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GESAC welcomes the Commission’s guidelines for recovery of cultural activities after COVID-19 pandemic

July 1, 2021

The European Commission has issued guidelines for reopening and relaunching Europe’s cultural and creative sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These guidelines come after GESAC and other umbrella organisations that represent the cultural live events sector pushed for their creation earlier in the year. In a letter to the Commission dated 28 April, the sector underlined the need for a coordinated, swift and safe reopening of live events, based on their experience and best practices.

The cultural sector has been hit severely by the economic crisis linked to the pandemic, an issue that was explored in detail in the EY study Rebuilding Europe: the cultural and creative economy before and after the COVID-19 crisis. The need for its swift recovery both for the EU economy and public health has been widely presented in several studies and policy documents at EU level.

GESAC welcomes this useful and timely initiative, where the Commission gives special importance, through a dedicated strategy, to the restarting of cultural events in its overall relaunch plan. The necessity of targeted funding schemes and the facilitation of national recovery and resilience funds for a sustainable relaunch of the sector are underlined. And Member States are invited to work closely with the sector to adapt to the changing conditions, first with a gradual reopening, then with a full opening perspective.

Veronique Desbrosses, Director General GESAC said “We are grateful to the Commission for this step in the right direction and look very much forward to contributing further to this important process after a careful assessment of the guidelines along with our partners in the live sector, the Commission’s services and the national authorities.”

The EU guidelines are based on the expertise of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and exchanges with the Health Security Committee. They take into account the different epidemiological situations in the Member States and their evolution. They provide the indicators and criteria (such as the viral circulation, the vaccination coverage, the use of protective measures, the use of tests and contact tracing), to be taken into account when planning the resumption of certain activities.

Member States are invited to take full advantage of the Recovery and Resilience Facility to invest broadly in the sectors and increase their capacity to adapt to new trends and emerge from the crisis.

The Commission has substantially increased its financial support to the cultural and creative sectors, with almost €2.5 billion from Creative Europe, and close to €2 billion from Horizon Europe dedicated to cultural, creative and inclusive projects from 2021 to 2027.

In autumn 2021, the Commission will publish an online guide on EU funding for culture, covering all existing EU funds that Member States and the sector can use.


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