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Creative Europe Brexit update

This guidance page features the following advice:

1. Overview of current situation

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

3. Creative Europe and the UK in the event of a ‘no deal’ between the EU and UK:

  • HMG Guarantee
  • No deal advice for potential applicants
  • No deal advice for current beneficiaries (and applications undergoing assessment)

4. UK participation in the future Creative Europe programme

5. Key facts about the Creative Europe


1. Overview

The UK can fully participate in Creative Europe until it leaves the EU and during the implementation period agreed by the UK and the EU (until the end of 2020). 

On 17 October 2019 a new Brexit deal was agreed between the UK Government and the EU. On 28 October 2019 the UK Prime Minister accepted the EU's offer of a Brexit extension until 31 January 2020. Following the general election in the UK, the Withdrawal Bill is expected to return to the newly elected Parliament on 20 December 2019. If the Bill is voted for, the UK is expected to leave the EU on or before 31 January 2020, with an agreement with the EU.

Our advice for UK lead and partner organisations and other European partners is to continue applications for the current 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.

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

In a deal scenario, the UK will leave the EU on terms agreed by the UK and the EU. This agreement will set out the nature of UK/EU collaboration immediately after Brexit, as well as setting the terms for negotiations about their longer-term relationship. Creative Europe and other EU funding programmes are expected to be a part of any such agreement. 

The Withdrawal Agreement from 17 October 2019 envisages an implementation period until 31 December 2020, during which UK organisations would be able to apply for EU programmes’ funding. 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 would mean that: 

UK organisations can continue to apply for the current Creative Europe calls for the MEDIA and Culture sub-programme. 

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.  

DCMS advises that under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK entities' participation in EU programmes will be unaffected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU for the lifetime of the current EU budget period (the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework). This includes Creative Europe.

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

Until the Withdrawal Agreement is voted for by both UK and EU Parliaments it is not possible to guarantee that the UK will leave the EU with a deal. The following advice remains valid for a no deal scenario:

In the case of a ‘no deal’ outcome, payments to UK beneficiaries would be expected to cease after the leave date, based on the UK-specific clause which has been inserted into all Creative Europe guidelines since 2017. 

On 4 September 2019 the EU Commission issued a communication as part of its preparations for a no deal scenario, which included the following statement: 

“In the case of a withdrawal without an agreement, in many cases the United Kingdom and UK beneficiaries will not be able to apply for new funding and will no longer be eligible to receive funding or will face termination of their current participation in EU programmes. Payments would therefore have to be suspended, and could only be made if and when a financial settlement is agreed between the European Union and the United Kingdom. In certain cases, contracts may need to be terminated if they no longer meet the eligibility requirements of the EU programme, or changes will need to be made in order to ensure compatibility with the eligibility requirements.”

The UK government is currently analysing these proposals and their implications. These proposals are separate from the government Guarantee, which it outlined below.


If the arrangement with the Commission doesn’t come to pass, 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. 

The Government guarantee covers funding committed to UK organisations. It does not cover funding committed to partners and participants in other Member States and other participating countries. This means that where a UK organisation is the lead member of a partnership, any funding it distributes to non-UK associated beneficiaries is not covered by the guarantee.

DCMS is responsible for the delivery of the guarantee for Creative Europe. Please read more on this UK Government web page for further details about the Guarantee.  


The HMG guarantee covers:

  • the full Multiannual Financial Framework allocation for structural and investment funds over the 2014-20 funding period, with payments to beneficiaries made up to the end of 2023
  • the payment of awards where UK organisations—such as charities, businesses and universities—successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis while we remain in the EU (e.g. before exit day), for the lifetime of the project;
  • the payment of awards under successful bids where UK organisations are able to participate as a third country in competitive grant programmes from Exit day until the end of 2020, for the lifetime of the project. More details can be found on the website.

DCMS advises that the guarantee will apply only to project applications that are  approved directly by the European Commission, or the relevant EU agency acting on its behalf, though it is not yet 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.

As stated above, the EU Commission has put forward an offer to continue payments until the end of 2020, if the UK accepts and fulfils the conditions already set out in the 2019 contingency Regulation, for UK projects selected before the leave date.

For some project applications, where partners are required, there is the scope for UK organisations to continue to participate in projects in a more limited capacity, for example as a non-lead Third Country/ Associate partner. 


If you currently receive funding from Creative Europe, and have not yet provided DCMS with details of your grant, register each project with them as soon as possible by:

This email address and form will remain open if the UK leaves the EU so that UK applicants can continue to register their projects with DCMS.

4. UK participation in the future Creative Europe programme

The successor of Creative Europe will run from 2021-2027 and is expected to continue to allow participation of non-EU countries. The decision on whether the UK can participate in the next programme will be taken as part of the future partnership negotiations with the EU, which will be accelerated once the Withdrawal Agreement is concluded. The revised political declaration agreed from 17 October 2019 says:

“A. Participation in Union programmes

Noting the intended breadth and depth of the future relationship and the close bond between their citizens, the Parties will establish general principles, terms and conditions for the United Kingdom's participation in Union programmes, subject to the conditions set out in the corresponding Union instruments, in areas such as science and innovation, youth, culture and education, overseas development and external action, defence capabilities, civil protection and space. These should include a fair and appropriate financial contribution, provisions allowing for sound financial management by both Parties, fair treatment of participants, and management and consultation appropriate to the nature of the cooperation between the Parties.” 

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. 

5. Key facts about Creative Europe

  • Since its launch in 2014 and until 2018, 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.

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

Last updated: 18 December 2019