The new Creative Europe Programme and the European Agenda for Culture proposed by the European Commission earlier this year reflect the expansion of culture as a policy area.

The opinion proposes further strengthening the reference to the key role of local and regional authorities (LRAs) in promoting and celebrating the culture of their communities and calls for enhancing the participation of regional and local authorities in the programme. “Local and regional authorities should be systematically consulted in the conception, implementation and governance of the measures designed to support culture and the creative sectors across Europe, with a wide geographical coverage” stated János Ádám Karácsony, EPP-CoR rapporteur.

Janos Adam Karacsony proposes a budget of EUR 2 billion – up from the Commission’s proposed 1.85 billion to ensure that culture and cultural heritage are better incorporated into the priorities of the next Multiannual Financial Framework. He also calls for mainstreaming and synergies with other programmes and policies.

He draws special attention to SMEs when seeking to enhance competitiveness of the European cultural and creative sectors (CCS). He also emphasizes that innovation in these sectors is a key driver for holistic local and regional development, and their integration in local development strategies contributes to boosting local economies.

As the European Year of Cultural Heritage comes to an end, Mr. Karacsony resquests that the impact and positive legacy be built upon, and offers the European Committee of the Regions’ experience to develop the future European Action Plan for Cultural Heritage.

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