During the 142nd plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions, members held a debate on the recovery of the Cultural and Creative Sector (CCS) and European Research Area with Ms Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
Speaking on behalf of the EA group, our president Kieran McCarthy said that when culture and arts are in crisis, they take down with them a host of other tangible and intangible aspects of our life and economy.
Mr McCarthy gave the example of his city of Cork where around 30 festivals had to be cancelled in 2020 which had a knock-on effect on the local budget but also, in turn, prompted the sector practitioners to reinvent the way they do their work. “Hearing first-hand from cities such as my own and others in a similar position can give ideas to other cities that are really struggling on adaptation strategies,” he said.
He further stressed the importance of looking at the future, taking into account the lessons learned, and promoting exchange of information and more practical synergies among policies and structural funding possibilities.
“But overall”, he said, “we need more visibility of what supports are in place,” adding that this is where local and regional authorities can contribute with their experience and their proximity to practitioners and citizens.