Press release: First ever book strand in European programme

Yesterday (Monday 14 December), the Parliament, Council and Commission have successfully concluded the Creative Europe program for 2021-27. The program will have a significantly higher budget in the future with 2.4 billion euros. Also, for the first time ever, the programme has recognised the importance to support the book sector through a specific book strand that will contribute to targeted actions promoting diversity, creativity and innovation, promotion of European literature across borders in Europe and beyond, also in libraries, training and exchanges for sector professionals, authors and translators as well as transnational projects for collaboration, innovation and development in the sector; targeted actions promoting the translation of literature and – where possible – its adaptation into accessible formats for people with disabilities.

The circulation of European books in Europe and beyond, the training of book professionals, more collaboration between these professionals are all very welcomed by the Federation of European Publishers whose President. Peter Kraus vom Cleff, FEP President, thanked the negotiators: “Before, during and after the pandemic, books have such an important role in our life, personal and professional. And while publishing remains the first cultural industry in Europe, it is also the most diverse and fragmented because of our many languages. Hence this European recognition and support will be appreciated by all professionals including publishers. I am also happy that the work that publishers have to do to achieve accessibility will be eligible for funding. FEP has been working with colleagues across Europe, together with the LIA Foundation, to raise awareness on accessibility, especially since the adoption last year of the European Accessibility Act. I wish to thank the European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, the German Minister of Culture, Professor Monika Grütters as President of the Culture Council and all MEPs involved for having achieved this result”.

Creative Europe funds already cultural actions including through its successful translation programme and the European Union Prize for Literature.

Last Friday (11 December), we witnessed another positive outcome with the final agreement on Horizon Europe and another big step for cultural and creative industries in Europe, this time in terms of research. The negotiators secured a €2.3 billion budget for the Cluster ’Culture, creativity and inclusive society’. It was also agreed that under this cluster a European Cultural Heritage Cloud will be establish, allowing creative and cultural institutions and companies from across Europe to collaborate in a shared digital space. Furthermore, additional funding for the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) was negotiated, which will contribute to setting up a new public-private partnership under the EIT for the cultural and creative industries. FEP knows that the role of Commissioner Gabriel was here also crucial, as well as of the Parliament. FEP remembers when one of the lead negotiators, MEP Christian Ehler, came to present the concept at an FEP Rendez-Vous in Frankfurt.

FEP represents 29 national publishers associations. Its members publish books, leaned journals and education content in all formats.

LIA is an Italian Foundation which promotes book and reading through research on digital accessibility, awareness-raising events, training courses and consultancy activities.