Cultural and Creative Industries
“The term creative industries encompasses a broader range of activities which include the cultural industries plus all cultural or artistic production, whether live or produced as an individual unit. The creative industries are those in which the product or service contains a substantial element of artistic or creative endeavour and include activities such as architecture and advertising.” Understanding Creative Industries, UNESCO
The European cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are becoming a strengthened sector; due to new policies and initiatives the CCIs sectors are growing and there is a wider awareness of their importance across Europe. For the last few years, the European area has decided to take action and fight the lack of information about the CCIs and the extended tendency to ignore the sector’s potential, which lasted for many years.
The European Commission has a long record of activities to protect and support the European CCIs. Their aim is to protect the European cultural heritage and empower the European cultural and creative industries to increase employment and economic growth across Europe according to the Europe 2020 strategy.
For these purposes, the Commission covers several activities:
- International policy cooperation to promote culture and cultural diversity across Europe and beyond.
- Development of policies and initiatives to promote market access and a major investment in CCIs.
- Financial and technical support: cultural and creative professional networks, funding opportunities, grants, prizes, consultancies with stakeholders, mobility of artists, etc.
- Framework programs like Creative Europe.
- Publication of the Green Paper on the “Potential of cultural and creative industries”.
At the same time, UNESCO sees the creative industries as a key element to determine the future in terms of freedom of expression, cultural diversity and economic development. But as the sector grows, new inequalities emerge and long-term issues such as the inequity between North and South become more evident than ever. The organization believes that the creation of new associations, a major control of piracy, new partnerships or consolidating the experts’ capacities will strengthen local capacities and the creative industries’ access to global markets and therefore fight inequalities and impact positively on the CCIs. Some of the initiatives the organization promotes are:
- International Fund for the Promotion of Culture
- The Creative Cities Network: a network formed by 116 members from 54 different countries which feature culture fields such as Design, Film or Literature among others.
- Programmes and commissions to support and promote art, literature, the media arts or Copyright policies among others.
- The World Book Capital City: annual selection of a city to host this symbolic acknowledgment.
- Designation of the World Book Day and the Copyright Day which Kosovo celebrates annually.
- Publishing of Creative Economy reports and studies related to the CCIs.