European culture, cinema, television, music, literature, performing arts, heritage and related areas will benefit from increased support under the European Commissions new Creative Europe program. With a budget of EUR 1.46 billion over the next seven years - 9% more than previous levels - the program will provide a boost for the cultural and creative sectors, which are a major source of jobs and growth. Creative Europe will provide funding for at least 250 000 artists and cultural professionals, 2 000 cinemas, 800 films and 4 500 book translations. It will also launch a new financial guarantee facility enabling small cultural and creative businesses to access up to EUR 750 million in bank loans.

Creative Europe builds on the experience and success of the Culture and MEDIA programs, which have supported the cultural and audiovisual sectors for more than 20 years. The new program includes a Culture sub-program, supporting performing and visual arts, heritage and other areas, and a MEDIA sub-program, which will provide funding for the cinema and audiovisual sector. A new cross-sectoral strand will support policy cooperation, transversal measures and the new financial guarantee facility, which will be operational from 2016.

The European Capitals of Culture, European Heritage Label, European Heritage Days and the five European prizes (EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture, EU Prize for Literature, European Border Breakers Awards, and EU Prix MEDIA) will also receive support from Creative Europe.

The program will allocate at least 56% of its budget for the MEDIA sub-program and at least 31% for the Culture sub-program. This broadly reflects the share of funding that the two areas currently receive. A maximum of 13% of the budget will be allocated to the cross-sectoral strand, which includes support for Creative Europe Desks in each participating country, providing advice to potential beneficiaries. Around EUR 60 million is earmarked for policy cooperation and for fostering innovative approaches to audience building and new business models.

The European cultural and creative sectors represent up to 4.5% of EU GDP and employ more than 8 million people. Creative Europe will help them to contribute even more to the European economy by seizing the opportunities created by globalisation and the digital shift. It will also enable them to overcome challenges such as market fragmentation and difficulties in accessing financing, as well as contributing to better policy-making by making it easier to share know-how and experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Creative Europe program?

Creative Europe is the new EU program to support European cinema and the cultural and creative sectors, enabling them to increase their contribution to jobs and growth. With a budget of EUR 1.46 billion for 2014-2020, it will support tens of thousands of artists, cultural and audiovisual professionals and organisations in the performing arts, fine arts, publishing, film, TV, music, interdisciplinary arts, heritage, and the video games industry. The funding will allow them to operate across Europe, to reach new audiences and to develop the skills needed in the digital age. By helping European cultural works to reach audiences in other countries, the program will also contribute to safeguarding cultural and linguistic diversity.

Why does Europe need a Creative Europe program?

Culture plays a major role in the EU economy. Studies show that the cultural and creative sectors account for up to 4.5% of EU GDP and nearly 4% of employment (8.5 million jobs and many more if account is taken of their impact on other sectors). Europe is the world leader in exports of creative industry products. To retain this position, it needs to invest in the sectors capacity to operate across borders.

Creative Europe responds to this need and will target investment where the impact will be greatest.

The new program takes account of the challenges created by globalisation and digital technologies, which are changing the ways cultural works are made, distributed and accessed, as well as transforming business models and revenue streams. These developments also create opportunities for the cultural and creative sectors. The program seeks to help them seize these opportunities, so that they benefit from the digital shift and create more jobs and international careers.

Which countries can apply for funding from Creative Europe?

Creative Europe will be open to the 28 Member States, and, so long as they fulfil specific conditions, to the European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), to EU candidate and potential candidate countries (Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo) and to neighbourhood countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria and Israel). Non-EU countries have to pay an entry ticket to participate in the program. The cost is based on the size of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in relation to the budget of the program.

Can individuals apply for funding?

Creative Europe will not be open to applications from individuals, but around 250 000 individual artists and cultural and audiovisual professionals will receive funding through projects submitted by cultural organisations. This is a much more cost-effective way to achieve results and a lasting impact. The Commission estimates that millions of people will be reached directly or indirectly through the projects supported by Creative Europe.

How will Creative Europe differ from the Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programs? Will these names disappear?

Creative Europe will combine the separate support mechanisms for the culture and audiovisual sectors in Europe in a one-stop shop open to all the cultural and creative sectors. However, it will continue to address the particular needs of the audiovisual industry and the other cultural and creative sectors through its specific Culture and MEDIA sub-programs. These will build on the success of the current Culture and MEDIA programs and will be adapted to future challenges. MEDIA Mundus, which supports cooperation between European and international professionals and the international distribution of European films, will be integrated into the MEDIA sub-program.

A single framework program will maximise synergies between the different sectors and increase efficiency gains.

Creative Europe will include a cross-sectoral strand. What does this involve?

This strand will consist of two parts: the Financial Guarantee Facility, managed by the European Investment Fund and operational as of 2016, will make it easier for small operators to access bank loans. The cross-sectoral strand will also provide support for studies, analysis and better data collection to improve the evidence-base for policy-making, funding for experimental projects to encourage cooperation between the audiovisual and other cultural and creative sectors, and funding for the Creative Europe Desks which provide assistance to applicants.

How will Creative Europe be managed?

Creative Europe will be a simpler, easily recognisable and accessible gateway for European cultural and creative professionals, regardless of their artistic discipline and it will offer support for international activities within and outside the EU. The current system of management, through the Education, Culture and Audiovisual Executive Agency, will continue.

CREATIVE EUROPE Desk Bulgaria has two offices: 


c/o National Film Center

2 A, Dondukov Blvd., last floor

Sofia 1000, Bulgaria

tel.: +359 2 988 32 24

Mr. Kamen Balkanski (head) and Mr. Vasil Nikolov (assistant)


c/o Ministry of Culture

17, Stamboliiski Blvd.

Sofia 1000, Bulgaria

tel.: +359 2 940 09 15

Ms. Mirena Staneva (head)