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Team Culture: Launch of new initiative to highlight contribution of culture to jobs and economic recovery

The role of culture at a time of crisis is the focus of a new initiative by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Uffe Elbæk, the Danish Minister for Culture.

The launch event took place in Brussels on the 6th June 2012 aiming to highlight the impact of culture on jobs, growth, innovation and creativity. The meeting, at the EGG, rue Bara 173, brought together European decision-makers, representatives of the cultural and creative sectors and members of Team Culture 2012 including Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, Stojan Pelko, Slovenia’s former State Secretary for Culture, and Josephine Green, who was senior director of trends and strategy at Philips Design.

Team Culture 2102, which was instigated by Elbæk under the Danish Presidency of the EU, will present concrete examples of how culture and the arts can help to overcome the economic crisis and boost competitiveness. They will also present a joint manifesto entitled 'Turn to Culture'.

Commissioner Vassiliou said: “Culture is part of the solution to the challenges we face in getting Europe back on track. The cultural and creative sectors employ 8.5 million people and account for up to 4.5% of EU GDP. They have proved resilient during the crisis, but they need more investment to achieve their full economic potential by reaching new markets and audiences. That is why the Commission has proposed a significant increase in funding under the new Creative Europe programme (€1.8 billion in 2014-2020), which will support culture, cinema and a loan guarantee scheme which would generate €1 billion for small and medium sized enterprises, which are a motor for growth in Europe.”

Uffe Elbæk added: “Europe is facing a severe economic crisis and the EU and national governments throughout Europe are searching for a solution. As part of the solution, we should turn to culture as a source of creativity, innovation and hope for the future. After having initial talks with Commissioner Vassiliou and other key players in the EU system, I launched Team Culture in order to stimulate a European debate about the role of art and culture in society today. I am sure these examples and the discussions at the meeting will inspire and encourage all of us to seek new creative ways to move on.”

Later this year, the Commission will publish a strategy paper on the cultural and creative sectors, setting out the challenges they face and the opportunities they offer if they get the right backing.

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