The European Union also supports cultural and creative projects that promote Europe’s cultural heritage, cultural diversity and cross-border cooperation through the Creative Europe program (running from 2021 to 2027).
The programme consists of two sub-programmes: the CULTURE sub-programme, and the MEDIA sub-programme to support the audiovisual sector. In addition, there is the overarching funding area CROSS SECTOR.
The Creative Europe budget for the new funding period totals 2.44 billion euros, almost one billion euros more than its predecessor. The Creative Europe CULTURE subprogram accounts for 804 million euros.
The main measures of the CULTURE subprogram include funding for European cooperation projects, networks and platforms.
As a general rule, cooperation projects must have a particular relevance at the European level; bilateral or regional projects are not funded. In the sense of intensive, cross-border European cooperation, several project partners must always be involved in the conception and organization of a project.
In the area of funding for cooperation projects, applications can be submitted in three categories:
- Small cooperation projects involving at least 3 cultural institutions from at least 3 countries eligible to participate in the program. These can be subsidized with a maximum of 80% of the total eligible costs, total subsidy maximum 200,000 euros.
- Medium-sized cooperation projects involving at least 5 cultural institutions from at least 5 countries eligible to participate in the program. These can be subsidized with a maximum of 70% of the total eligible costs, total grant maximum 1 million euros.
- Large collaborative projects involving at least 10 cultural institutions from at least 10 countries eligible to participate in the program. These can be funded with a maximum of 60% of the total eligible costs, total grant maximum 2 million euros.
Eligible organizations must meet certain legal criteria and be based in an eligible country. Individuals are not eligible to submit applications. The project partner consortium consists of an applicant organization, the project coordinator, and other cultural institutions acting as partners.
The Creative Europe programme is managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, supervised by the Directorate General Education and Culture. The formal examination of the applications is carried out by the EACEA, the evaluation of the content by a European jury of experts.
CulturEU - interactive guide mapping funding opportunities for the cultural and creative sector
In November 2021, the EU Commission launched CulturEU, a new interactive guide mapping funding opportunities available at EU level for the cultural and creative sectors.
CulturEU will be regularly updated with the most recent information on new calls coming out, and will be available in all EU languages in early 2022.
Creative Europe Desk
We recommend getting in touch with the Creative Europe Desk in Bonn before submitting an application. Here project proposals and submissions are carefully checked and advice and technical assistance is given as regards formalities and plausibility. The CED in Bonn is the national contact point for the EU’s cultural funding.
It informs on the cultural support of the EU, particularly on the Creative Europe programme, and other European supporting possibilities. Detailed information is available at the webpage, also advice on individual questions is provided by telephone or email. The CED regularly hosts information seminars on EU cultural support.
CEDs operate in all countries participating in the EU Creative Europe programme, at the moment 40.
Webpage Europa fördert Kultur
The webpage Europa fördert Kultur, a joint project of the Creative Europe Desk KULTUR Germany and the Creative Europe Desk Austria, offers detailed information on the programme Creative Europe as well as on further EU supporting programmes that are relevant for cultural activities. The publisher and project sponsor of the page is the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft.
The site provides detailed information about EU funding programs that are relevant for cultural projects in addition to the Creative Europe program. The so-called structural funds play an important role here. Especially in the promotion of regional development through the European Structural Funds for Regional Development (ERDF), culture has played an increasingly important role in recent years (see also the explanatory article by Sylvia Amann on the IGBK project "Übergänge/ Nachbarschaft", PDF from 2019 in German).
Culture Moves Europe
Following the successful i-Portunus pilot phase, the programme offers people from every Creative Europe member countries (current status as of April 2023) the the opportunity to apply for individual mobility or residency grants.
The programme runs until 2025 and includes the following sectors: architecture, cultural heritage, design and fashion design, literary translation, music, performing arts and visual arts.