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Creative Europe Brexit update

At the European Union Summit on 10 April 2019, the UK was granted an extension to Article 50 until 31 October 2019 at the latest. Until the UK leaves the EU, it can fully participate in Creative Europe.

Our advice for UK lead and partner organisations and other European partners is to continue applications for the forthcoming Creative Europe calls, but to take full note of the information about the two different scenarios below. Creative Europe Desk UK can provide guidance on applications for the calls that are currently open as part of our usual advice, so get in touch. Creative Europe Desk UK is updating this guidance as soon as further information becomes available.

Creative Europe and the UK in the event of a deal between the EU and the UK

In November 2018, the UK and EU negotiating teams reached consensus on a Withdrawal Agreement, which includes a transition period that will start on the EU leave date and last until 31 December 2020.

This announcement confirmed that, pending ratification, UK organisations can continue to apply for EU programme funding until December 2020. This includes UK participation in, and funding applications for, Creative Europe.

The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has advised that, in a deal scenario, this means that:

  • UK organisations can continue to apply for the forthcoming Creative Europe MEDIA and Culture sub-programme calls. 
  • UK organisations will have exactly the same rights and obligations as other countries participating in the Creative Europe programme until the end of the current programme.  
  • Successful Creative Europe applicants from the UK can receive funding until the end of their projects (even if they run beyond 2020).

The UK Government has made clear that its priority remains to ensure the Withdrawal Agreement is finalised.

Creative Europe and the UK in the event of 'no deal' between the EU and the UK

On 30 January 2019, the European Commission announced in a press release that it has published a final set of no deal contingency proposals regarding the EU budget, which “enable the EU to be in a position, in a “no-deal” scenario, to honour its commitments and to continue making payments in 2019 to UK beneficiaries for contracts signed and decisions made before 30 March 2019, on condition that the UK honours its obligations under the 2019 budget and that it accepts the necessary audit checks and controls.” *

Should this arrangement not come to pass and payments to UK beneficiaries cease after the leave date, the UK Government has provided reassurance that it will underwrite the payments of awards for the full duration of the project, where UK organisations successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis while we remain in the EU. This includes projects that are only informed of their success or sign a grant agreement after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The guarantee does not cover funding for organisations from other countries who are in consortia with UK participants – only the funding for UK participants is in scope.

DCMS is responsible for the delivery of the guarantee for Creative Europe. Successful applicants with projects that run over the leave date can expect to hear from Creative Europe Desk UK and DCMS about next steps.

The most up to date information about the delivery of the guarantee can be found on this UK Government web page

The guarantee will apply only to project applications that are selected. It is not clear whether UK-led applications can be selected after the EU leave date. The UK government will work with the European Commission to agree on the eligibility of UK partners after the EU Exit. However, organisations considering submitting Creative Europe applications for open calls should note that there is no certainty yet about how the European Commission will handle UK applications and UK participation in projects after the EU Exit in a no deal scenario. For some project applications, there is the scope for UK organisations to continue to participate in projects in a more limited capacity – see our advice for Cooperation Projects, for example.

Please note that the European Commission included a clause for British applicants in the Creative Europe guidelines and calls for proposals. This clause states that if the UK withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU to ensure that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of the termination criteria in the grant agreement. It also states that, should the project leader fail to comply with the eligibility criteria, the whole application will be deemed as ineligible.

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

UK participation in the future Creative Europe programme

The decision on whether the UK can participate in the next programme (2021–2027) will be taken as part of the future partnership negotiations with the EU. The UK Government’s Brexit White Paper, published July 2018, stated: “The UK is open to exploring…continued involvement in Creative Europe to support the cultural, creative and audiovisual sectors.”

Creative Europe Desk UK can provide guidance on all of this as part of our usual advice on applications, so get in touch. You can also sign up to our newsletter for updates.

Key facts about Creative Europe

  • Since its launch in 2014, Creative Europe has awarded €89.5 million to 376 UK-based cultural and creative organisations and audiovisual companies, and helped distribute 190 UK films in other European countries
  • Creative Europe’s benefits far exceed the monetary grant funding. Our report on the impacts of Creative Europe in the UK shows the programme’s powerful effect on building international networks, growing audiences, generating jobs and skills, and much more.
  • The benefits of Creative Europe are also highlighted in the UK Parliament's inquiry report on Brexit and the creative industries
  • Participation in Creative Europe is not restricted to EU member states. There are currently 13 non-EU countries that have either partial or full participation. These include EEA countries such as Iceland and Norway as well as neighbouring countries such as Serbia and Albania. You can see the full list on the EACEA website. These countries must still comply with certain EU regulations and policies and pay a financial contribution in order to participate.

*These contingency measures were published before the original EU exit date of 29 March 2019 was postponed.