Creative Europe: 30 years of support to European films and cultural and creative media works

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The MEDIA strand of the EU programme Creative Europe, designed to support European film and audiovisual industries, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021. To mark this, the European Commission is launching a campaign to celebrate the 30 years of support, as well as the launch of the new MEDIA programme of Creative Europe, running from 2021 to 2027.

Since 1991, Creative Europe MEDIA has invested over €2.6 billion in the film and audiovisual industries to support the development, promotion and distribution of European works within Europe and beyond. Its long-standing support has strengthened the competitiveness of the sector and has contributed to enriching Europe’s cultural diversity, while at the same time it has promoted audiovisual creations across borders and helped giving recognition to the best of them.

For 2021-2027, the planned budget for the whole Creative Europe programme will be €2.4 billion, an 80% increase compared to the previous period (2014-2020), of which €1.4 billion will be devoted to its MEDIA sub-programme. The latter will keep supporting media projects with a European and international dimension, as well as nurturing talent and promoting the use of new technologies.

Campaign to celebrate 30 years of Creative Europe

Throughout 2021, the Commission will run a communication campaign to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the MEDIA strand of Creative Europe. The campaign’s content will focus on 10 different themes and will be rolled out primarily on social media, aiming to reach young people and industry professionals. It will have a dedicated webpage and an Instagram series: ‘Behind the scenes of European content – How EU support turns into stories’. This series will consist of 12 short episodes to highlight how the EU supports audiovisual and film projects on the ground.

Members of the College said:

Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “The cultural and creative sector is part of our daily lives. It shows us the richness and diversity of Europe. The Media Strand of the Creative Europe programme has supported European works for 30 years by facilitating access across the EU. It has also supported the media and audio-visual sectors development – and it provides an important contribution to the economy as well. So in the new financial period, the budget of this programme is increased. The Media and Audio-visual Action Plan adopted last December builds on the Media Strand. Aiming for the recovery of the sector which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.”

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “For 30 years, the European Union has been investing in creativity and diversity through its MEDIA programme. This programme has helped thousands of European films and other audiovisual works reach new audiences across borders, nurturing a plurality of views. Today the MEDIA programme is bigger than ever – and it is badly needed in the current crisis. It has also become an example to follow in order to support other important industries, such as the news media sector which benefits for the first time from Creative Europe and is also at the core of our recent Media and Audiovisual Action Plan.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “I heartily congratulate the Creative Europe MEDIA programme on its 30 year anniversary. Creative Europe MEDIA has long been a vital support for our European audiovisual and film industries. Building on our greatest assets, Europe’s diversity and talent, it also strengthens the resilience of our media and audiovisual industry and reinforces media freedom and pluralism across the European Union. With the current crises brought by the coronavirus besetting this industry, such support – now and in the future – is more important than ever. Building on these 30 years of support we will keep increasing European collaboration and support digital innovation so that European media companies can scale up to the European level and find viable business models for the future.”  


Creative Europe MEDIA helps to launch and distribute projects with a European dimension and international potential to travel beyond national and European borders. Its funding actions provide support to audiovisual works including films, TV series, documentaries, video games and immersive content, and to cinemas, festivals, VOD services and industry markets. It also contributes to boosting European talents via training programmes, as well as to audience development and film education.

In December last year, the European Parliament and EU Member States reached a political agreement on the new Creative Europe programme for 2021-2027. Earlier that month the Commission adopted an Action Plan for the Media and Audiovisual sector to support its recovery, transformation, to enable industry to scale up in the single market and to empower citizens to have a wider choice. These sectors, particularly hit by the coronavirus crisis, are essential for democracy, Europe’s cultural diversity and digital autonomy.

The Action plan sets out 10 concrete actions to address these challenges by fostering financial support, accelerating digital transformation and strengthening resilience at European scale. Many of the actions will be launched in the first months of 2021.

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