EU study will assess cultural industries


BRUSSELS -- The European Commission Monday announced a major study into the role of the EU's cultural industries in stimulating creativity, innovation and growth.

The study will examine the economic potential of the EU's cultural industries -- from film and television to music and theatre -- and look at what can be done by policy-makers to boost the sector.

"Innovation and creativity are fundamental to the process of economic growth," EU culture commissioner Jan Figel said. "In our increasingly competitive, globalizing world, policy makers need to develop better, 'tailor-made' policies for the creative industries so that they can contribute their full potential to boosting Europe's long-term economic growth."

The study will be launched next month and will also help identify the type of actions that should be implemented during the "European Year of Creativity and Innovation through Education and Culture" in 2009.

The study will follow up on a similar, 350-page Commission report from 2006 on the cultural economy that revealed the broadcasting and film sectors would grow 6-8% a year by 2009.

Figel also announced that two parallel expert groups would be set up over the next four months to set benchmarks for the EU's cultural policies. The groups -- one with government representatives, the other with NGOs -- would attempt to set peer-review measures for EU members to meet common milestones in culture.