Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi sent a joint letter to the Ministers and State Secretaries of Culture in all EU Member States. The letter was also signed by Urs Pilz, President of Fédération Mondiale du Cirque and the European Circus Association with the executive and managing directors of the organizations. The signatories call on policy makers to pay special attention to helping the cultural sector, which, alongside tourism, has suffered the heaviest losses as a result of the restrictions that had to be introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.
They also draws attention to the fact that, thanks to EU measures, considerable resources are now at the disposal of the governments of the Member States for recovery. The letter pointed out that part of the rescue package (“NextGenerationEU”) originally proposed by the European Commission and currently discussed by the EU Heads of Government was a multi-hundred billion euro budget framework (“Recovery and Resilience Facility”), part of which Member States will be able to use as non-refundable funds and the other part as a soft loan. In the joint letter, the Hungarian MEP and the leaders of European circus world, among other things, calls on the governments of the Member States to accept the proposal of the EU Commissioner for Culture Mariya Gabriel and spend at least 2 percent of this framework specifically on rescuing and helping those affected by the crisis in the cultural sector.
“Even two percent of this soon-to-be-finalized budget amounts to billions of euros, which could already provide meaningful help and relief to the European players in the entertainment industry, such as musicians, actors, dancers, event organizers, technical background staff and, of course, circus artists and performers, who are often left off this list. Should the recovery package be adopted with no head of state or government vetoing it as blackmail, this money will soon be available to decision-makers in the Member States. From then on, it is their responsibility and duty to distribute this EU public money in a targeted way, to the sectoral players genuinely in need of these funds. I trust that this is how it will happen everywhere” said MEP Ujhelyi.
Brussels – 20/07/2020