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European Union (EU) ministers of culture and the audiovisual sector welcomed the substantial budget increase allocated to the Creative Europe programme for the period 2021-2027, during a meeting in December. The programme will receive a 0.6 billion EUR boost to support to the cultural and creative sector and aims to be more inclusive, focus more on gender equality and provide greater support to the music sector. The Ministers also exchanged ideas on other initiatives to strengthen support to the cultural and creative sector. These included creating an internet portal on funding opportunities for artists and creators across the EU; strengthening the EU legal framework in relation to, for example, copyright; and creating greater synergies with other EU programmes, including the Erasmus+ student exchange programme, Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, Digital Europe and the European Regional Development Fund.

The European Commission has published  a new strategy to boost renovation, entitled A Renovation Wave for Europe – Greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives, to accelerate progress towards the objective of becoming carbon neutral. The report recognizes that “Europe’s building stock is both unique and heterogeneous in its expression of the cultural diversity and history of our continent” but that most of those existing buildings are not energy-efficient. The strategy, therefore, aims to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals by providing affordable housing while safeguarding cultural heritage.

As part of the programme for Climate Heritage Week (16-22 November), the Climate Heritage Network, in partnership with Europa Nostra and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and with the support of the European Investment Bank Institute, organized an event exploring how heritage can contribute to the European Green Deal. The event, entitled Putting Cultural Heritage at the Centre of the European Green Deal: A preview of the European Heritage Green Paper, was an opportunity to present the paper that is currently being finalized by Europa Nostra and ICOMOS.

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