The last years have seen a broad range of creative industries initiatives on local, regional, national and European level. The report about the Economy of Culture in 2006 was the first attempt in describing CCI throughout Europe both quantitatively as well as qualitatively.
In its 2010 Green Paper “Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries”, the European Commission acknowledges creative industries not only for their direct contribution to the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP), but also as important driver of economic and social innovation in other sectors.
The following consultation resulted in the communication from the commission Promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU. It clarified and extended the policy actions that had been laid out in the Green Paper and identified five key policy areas:
Addressing changing skills needs
Improving access to finance
Enlarging the marketplace: new partnerships and business models
Expanding international reach
Reinforcing cross-sectoral fertilisation
(see also the resolution of the European Parliament calling for a long-term policy engagement and the improvement of working conditions of professionals and the opinion of the Committee of Regions highlighting the need to embed actions for CCI locally and regionally).
The regional dimension is also the scope of the European Cluster Observatory Priority Sector Report Creative Industries. It identifies CCI employment clusters throughout Europe and indicates that “despite many similarities and interdependencies the activities gathered under the umbrella of creative and cultural industries need also to be understood as separate industries in their own rights.” (p. 18.)
In 2010, the European Competitiveness report devoted an extra section to creative industries for the first time and gives special attention to the relationship between regional growth and CCI and supply-chain linkages between CCI and the rest of the economy (p. 180ff).
The current engagement of the European Commission for CCI is embedded in the EU2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. To consider the innovation potential of CCI also means that the traditional understanding of innovation with its strong focus on research and development and technology has to be reviewed. The European Commission’s Flagship Initiative Innovation Union takes into account that companies innovate in various ways and that therefore “Policies must […] be designed to support all forms of innovation, not only technological innovation.” The initiative points out that “[…] the strength of European creative industries, offer[s] huge potential for new growth and jobs through innovation, especially for SMEs.“ (Flagship Initiative Innovation Union, p. 9).
Innovation is also the rationale of the Design Innovation Initiative. The Design for growth and prosperity report of the initiative’s leadership board presents recommendations on how design can become an integral part of European innovation policy.
Since 2012, CCI support in Europe also has an “institutional home”: the European Creative Industries Alliance. It unfolds activities in four core fields:
Policy Learning Plattform: decision makers from European regions shall develop better support schemes for CCI,
Innovation vouchers shall stimulate demand for CCI products and services by other sectors,
Improvement of access to finance (risk capital fund),
Development of new approches on cluster management shall make CCI support more professional (e.g. coaching of cluster managers).
Creative Europe, the Culture, Media and Creative Industries support programmes of the European Commission 2014-2020