The Creative Europe Programme: Policy-Making Dynamics and Outcomes

Anna Kandyla


Culture remained a rather marginal EU policy area until the adoption of the first-ever European cultural strategy in 2007. The European agenda for culture in a globalizing world (the Cultural Agenda) set three specific objectives that should guide the EU cultural policy forward: promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue; promotion of culture as a catalyst for creativity; and promotion of culture as a vital element in the Union's international relations (European Commission, 2007a). By bringing creativity into the equation, the Cultural Agenda provided a discursive link between culture, innovation and broader EU economic concerns such as growth, competitiveness and social cohesion.1 In so doing, it laid the foundations for the development of a discourse around the contribution of the cultural and creative sectors, or industries, to Europe's changing economic environment and to the implementation of the EU 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (European Commission, 2010a; Council of the EU (Council), 2011a).

This chapter considers how the rhetoric of creativity, associated with the competitiveness frame, has imbued and permeated decision-making on the Union's latest culture-related support instrument, the Creative Europe programme (2014-2020) (European Parliament and Council, 2013a). Adopted against the background of digitalisation and the economic downturn faced by Europe, the programme brings together the EU's cultural and audiovisual support schemes - an attempt to enhance cross-fertilisation and promote synergies. It is based on Articles 167(5)

(culture), 173(3) (industry) and 166(4) (vocational training) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

EU policy-making is the outcome of complex processes of policy formulation and interaction between the EU institutions and national and subnational actors that seek to secure their interests in policy decisions (Barnett, 2001: 415). The following sections examine the scope and content of Creative Europe, probing the decision-making process that led to its adoption and the key viewpoints of the institutional and non-institutional actors that participated in its shaping.

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