Europe’s creativity: strengthen diversity, protect the future

Europe’s creativity: strengthen diversity, protect the future
What do an app designer and an author have in common? What’s the common denominator between a fashion designer and a heavy metal bassist? Correct: Their work is based on individual creativity, cultural values, and talent – and it generates new value from intellectual property. In any case, that is the definition that the European Union uses to describe the cultural and creative industry. And its protection and promotion is very important to me personally. With a share of 11.2% of private companies in Europe and more than 12 million employees it protects the European identity, its culture and values. As a European language, the cultural and creative industry connects all of Europe and shows us over and over again that Europe is our home.

Creative Brandenburg

That is also true for Brandenburg, my German constituency. With more than 27,000 employees, the cultural and creative industry is important for Brandenburg and is a strong driving force towards innovation. Those approximately 12,000 companies produce an annual turnover of about €1.4 million. The cultural and creative industry is an important factor for the economy in Brandenburg. It makes the location more attractive and promotes cultural tourism.

In Brandenburg alone, €7 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) (https://ec.europa.eu/esf/home.jsp) are available for this task. The responsibility lies with the recently founded Agency for Cultural and Creative Industry of Brandenburg.

New approaches for a creative future in the digital age

In recent years, digitalisation has played an increasingly important part in our lives. Therefore, we have to use digitalisation in the various sectors of our industries in a useful and efficient way, the creative industry included.
Many creative sectors have already been touched, for example fashion. Smart or ‘intelligent’ textiles are able to light up, conduct electricity or produce heat. Thanks to these features, they are used in a multitude of sectors: for example in the health sector and automotive industry but also for leisure activities. One example is a shirt that calls the emergency services automatically when needed, or a dynamic surface illumination that moves with the pedestrian.

Culture for Everybody

In this context, the digital transformation brings many opportunities. Nowadays, everybody can have access to a large spectrum of cultural events. The European Union is, therefore, also committed to the quick expansion of broadband and fibre optic Internet. In addition, the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) supports those events in particular that help revive the cultural offering in rural areas.

Unfortunately, in the age of digital change and with new access opportunities that the Internet offers, there are more and more cases of copyright misuse. It also becomes increasingly difficult for artists to make a living from their work. Therefore, we have to find a fair foundation for the digitalisation process, guaranteeing fairness for all and enabling us to use the opportunities offered by the new digital processes. One example that forms the basis for such a process is the Copyright Directive for the European Union which is currently being discussed by the European Parliament. Consequently, I have been working actively since 2016 for the fair payment of artists and everybody who improves our cultural diversity with their work.