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Direct State expenditure for Culture and Communication (including all Ministries) in 2015 is estimated at 12,9 billion euro, which is better than for 2013 and 2014.

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France/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

Due to the wide diversity of the sources available and the differences between the modes of calculation that are used, the figures and data on the financing of culture in France are given here for informative and indicative purposes.

Besides, the funds allocated to the "advance account for public broadcasting" (compte d'avances sur l'audiovisuel public) are not taken into account in the comparative presentation of the expenditure of the Ministry of Culture (see chapter 6.2). These funds are advanced to the public broadcasting institutions which reimburse them to the State once they have collected the audiovisual licence fees (redevance audiovisuelle) that households are due to pay every year. The main sources used are:

State financing

According to the official presentation of the Finance Bill for 2015, the Ministry of Culture and Communication has a total budget of 7 billion EUR:

  • 2.7 billion EUR for culture and research; and
  • 4.3 billion EUR for media, cultural industries and public broadcasting. Public broadcasting alone represents 3.85 billion EUR.

The budget is allocated as follows:

  • 268 million EUR for book and cultural industries;
  • 255 million EUR for the press;
  • 3.8 billion EUR for public broadcasting (including the advance account);
  • 1.1 billion EUR for knowledge transmission and democratisation of culture;
  • 753 million EUR for heritage;
  • 734 million EUR for artistic creation; and
  • 117 million EUR for cultural research and scientific culture.

In 2014, the General Inspection of Cultural Affairs delivered two reports that analyse the financial interventions and cultural policies at regional level:

The reports show that the total amount of expenditure from the Ministry, and its affiliated operators in the regions, is almost 3.8 billion EUR. Among the regions, the Île-de-France receives 66% of the whole intervention credits, due in particular to the concentration in Paris of most of the cultural public bodies and institutions, of the associations and structures with national scope, etc.

Besides, the fiscal revenues that are allocated to the National Centre of Cinema (CNC) are estimated to reach 630 million EUR in 2015.

Still, according to the Finance Bill for 2015, direct State expenditure for Culture and Communication (including all Ministries) represents:

  • 7.1 billion EUR for heritage, creation, knowledge transmission and democratisation of culture, press, books and cultural industries, audiovisual and radio diversity;
  • when adding the advance account for public broadcasting, the expenditure reaches 10.7 billion EUR; and
  • when adding to this sum the allocated taxes and fiscal expenditure, the state expenditure reaches 12.9 billion EUR in 2015, which is a stable total compared to 2013 and 2014.

In this expenditure:

  • 1.1 billion EUR are allocated to protection, conservation and promotion of cultural heritage;
  • 900 million EUR to artistic creation (opera, theatre, music, visual arts);
  • 4.5 billion EUR to knowledge transmission and democratisation of culture;
  • 500 million EUR to the press;
  • 1.3 billion EUR to books and reading policy, and cultural industries; and
  • 4.6 billion EUR to support public broadcasting and radio diversity.

Territorial authorities financing

The study on the cultural expenditure of territorial authorities in 2010 indicated a total of around 7.7 billion EUR, which represents around 118 EUR per inhabitants:

  • communes (municipalities) of more than 10 000 inhabitants: 4.6 billion EUR;
  • inter-communal groupings (EPCI) : 1.1 billion EUR;
  • départements (counties): 1.4 billion EUR; and
  • regions: 662 million EUR.

Thus, 76% of territorial cultural expenditure is allocated at communal level (communes + EPCI).

The consolidated expenditure, that is after deducing the transfers or subsidies between the different levels of territorial authority proceeding from cross financing, is estimated to be 7.5 billion EUR.

A survey of the Association of French Regions indicates that the cultural expenditure of the regions in 2012 reached 706 million EUR (cf. http://www.arf.asso.fr/observatoire-des-politiques-regionales/observatoire-des-politiques-regionales-autres).

From 2006 to 2010, territorial cultural expenditure increased by almost 10%, i.e. an annual increase of 2.3% in mainland France. More or less keeping pace with inflation (+1.4% per year), the volume of the communes' cultural expenditure has remained fairly static, whereas the number of inter-communal groupings active in the cultural sphere increased and their cultural expenditure increased by 6% per year. Cultural expenditure for the départements and the regions has continued slightly above inflation for the départements (+1.8% per year) and more significantly so for the regions (+ 4.5% per year) which is mostly down to strong growth at the start of the period. The drive to promote culture within départements and regions then diminished due to a strong increase in total expenditure, linked to transfers of competency.

Private financing

The main part of private expenditure on culture is household expenditure. It is estimated to have been around 22 billion EUR in 2013. The expenditure on related services and goods (devices, material, subscription, etc.) reached 21 billion EUR in 2013.

Private expenditure also encompasses cultural corporate sponsorship: around 364 million EUR in 2014 (see chapter 6.2.3). Firms contribute to financing culture and communication with their publicity and advertising expenses, which reached 9.3 billion EUR in 2013: nearly 2.9 billion EUR for the press, 3.2 billion EUR for television, 736 million EUR for radio, 91 million EUR for cinema and 2.3 billion EUR for the internet. Internet advertising revenue almost tripled from 2011 to 2012, from 616 million to 1.8 billion EUR.

The exportation of cultural goods reached 2.78 billion EUR in 2011 (books, press, phonograms, videos, sheet music and instruments, artefacts…). The receipts from the transfer of rights of French film for exportation abroad (for cinema, TV and video), including films in coproduction, reached 156.7 million EUR in 2011.


Chapter published: 08-05-2015

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              Council of Europe/ERICarts, "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe, 16th edition", 2015 | ISSN 2222-7334