InvestEU: Ensuring Support for Cultural and Creative Businesses

Letter to Commissioner Breton and Commissioner Gentiloni

05 October 2020

Today, 26 organisations from across Europe's cultural and creative sectors wrote to European Commissioners Thierry Breton (Internal Market) and Paolo Gentiloni (Economy) regarding the EU’s flagship investment programme InvestEU.

The programme is facing severe cuts which could have a dramatic impact on the ability of cultural and creative businesses to access much needed affordable debt and equity financing. 

With this letter, which you can read below, the signatories urge the EU to ensure that the cultural and creative sector benefits from an appropriate level of support via InvestEU. 

Dear Commissioner Breton,
Dear Commissioner Gentiloni,

We are writing regarding InvestEU 2021-2027.  

As organisations from the cultural and creative sector, we are very concerned that the proposed severe cuts to the EU’s flagship investment programme could have a dramatic impact on the ability of Europe’s cultural and creative businesses to access much needed affordable debt and equity financing.   

With this letter, we urge the EU to ensure that the cultural and creative sector will benefit from an appropriate level of support via InvestEU.

The European Parliament recently called for 2% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to be earmarked for the cultural and creative sector(1). In the same vein, a set percentage of the future InvestEU fund should be earmarked for the sector. At the very least, the budget allocated for the sector should match the budget of the existing Cultural and Creative Sector Guarantee Facility (CCS GF). 

The CCS GF, which was launched in 2016 and is managed by the European Investment Fund, is a very successful instrument. It is in high demand from the sector and has a demonstrated leverage effect of public resources. Its initial budget has already been more than doubled (to €250m today). 

As the CCS GF is being moved out of Creative Europe, InvestEU is meant to continue facilitating access to finance for cultural and creative businesses, especially via its SME policy window. As part of the EU’s response to the Covid crisis, InvestEU is also supposed to “provide crucial support to companies in the recovery phase (…)”(2).

Cultural and creative businesses have important investment needs. It is now well established that culture and creativity are among Europe’s strongest assets, accounting for 4,4% of EU GDP and 12 million jobs. But these sectors remain structurally underfinanced. The financing gap for creative SMEs across Europe is estimated at between €8bn and €13bn by the European Commission(3).  

Access to affordable debt and equity financing was already needed before the pandemic, and it is even more essential today as the cultural and creative sector is one of the hardest hit by the Covid crisis.

For these reasons, we call on the EU to preserve this innovative way of generating investment for cultural and creative businesses by ensuring that a suitable budget is earmarked for our industry in the InvestEU fund. 

Yours sincerely, 

The signatories:

AER – Association of European Radios 
Animation Europe 
Culture Action Europe
CEDC – European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity 
CEPI – European Audiovisual Production 
CEPIC – Centre of the Picture Industry 
EFA – European Festivals Association 
EGDF - European Games Developer Federation 
EIBF – European and International Booksellers Federation 
EMC – European Music Council 
EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange  
ETC - European Theatre Convention
FEP – Federation of European Publishers 
FIAD – The International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations 
FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations 
GESAC – European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers 
ICMP – The Global Voice of Music Publishing 
IFTA – Independent Film and Television Alliance
IVF – International Video Federation
IMPALA – The Independent Music Companies Association 
IMPF – The Independent Music Publishers International Forum  
LiveDMA – European network for live music venues & festivals 
Liveurope – The live music platform for new European talent 
Pearle* – Live Performance Europe 
UNIC – International Union of Cinemas


(1) European Parliament Resolution on the cultural recovery of Europe, adopted on 17 September 2020

(2) European Commission Communication « The EU Budget powering the recovery plan of Europe », May 2020

(3) European Commission Impact assessment accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation establishing the InvestEU Programme, May 2018

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