The Economy of Culture in Europe – The Economic Contribution of Arts and Culture | Centre for Creative Practices
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Study prepared for the European Commission (Directorate-General for Education and Culture)

October 2006

In March 2000, the EU Heads of State and Government meeting at the European Council in Lisbon agreed on an ambitious goal: making the EU by 2010 “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”.

Lisbon is pushing to boost R&D spending by governments, universities and corporations. The belief is that growth and employment will be achieved by investing in ICT industries – the flagship industries of the digital economy –, and boosting innovation, in particular in the “knowledge economy”.

The role of the cultural and creative sector within this context is still largely ignored. Indeed, the move to measure the socio-economic performance of the sector is a relatively recent trend. Moreover, the exercise is a contentious one. For many, the arts are a matter of enlightenment or entertainment. That leads to the perception that the arts and culture are marginal in terms of economic contribution and should therefore be confined to the realms of public intervention. This may explain to a large extent the lack of statistical tools available to measure the contribution of the cultural sector to the economy whether at national or international level, in particular compared to other industry sectors.

The present study aims to remedy this situation. It is a first attempt to capture the direct and indirect socio-economic impact of the cultural sector in Europe, thereby assessing its contribution to the Lisbon agenda, and in particular in terms of realising growth, competitiveness, more and better jobs, sustainable development, and innovation.

It shows how culture drives economic and social development, as well as innovation and cohesion. The cultural and creative sector is a growing sector, developing at a higher pace than the rest of the economy. The same applies to employment. Indeed this sector provides many different and often highly skilled possibilities, and again the sector’s growth in terms of jobs out-performs the rest of the economy. It also drives many other sectors of the European economy, and in particular innovation and ICT sectors.

The study also illustrates how culture promotes European integration and is a key tool to integrate the components of European societies in all their diversity, to forge a sense of belonging as well as to spread democratic and social values. Culture can contribute to “seduce” European citizens to the idea of European integration.

Read the full study here>>

The Economic Contribution of Arts and Culture

The Economic Contribution of Arts and Culture – A CFCP Online Debate

All this week The Centre For Creative Practices are holding an online a discussion / debate about the economic contribution of arts and culture.

The week will include: webinars, blog posts, Twitter Feeds, group discussion and videos on how economic strategists, arts professionals, artists and arts organisations see this economic contribution. Is it sustainable? is it relevant or should we be concentrating of creativity and engagement more than economic contribution?

Get involved, use the hashtag #artseconomyire on Twitter or Facebook and lets get this discussion out there. It’s one we need to have and this is your chance to get involved.

Follow the debate online by clicking here >>


Platform 1 - Hints & Tips on Artistic Entrepreneurship

About Platform 1 from CFCP

As part of our artistic entrepreneurship programme we have introduced Platform 1, where each day we will post a snippet of information that we think might be of interest to you and to us.

Please feel free to comment, share, post your own suggestions or snippets as together we can build a repository of information that can benefit everyone on the journey.

Why Platform 1, well every journey has to start somewhere and every station has a platform 1, our departure point.

For more hints & tips see: