Relaunching economies, galvanising values — European Young Leaders (EYL40) working group on arts and culture: 2nd report

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Europe’s cultural and creative industries (CCI) deserve far greater attention. In 2019, they supported 7.6mn employees and contributed €643bn to the continent’s economy. That’s equal to 4.4% of GDP, outstripping all other heavyweight sectors, including telecoms, high-tech, pharmaceutical and automotive. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has put CCI on the back foot over the last year, as these industries struggle to highlight their multiple benefits for our society and its recovery – from jobs and revenue growth to the less-tangible notions of hope, wellbeing and communal identity.

These were some of the key issues, with the focus on cultural funding and digital access and consumption, explored by the European Young Leaders (EYL) Working Group on Arts and Culture in the online debate ‘Relaunching economies, galvanising values’ on 27 April 2021. Established to share and brainstorm ideas for collaborating on pan-European projects related to arts and culture, this group comprises a wide range of artists, musicians, writers and cultural practitioners in the larger EYL network.

For this Working Group’s second meeting, members of the EYL network and a selected number of key external sector stakeholders identified practical actions to financially preserve Europe’s creative sectors while boosting EU-wide cultural exchanges. Underpinning this goal is the EU Commission’s proposal that at least 2% of EU recovery funds post-pandemic be invested in CCI – with positive spillover into other sectors.

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