The EU is Preparing to Cautiously Revive the Culture Industry

Margaritis Schinas, vice president of the European Commission in charge of promoting the European way of life, said at a press conference here on Tuesday that the reopening of the cultural and creative sectors for the joyful summer season should come gradually.

EU member states would need to examine their individual Covid-19 immunization coverage and epidemiological condition while reopening cultural establishments and events. The setting in which cultural and creative activities are placed will also be important. An outdoor event, for example, will be deemed safer than one held indoors, where sufficient ventilation and the number of attendees will be significant concerns.

Results from five European countries’ trial events this spring suggest that “live events do not accelerate infection” if precautions like testing at the door and wearing masks are followed, according to the guidelines.

Member states should construct sufficient ventilation, guarantee that all personnel is vaccinated, enforce the wearing of masks and hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, conduct contact tracing, and have a preparation plan in place at cultural facilities.

The EU will “activate a broad variety of initiatives and tools” to aid the cultural and creative sectors’ recovery, according to Schinas. According to Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education, and youth, the budget has been boosted by 4.5 billion euros ($5.35 billion) in total for the period 2021-2027 to help finance the sector’s recovery.

Despite its unique ability to recreate itself, the cultural sector has been affected particularly hard by the epidemic and its aftermath.

Cinema operators in the EU reported a 70% reduction in box office sales in 2020, while music venues reported a 76% drop in attendance and a 64% drop in revenue, according to the Commission’s 2021 Annual Single Market Report. In popular tourist areas, museums might lose up to 80% of their typical earnings.

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