EU Budget for the Future

On the 2nd of May, the European Commision released its proposal for the EU’s budget for 2021-2027, a “pragmatic plan for how to do more with less.” (J-C. Juncker). Overall, the Commission proposes a long-term budget of €1,135 billion. Taking into account inflation, this is comparable to the size of the current 2014-2020 budget.

The new budget proposal is focused on the EU added value, which is defined as “the areas where the Union budget can have a bigger impact than public spending at national level could”. The priority areas of the EU’s future budget are research and innovation, young people, the digital economy, border management, security and defence. For instance, the budget of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps will be doubled. The Commission is proposing that funding for the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy is reduced - both by around 5%.

Creative Europe

Creative Europe will continue existing as a separate funding programme, despite the reduction of the number of programmes by more than a third (from 58 currently to 37 in the future). The total budget of the programme is suggested to be increased from € 1.4 billion to € 1.85 billion, out of which € 650 million is allocated for the Culture strand, and € 1.2 billion for MEDIA.

The cross-sectoral strand, which is currently dedicated to the Guarantee Facility instrument, is not part of the new Creative Europe programme. According to the EC Communication’s Annex, “in order to leverage private investment, equity and debt financing will be made available to cultural and creative small and medium-sized enterprises via the InvestEU Fund”, the Union's new investment instrument, which will bring centrally managed financial instruments supporting strategic investment throughout the EU together under a single programme. However, the description of the InvestEU Fund itself does not mention culture as one of its target areas, and Creative Europe is not listed as one of its synergy programmes. Therefore, it is not entirely clear whether the Guarantee Facility will be financed by the InvestEU Fund, or it will be part of the increased Culture and / or MEDIA budget(s).  

The outline of the new Creative Europe programme is more oriented towards social and democratic values, inclusion and civil society, than the current one. The aim of the new Creative Europe will be “to promote European culture and values that contribute to the identity of our Union”. The new programme is also meant to ”empower  citizens through the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and values and to create opportunities for engagement and democratic participation in political and civil society” and to “to sustain open, inclusive and creative societies”. Strengthening competitiveness remains one of the key objectives of the programme, however, it is more attributed to the European creative and audiovisual industry. The new programme is also aimed at “supporting the creation and dissemination of quality and diverse European works” and “supporting culture-based creativity in education and innovation”.

The budget proposal recognised Creative Europe’s synergies with a number of other programmes, such as Single Market Programme, Erasmus+, Digital Europe Programme, Horizon Europe.

Next steps:

  • 30 May: Legislative sectoral proposals for spending programmes
  • 28-29 June: European Council
  • 12 September: President Juncker’s State of the Union Address
  • 18-19 October: European Council
  • 13-14 December: European Council
  • 21-22 March 2019: European Council
  • 9 May 2019: Sibiu Summit

More information:

Press release

Legal texts and factsheets on the EU budget for the future