Cultural and creative industries in the EU show a way out of the economic crisis

A new study published by EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and presented today to Commissioner Oettinger, Commissioner Navracsics and Vice-President Ansip shows that cultural and creative industries are among the EU’s biggest employers and have experienced sustained growth even through recession.

A paint brush splashing different coloured paints onto a wall

The EY study published today emphasises that creative works are one of the main sources nourishing the digital economy, which has been placed at the forefront of the European Commission’s future policy plan. Jean-Noël Tronc, CEO of French authors’ society Sacem, commented that “The creative and cultural sectors are an integral part of the digital economy. Creative works are instrumental in the value generated by the digital networks and platform”.

At a meeting later today with European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Culture, Youth and Sports Tibor Navracsics, and Vice-President Andrus Ansip, the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) and its partners for the study , will invite EU politicians to give the necessary consideration to the importance of creators who provide the life blood of the creative and cultural industries and the digital economy. Despite their central role in the growth of the EU, creators’ rights and earnings are currently under threat by internet intermediaries that reap huge benefits without providing creators with a (fair) share. GESAC urges the European Commission and the European Parliament to take this considerable threat to the ecosystem seriously, in light of the modernisation of copyright in the EU.


Today’s study shows that the creative and cultural industries create 5 times more jobs than telecommunications and far more than conventional sectors like chemical, automotive and metal and steel industries. We are in the information age and creative works are the main source of its digital economy. Creators need to be at the centre of EU policy on authors’ rights/copyright that would also feed a more diverse and future-proof digital economy.

Christophe Depreter, President of GESAC

In light of the modernisation of copyright recently set as one of the JC Juncker Commission’s priorities, Jochen Greve, the German screenwriter of renowned TV Series Tatort, and patron of the SAA said “this study shows what I experience on a daily basis. As I work together with my fellow creators, sharing our ideas and putting our stories together, we are also laying the foundations for the jobs of many other people who bring our stories to the screen and then make sure it reaches as many people as possible around the world. All of the subsequent economic and social value that is created from our ideas comes from our authors’ rights.”

Also arguing in favour of maintaining a healthy copyright system to allow for the cultural and creative sectors to continue to blossom in Europe was Henrique Mota, CEO of Portuguese publishing house Principia Editoria and Vice-President of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP): “Without copyright, there would be far fewer books, and therefore creative expressions would significantly be stifled. Copyright preserves cultural diversity, and with it a European identity deeply-rooted in its versatility.”

The full report is available here:

GESAC groups 34 of the largest authors’ societies in the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. It represents over 1 million creators and rights holders in the areas of music, audiovisual works, visual arts, literary and dramatic works, as well as music publishers. Created in 1990, GESAC’s head office is in Brussels.  

GESAC contact
Aurelia Leeuw
+32 (0) 2 511 44 54

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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