The Finance of European Culture at Stake?

By Pirita Männikkö and Petra Vuolanen

The recent financial crises in the European monetary area might have a far greater impact on the European future than you’d think. One of the sufferers is culture.


The Turku European Capital of Culture year was opened with the performance “This Side, The Other Side” on 15 January 2011. Photo: Arto Takala/Turku 2011

The European Union hasn’t been particularly known for its support to culture, but in recent years, culture has become more important to the EU. From 2000 to 2006 the Commission’s Culture Programme had a budget of about 236 million euros, but in the current term, stretching to year 2013 it has gone up to 400 million euros. The figures are tiny compared to the EU’s annual total budget of 120 billion euros, but still – it’s no pocket money.

Now, however, the funding of culture might be at stake.

“We assume that because of the tight financial situation there won’t be any large increases in the budget of the EU in the coming years”, says Press Official Marjatta Hautala from the European Commission’s Representation in Finland.

The Commission is currently preparing the Culture Programme for 2014-2020. Several organisations in the field of culture such as Culture Action Europe are conserned of the possible cutbacks and are trying to influence the preparation of the programme.

The Culture Programme has been important also to Finnish artists. In 2007-2010 the programme supported over 650 projects, of which the Finns were involved in 68. One of this years European Capitals of Culture, Finnish city of Turku, too, receives financial support of about 1.5 million euros.

“It is a significant project for Finnish culture agents”, says Special Government Advisor of Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, Anne Mattero.

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One Response to “The Finance of European Culture at Stake?”

  1. peterverweij Says:

    Interesting story, good use of links, showing place of culture in EU politics and budget. Sources oke, but what is done, need to know more about the content of this cultural program.

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