COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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The Effects of the Financial Crisis: Grim but not hopeless?

A New Compendium Monitoring Tool

Monitoring_Cultural_Budgets(AJW) Societal and budgetary challenges triggered by the current economic crisis are bound to affect not only arts and heritage infrastructures or initiatives, but also political efforts to widen access to culture and to increase the participation of all citizens in a multifaceted cultural life. The important role arts, media and heritage activities can play for the social, educational and economic development of our societies may already be at risk, according to some observers. However, previous assessments did not show uniform trends: Until now it has been difficult to determine, at least in more exact – and comparable! – figures, whether and to what extent public cultural financing in Europe has really suffered from the crisis.

In order to better reflect and monitor these (potential) effects, the new comparative table E.2 on public funding of culture has been developed in the ERICarts Institute. The table will be constantly updated, based on more recent figures in national profiles.

Extracted mainly from the latest official statistics provided in many of the Compendium country profiles, data on public cultural expenditure per capita for 2000, 2005 and 2009-2011 as well as the latest ratios for culture budgets in total public expenditure and in GDP could be compiled.

In this context, per capita figures serve mainly as a "horizontal" indicator for national trends in times of crisis, while the overall budget and GDP-shares can provide "vertical" - and relatively neutral - yardsticks for comparative assessments of the strength of public involvement in culture.

Similar to the previous assessment, the results of this exercise show a differentiated picture: Clearly, we can see, in many countries, budget cuts as a result of the crisis. On the other hand, quite a number of state and city governments seem to be acting "countercyclical", possibly because they know that a diverse and productive cultural environment can raise the spirit of many citizens and will, at the same time, result in important tangible contributions towards overcoming the present difficulties faced by governments, civil society and economic players.

 ADD YOUR COMMENT

COMMENTS

Added: Friday, 22 March, 2013 6:35 GMT+2

Thank you very much for this precious resource. I have one question: why aren\'t France and the UK in the comparative table of funding in times of crisis?

Alexandr, Caen, France

Added: Thursday, 21 February, 2013 7:37 GMT+2

Could you please explain, why Luxembourg has not been considered in this table? As a founding member of the Council of Europe, its capital having been twice European Capital of Culture, its extremely lively and diversified cultural scene justify an analysis.

Simone Beck, Luxembourg