Cultural and creative industries

In the framework of this opinion a hearing (Change in the EU's creative industries – Unlocking their full potential) was organized in Valencia, Spain, Germany, on 19 April 2010. Another event that relates to this subject was a hearing on Transition from heavy industries to creative industries, organized in Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, on 26 October 2010.

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• Calls on the Commission to pursue its efforts for a better definition of the sector and for it to be more accurately reflected in statistics.
• Advocates fostering an "internal market" and a "European space" for creativity.
• Calls for the adoption of tax concessions and new funding models and instruments, including the direct participation by citizens alongside conventional PPPP models. It could be useful to draw up Europe-wide business plan guidelines for creative and cultural projects/services/works, as well as performance indicators that can facilitate the technical and economic assessment of investment in the sector.
• Underlines the contribution made by the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) to the strategic objectives of cohesion and recommends to make them part of regional development.
• Points to the need to offset the vulnerability of the sector's businesses, especially SMEs, and signals an urgent need to facilitate a "critical mass" of investment in the sector.
• Emphasises the role of ICTs (e.g. EU Internet of the Future initiatives) in providing new opportunities (broadband or creativity support services, particularly in disadvantaged or low income areas), both in terms of producing creative products and services, and in their distribution and use by end users.
• Highlights the importance of fostering greater knowledge of the creative industries in school programmes and vocational training, as already indicated at European level in the International Charter of Artistic Craftsmanship.
• Points to the need to consider the most appropriate instruments for facilitating access to credit for creative companies and professionals in the sector.
• Stresses the need to foster greater debate within the Union institutions regarding a structured dialogue on the social impact of developing creativity clusters, and on improving the employment conditions in the sector.
• Encourages "structured dialogue" amongst all stakeholders (for instance, between university-level institutions and SMEs) and between these and the EU institutions.
• Suggests creating physical locations for informal meeting and experimentation that can promote the direct participation of target groups, so as to foster the involvement of every part of the EU's territory in developing the potential of CCIs and not only that of large urban centres.