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Green Paper on the potential of cultural and creative industries

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Green Paper on the potential of cultural and creative industries

This Green Paper launches a public consultation on the requirements of a creative environment in which cultural and creative industries (CCIs) may unlock their potential and thus better contribute to Europe’s competitiveness.


Green Paper of 27 April 2010 – Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries [COM(2010) 183 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The global environment with its constantly evolving technologies and increased globalisation presents a challenge to Europe’s competitiveness. The cultural and creative industries (CCIs) * have the potential of contributing to Europe's response to this challenge, especially through the creativity and innovation they generate.

Part of the European agenda for culture, this Green Paper launches a debate on the requirements of a creative environment for Europe’s CCIs, covering areas necessary to effectively unlock their potential, in particular at the European level.

Main drivers for developing CCIs

Combined with globalisation, the speed at which digital information and communication technologies (ICTs) are being developed and deployed greatly impacts all sectors of CCIs. While it does create opportunities in terms of the scope of production and distribution, it also changes the traditional production and consumption models and comes with huge adaptation costs, in particular relating to the digital shift. To be able to provide a culturally diverse offer of services to customers, entrepreneurs must be given appropriate framework conditions. This includes a fair access to the market, which would be facilitated by interoperability and standardisation. Consequently, to improve the framework conditions for CCIs in a digital environment, the Commission will continue its efforts on the Digital Agenda for Europe and the “Innovation Union”, both flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, as well as on the strategy on intellectual property rights.

The right enablers

For Europe to fully profit from the cultural and economic potential of CCIs, these industries must be given new spaces for experimentation, innovation and entrepreneurship. There is need to strengthen the research and development capacities of CCIs, interactions between the different disciplines and sectors, collaboration between the arts, academic and scientific institutions, and private-public initiatives in support of experimentation.

Furthermore, to improve the sector’s competitiveness, it is essential to better match the skills needs of CCIs. This requires partnerships between art/design schools/universities and businesses, the establishment of incubator units in close collaboration with art schools and “peer-coaching” to better link professional training and practice.

In addition, since access to funding is one of the main barriers to growth in the CCI sector, it is imperative that the sector’s economic value and potential are clearly demonstrated to investors and banks, and financial mechanisms such as guarantee systems are established to encourage funding, together with other innovative financial instruments such as venture capital that facilitate access to funding.

Development of CCIs at local and regional levels

The local and regional dimension should be taken into consideration when developing policies and support instruments for CCIs. An integrated development model would acknowledge the contribution CCIs make to a territory’s economic development and social cohesion. Strategies should be defined at territorial levels by authorities dealing with different public policy areas together with civil society.

Mobility of works, artists and cultural practitioners/professionals facilitates the transition of CCIs from a local to a global context as it opens new market opportunities. It also contributes to artists’ and practitioners’ professional skills and artistic development, as well as promotes cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Additional efforts are needed to create partnerships and cooperation that further encourage cross-border or virtual mobility.

In order for CCIs to participate in international trade, they require support in establishing contacts with non-EU countries and in promoting their activities abroad. Thus, various tools that support export should be developed, such as industry-to-industry dialogue, scouting missions and market intelligence, and collective representation in international fairs. CCIs could also be included into agreements with non-EU countries as priority areas for economic exchanges.

The spillovers of CCIs

The CCIs contribute to national and regional innovation systems, in particular by promoting the acceptance and development of ICTs, innovation-friendly climate in Europe and the innovative activities of other industries. Nevertheless, the positive spillover effects of CCIs on the wider economy and society must be further strengthened. Links between CCIs and education, industry, research and administration must be maximised by creating real “creative partnerships”. In this respect, better use could be made of intermediary institutions.

The consultation closed on 30 July 2010.

Key terms used in the act

  • Cultural industries: industries producing and distributing goods or services that at the time they are developed are considered to have a specific attribute, use or purpose that embodies or conveys cultural expressions, irrespective of the commercial value they may have. Besides the traditional arts sectors, they include film, DVD and video, television and radio, video games, new media, music, books and press.
  • Creative industries: industries that use culture as an input and have a cultural dimension, although their outputs are mainly functional. They include architecture and design, which integrate creative elements into wider processes, as well as subsectors such as graphic design, fashion design or advertising.


Commission staff working document - Analysis of the consultation launched by the Green Paper on "Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries” [SEC (2011) 399 final - Not published in the Official Journal]. The Commission received 350 answers from public authorities, the general public and civil society bodies – including companies – active in the cultural field across Europe. The respondents largely supported the broad approach of the Green Paper. Any successful support for CCIs calls for a cross-departmental cooperation at all levels of policy governance. They however emphasised the relevance and importance of the local and regional levels. Respondents also called for a better integration of CCIs in the Europe 2020 strategy and underlined the vital importance of copyright as a fair rewarding for creativity.

A majority of respondents insisted on the need to make CCIs' access to funding easier, to promote skills' development, including creative, managerial and digital skills, as well as culture/media literacy, to promote mobility as a way to strengthen the sectors’ capacity to go international and contribute to cultural diversity, and to further reinforce international cooperation and exchange.

The follow up to the Green Paper will mainly happen through measures to be implemented in the context of the new EU programmes post 2013 and the flagship initiatives of Europe 2020.

See also

Last updated: 29.09.2011