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Around 1.6 million people earned their main income in the culture and creative industries in 2014.

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Germany/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

The culture industries are a separate and autonomous pillar of cultural life in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Generally, the cultural field is divided into three sectors: private cultural enterprises, state or municipal publicly financed institutions or activities like theatre, cultural heritage, monuments, libraries, museums, etc. and not-for-profit, intermediary organisations, foundations, associations etc.

According to the Conference of Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy in 2009 the cultural and creative industry consists of 11 submarkets: music industry, book market, art market, film industry, broadcasting industry, performing arts market, architecture market, design industry, press market, advertising market and software and games industry (and others).

According to the current monitoring report of cultural and Creative Industries 2014 ("Monitoring of Selected Economic Key Data on the Culture and Creative Industries 2014") in 2014 249 000 companies were active in the culture and creative industries (compared to 2013: + 2 000). These companies generated a turnover of EUR 146 billion, a year on year increase of approximately 2.2%. In total, this branch of the economy employed around 809 000 people, thus accounting for 2.7% of all employees liable to social insurance contributions. A further 249 000 self-employed people also worked in these industries. In other words, around 1 057 000 people earned their main income in the culture and creative industries in 2014. This figure is nearly 2% higher than last year's. When it will also take into account the 349 000 marginal employees and 210 000 marginally self-employed (self-employed individuals and freelancers with an annual turnover of under EUR 17 500), the overall number of people employed in this sector in 2014 was nearly 1.62 million. The culture and creative industries contributed EUR 67.5 billion and therefore about 2.3% to total gross value added.

Several federal states (Länder) - such North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt - and several municipalities such as e.g. Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Aachen, Dresden, Köln und Karlsruhe have commissioned and published reports on the state of the cultural industries:.

As in other countries, strategic partnerships are increasingly being formed in Germany between the public and private sectors (public-private partnerships) in order to fund cultural projects and institutions. These strategic partnerships are expected to proliferate in the future. Even during periods of sluggish economic activity, the culture industries have been determined as an economic growth factor.

Culture industries have been increasingly supported through cultural policy measures: indirectly through measures like tax exemptions and more directly e.g. though support to a music export office.

In 2007, intense discussions were held on the relevance of culture and creative industries for economic development and the employment situation in Germany. Several large congresses took place. In April and October 2007, the Bundestag held two debates on this topic and passed a motion on "Culture and Creative Industries as an Engine for Growth and Employment in Germany and Europe" at the end of October. The Federal Government, in particular the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Minister of State for Culture, introduced the programme "Culture Initiative and the Creative Industries" as a method of optimising the framework for their growth and to support financially and infrastructurally the "Music Initiative", a core area of the Creative Industries. This topic held an important place in the German EU Presidency, in the first half of 2007.

In the report of the commission of enquiry of the German Bundestag (see chapter 4.1 under "Streamlining and optimising cultural funding"), cultural industries occupy a prominent position and represent a key point in the report. The "Yearbook for Cultural Policy 2008" ("Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2008") of the Institute of Cultural Policy within the Association of Cultural Policy (Institut für Kulturpolitik der Kulturpolitischen Gesellschaft) is likewise dedicated to this subject.

There are special training and in-service training programmes for professionals in the culture industries. At the higher education level, a number of cultural management and cultural marketing courses have been set up in the last ten years, which also provide qualifications for the culture industry sphere (e.g. the Institute for Culture Management at Ludwigsburg College of Education, the Academy of Music and Theatre, Hamburg, Passau University); they concentrate, however, on management and marketing methods. There are more concrete efforts to provide training - organised by private business - in the individual industry sectors and also, for example, within publicly financed small business start-up programmes for art and the culture industries. Exemplary in this area, has been StartART, which formed part of the North Rhine-Westphalia start-up network Go!nrw, and, within that, the Start Up Centre Culture Industry Aachen (Gründerzentrum Kulturwirtschaft Aachen). In 2007, the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Northrhine-Westphalia started a new programme in this field, particularly for young cultural entrepreneurs and artists with "" (

In 2010 the initiative took another important step by setting up a Centre of Excellence for Culture and Creative Industries in Eschborn with 8 regional offices. The Centre of Excellence was inaugurated during the regional conference held by the office of North Rhine-Westphalia in April 2012, by the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs. As new measures were installed e.g. the competition "Pilots of Culture and Creativity" (Kultur- und Kreativpiloten Deutschlands), implementation of impulse and regional conferences or the support of creative actors for participating at international fairs of creative branches.

With the beginning of 2016 the Centre of Excellence for Culture and Creative Industries will carry out a new strategic reorganisation. The prospective focus of work will be the support of cooperation between the cultural and creative industries and other branches, the advertising and lobbying of the potential of innovation of those industries and providing platforms for networking.

Chapter published: 30-08-2016

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