In a letter to the Commissioners for Culture and the Internal Market, Mariya Gabriel and Thierry Breton respectively, the president of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture, Sabien Verheyen, has called for measures to support the cultural sector and the media due to cancellations of leisure events and the drop in advertising revenue as a result of the coronavirus. Verheyen recalled “the fundamental role played by the media in the current context, spreading information about the situation and acting as an antidote to fake news and disinformation.”
According to the president of the culture commission, “it is essential to take additional actions to support these sectors, in particular SMEs and the media sector.” The letter specifies the following measures:
Ensure that funds from the SURE program and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative span the creative, cultural and media sectors through targeted allocations and close monitoring, taking into account that specific business models and needs of these sectors.
Ensure that EU programs are mobilized to provide immediate access to finance and credit for the creative and cultural sector. The letter states that the most effective way to provide such support is through the existing Guarantee Instrument under the Creative Europe program, with an improved budget, specifically, asks the Commission to explore three options. The first would be to increase the budget of this Instrument by reinforcing the 2021 budget and / or through transferring funds from the European Fund for Strategic Investments; the second, channeling aid from the European Strategic Investment Fund to the sector; and the third would include aid from the European Strategic Investment Fund through an ad hoc financial instrument.
Examine the potential scope of an EU emergency fund to support the media sector, taking advantage of funds that cannot be spent under other programs due to the pandemic.