The guarantee facility scheme planned as part of the Creative Europe framework programme is now not expected to begin fully operating until 2016.

Originally, the European Commission (EC) had proposed that the guarantee facility with a budget of $280m (€211m) to generate more than $1.35bn (€1bn) in loans would be launched with the new Creative Europe programme from 2014.

According to the political platform Culture Action Europe (CAE), the delayed launch of the guarantee facility will provide “everyone with the opportunity to work on the regulation concerning how the facility will be implemented and to secure access for cultural organisations and the involvement of financial intermediaries capable of assessing demands coming from small and medium-sized cultural organisations.”

CAE had reported earlier in the summer after meetings with the EC’s directorate-general for education and culture and with commissioner Androulla Vassiliou that $160m (€121m) was now to be allocated for the guarantee facility.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education has passed a series of amendments to the European Union’s proposed budget for 2014, including a reduction in the allocation to the guarantee facility from the original $12m (€9m) to $8m (€6m) for next year.

MEP Helga Trüpel, who had tabled the amendment for the first sitting after the summer recess, argued that the amounts made available for the guarantee facility in 2014 and 2015 would be for “capacity building of the bank sector in order to better respond to the special needs and risk taking in the cultural and creative sector.”

She suggested that $2m (€1.5m) of this $4m (€3m) saving should be used to supplement the $71m (€53m) budget line dedicated to “supporting the cultural sector to operate in Europe and beyond and to promote transnational circulation and mobility.”

During the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg at the end of last week, the MEPs passed a resolution on “European cultural and creative sectors as sources of economic growth and jobs”, making specific reference to Creative Europe, the Cinema Communication and the future free-trade talks betwen the EU and the US.

The MEPs encouraged the European institutions “to secure an ambitious level for the new MEDIA strand in the MFF [Multiannual Financial Framework] (2014-2020)” and called for the retention of the territorialisation requirements as set out in the existing Cinema Communication from 2001. 

The Parliament’s deputies emphasised “the need to keep the cultural and audiovisual outside of the scope of the negotiating mandate for the EU-US free trade agreement, while pointing out that cultural and creative works are not goods like any others.”