In an article on 19 March the Daily Telegraph challenges the European Commission for funding projects in the culture and creative industries during a recession.
The article misrepresents the funding available under the EU Culture programme in two important respects:
First, it suggests the EU has earmarked 366 million pounds for culture projects in 2010. In fact this figure relates to the whole seven-year budget period (2007-2013) and covers the 34 countries participating in the Culture programme (EU27 + Croatia, FYROM, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Turkey).
Secondly, the biggest grant mentioned in the article – £900,000 for the European laboratory for hip-hop dance – is totally incorrect. The actual sum was 95% less than this amount or £45 000.
We fundamentally do not agree with the argument that culture and creative industries should be excluded from EU funding during a recession. This funding is creating thousands of jobs, especially for small businesses. The sector employs five million people across Europe. According to UK government figures, it generates revenues of around £112.5 billion for the UK and employs 1.3 million people here. By supporting the sector the EU is nurturing growth and is in fact helping Europeans to cope with the difficult economic situation.