologies to change the traditional means of production and manufacturing to meet new consumer demand for brands and high quality products. Interventions from Members of National Parliaments demonstrated how design and creativity-driven fashion were used to transform Portuguese shoes into the second most expensive shoes in the world; how a music festival contributed to city branding and created new art forms; how agriculture, science and traditional heritage were brought together to produce high quality products; or how regional networks or private-public collaboration gave both artists and the public easier access to funds or cultural events.

More funds for creativity and innovation

Even if some Member States have made efforts to secure the budget for these sectors, participants in the meeting raised the problem of risks represented by the cuts in funding allocated to culture on a national level. Members of the Culture Committee insisted on the use of new financing instruments from European Structural Funds. New forms of public-private collaboration and greater investment from private funds could also contribute to the development of the cultural and creative sectors while at the same time reducing the public burden, participants stressed during the debate.

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