What’s Culture’s share in the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plans?

We have all heard about Next Generation EU (NGEU), an additional batch of funding for Europe’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. But you may wonder how much of this money will be allocated to culture. Look no further and check out “Culture in the EU’s National Recovery and Resilience Plans”, a nice piece of work coordinated by Culture Action Europe.
Policy background
In 2020, as an immediate response to the pandemic crisis the EU institutions adopted an one-of-a-kind stimulus package, called Next Generation EU, (NGEU).
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is channeled to EU Member States upon submission and approval of National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs). In these plans, member states are asked to outline strategic areas and actions between 2021 and 2026 “to better cope with the pandemic fallout and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better equipped for the green and digital transitions.”

A European commitment: 2% for culture
European cultural and creative sectors launched #CulturalDealEU, a campaign calling on the EU Member States to earmark at least 2% of their National Resilience and Recovery Plans (NRRPs) for culture. The campaign was backed by the European Parliament but is this commitment visible in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) presented so far?
The report discloses on a country by country basis the types of investments and reforms contained in the NRRPs directly supporting Europe’s cultural ecosystem, which has been among the most affected by the long crisis and the subsequent containment measures. These are the key insights.

What’s Culture’s share in the NRRPs Budget?

• At least 2% in the EU26 - i.e., around 12 billion euros - has been mobilised for culture.
• Yet the call to earmark 2% of each NRRP explicitly for culture has not been answered.
• The majority of Member States either do not foresee any specific line for culture or do lag behind such value, standing at around 1%

What sort of culture-related interventions are included in the NRRPs?

• “Support is devoted to ‘easily reportable’ interventions that can justify meeting milestones and targets […]such as renovation of heritage sites and cultural spaces, and digitisation of cultural products.”
• “Some of the interventions included are not strictly cultural (eg. such as supporting tourism and energy efficiency of (cultural) buildings
• Big institutional players are often prioritised leaving aside the cultural independent scene and micro and small organisations.

The report ends with a critique of the instrumentalisation of the cultural and creative sector and calls for a more clear and determined commitment for culture in Europe that contemplates its value beyond merely economic terms.

Enjoy the reading: https://cultureactioneurope.org/files/2021/11/NRRPs_analysed_digital.pdf

Related: Projects