European Scrutiny Committee Contents

34 Green Paper on cultural and creative industries



COM(10) 183

Commission Green Paper: Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries

Legal base
Document originated27 April 2010
Deposited in Parliament25 May 2010
DepartmentCulture, Media and Sport
Basis of considerationEM of 28 May 2010
Previous Committee ReportNone
To be discussed in CouncilNo date set
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionCleared


34.1 Article 173 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) requires the EU and Member States to ensure the existence of the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of the EU's industry. To that end, the Article requires them to foster the exploitation of the industrial potential of innovation, research and development.

34.2 In 2007, the Commission proposed a European Agenda for Culture which included four objectives.[139] One of them is the promotion of culture as a catalyst for creativity and innovation by, for example, training people from the cultural industries in entrepreneurship and encouraging partnerships between the cultural sector and people and organisations concerned with research, tourism and information technology.

34.3 In November 2007, the Council approved the European Agenda for Culture. The European Council endorsed it in December 2007.

34.4 According to the Commission, the cultural and creative industries account for about 2.6% of EU GDP and provide employment for about five million people in the Member States.

The Green Paper

34.5 The Commission's Green Paper invites views on ways to provide a stimulating environment for the EU's cultural and creative industries. It includes in its definition of cultural industries the performing and visual arts, the cultural heritage, film and video, DVD, video games, music and books; and it includes architecture, graphic design, fashion design and advertising in its definition of creative industries.

34.6 The Green Paper notes that the Commission is developing several major policies which will have a significant effect on the industries' environment. They include a Digital Agenda for Europe, which will aim, among other things, to create a single market for online content and services; and an EU strategy on intellectual property.

34.7 The Commission says that a deeper understanding is needed about how the cultural and creative industries can benefit from being located in the same place by fostering networking and providing better support for creative start-ups. Views are invited on:

"How to create more spaces and better support for experimentation, innovation and entrepreneurship in the [cultural and creative industries]? More particularly, how to increase access to ICT services in/for cultural and creative activities and improve the use of their cultural content? How could ICTs become a driver of new business models for some [cultural and creative industries]?"[140]

34.8 The Commission says that partnerships between art and design schools or universities and businesses can contribute to getting a better match between the supply and demand for people with the right skills. It also says that, in order to bridge the gap between professional training and professional practice, "peer-coaching" (the exchange of experience between peers facing the same challenges) could provide a useful means to help cultural and creative industries respond to change. The Green Paper asks for views on:

"How to foster art and design schools/business partnerships as a way to promote incubation, start-ups and entrepreneurship, as well as e-skills development?

How could peer-coaching in the [cultural and creative industries] be encouraged at the level of the European Union?"[141]

34.9 The Green Paper says that difficulties in obtaining capital are a major barrier to growth for many businesses. It invites views on:

"How to stimulate private investment and improve [cultural and creative industries'] access to finance? Is there added value for financial instruments at the EU level to support and complement efforts made at national and regional levels? If yes, how?"[142]

34.10 The Commission also invites views on:

"How to strengthen the integration of [cultural and creative industries] into strategic regional/local development? Which tools and which partnerships are needed for an integrated approach?[143]

"What new instruments should be mobilised to promote cultural diversity through the mobility of cultural and creative works, artists and cultural practitioners within the European Union and beyond. To which end [sic] could virtual and online access contribute to these objectives?[144]

"Which tools should be foreseen or reinforced at EU level to promote cooperation, exchanges and trade between the EU [cultural and creative industries] and third countries?[145]

"How to accelerate the spill-over effects of [cultural and creative industries] on other industries and society at large? How can effective mechanisms for such knowledge diffusion be developed and implemented?

"How can 'creative partnerships' be promoted between [cultural and creative industries] and education institutions/businesses/administrations?

"How to support the better use of existing intermediaries and the development of a variety of intermediaries acting as an interface between artistic and creative communities and [cultural and creative industries] on the one hand, and education/business and administrations, on the other hand?"[146]

34.11 The Commission invites replies to the questions in the Green Paper by 30 July 2010.

The Government's view

34.12 In his Explanatory Memorandum of May 2010, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries (Mr Edward Vaizey) welcomes the Green Paper. He emphasises the importance of the creative industries to the UK economy. For example, in 2007, they accounted for 6.2% of UK Gross Added Value and employed two million people. They grew by an average of 5% a year between 1997 and 2007. The Minister adds that the creative industries are regarded as "a key driver" of economic growth during the economic downturn.

34.13 The Government will be responding to the Green Paper and the Minister says that he will send us a copy of the response.


34.14 We recognise the importance of the UK's creative industries and so we draw the Green Paper to the attention of the House. In the exercise of the power given to us by paragraph 11 of Standing Order No. 143 we also ask the Culture, Media and Sport Committee to provide us with its opinion on the Green Paper. We thank the Minister for his offer to send us a copy of the Government's response to the Commission's questions. We look forward to reading it. Meanwhile, we clear the Green Paper from scrutiny.

139   (28632) 9496/07: HC 16-i (2007-08), chapter 9 (7 November 2007). Back

140   Green Paper, page 10, end of section 3.1. Back

141   Green Paper, page 11, end of section 3.2. Back

142   Green Paper, page 12, end of section 3.3. Back

143   Green Paper, page 14, end of section 4.1. Back

144   Green Paper, page 16, end of section 4.2. Back

145   Green Paper, page 17, end of section 4.3. Back

146   Green Paper, page 18, end of section 5. Back

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