Cultural and creative industries (CCIs) operate in a complex business environment, where they are defined by the standard regulations concerning businesses as well as intellectual property rights, taxation and many other issues.
The policies and legislation governing these fields (i.e. the regulatory framework) should therefore work to facilitate artistic creation and enable business activities, while promoting and preserving Europe’s cultural diversity.
Cultural and creative industries – more important than ever
The culture sector, like many others, is undergoing considerable and rapid change in the wake of the digital revolution. In response to these changes, governments are increasingly identifying a need for continuous assessment in order to ensure the sector’s regulatory framework remains fit for purpose.
For the culture sector, the increasing importance of digital technologies requires consistent review of legislation on intellectual property rights. EU rules in this area need to reflect the changing digital landscape in order to ensure the rights of artists and organisations are protected, and broad access to culture is safeguarded for the future.
Furthermore, audiences and markets are increasingly online, highlighting the need to apply the proper policies to online trading, taxation, and the establishment and operation of businesses.
Commission activities in support of Cultural and creative industries
The Commission undertakes a number of activities for the purposes of assessing culture’s regulatory framework. These include the management of projects, the commissioning of studies and reports, and ensuring coordination with Member States to apply best practices.
The Commission has also overseen substantial progress in reforming the regulatory environment. Aside from the projects and platforms supported by the Culture and MEDIA sub-programmes, the following legal instruments have been adopted
- Directive on orphan works, which covers works with no clear copyright owner
- Directive on collective rights management - covering organisations that manage the rights of multiple persons with a claim over a copyrighted work
- Directive extending the term of protection for performers and sound recordings to 70 years
- Marrakesh Treaty, which facilitates access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled
- Beijing treaty on audiovisual performances
- General Block Exemption Regulation on state aid, which provides conditions for Member States to give state aid to culture and heritage conservation the audiovisual sector without the obligation to notify the Commission
In light of the challenges caused by the most recent changes in the digital economy, the Commission has initiated major policy and legislative reforms as part of the Digital Single Market project.
This project aims to ensure a fit-for-purpose regulatory environment for the cultural sector through
- an ambitious modernisation of the EU copyright framework
- the update of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive
- a sustainable ecosystem of Online platforms
- new rules in the area of e-commerce addressing Geoblocking and the challenge of convergence between the on-line and the physical environment in the application of value-added tax (VAT) rates (see Information on the Action Plan on VAT)
The Commission will continue its efforts in the field, notably by
- monitoring and ensuring a consistent application of newly adopted legislation
- engaging with stakeholders to discuss developments and the need for further action, including in the framework of the renewed strategy for a Europe fit for the digital age