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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Creative Europe Programme

This webpage covers the Creative Europe Programme strictly as part of funding projects related to tourism.

Why is it relevant to tourism?

Creative Europe is the European Union's programme for support to the cultural and creative sectors, including the audio-visual sector. The general objectives of the Creative Europe programme are to:

  • safeguard, develop and promote European cultural and linguistic diversity and heritage
  • increase the competitiveness and the economic potential of the cultural and creative sectors, in particular the audio-visual sector

The programme supports projects that promote European contemporary creation and heritage (intangible, tangible, industrial), architecture, music, literature, performing arts, films, festivals, cultural tourism, etc. as well as flagship initiatives such as the European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) or the European Heritage Days.

Overview of tourism-related components

The programme covers the following strands:

  • CULTURE: cultural and creative sectors with the exception of the audio-visual sector
  • MEDIA: the audio-visual sector
  • CROSS SECTORAL: activities across all cultural and creative sectors

Next to the particular relevance of the ECOC scheme for regional development, which includes tourism, cooperation projects or platforms under the ‘horizontal actions’ of the CULTURE strand can consist of cultural events in the form of music or performing arts festivals. In the MEDIA strand, film festivals and markets may play a role in national and international tourism. In addition, city branding through culture contributes to the value of urban areas, therefore attracting more visitors.

Furthermore, under ‘sectoral actions’, the programme’s CULTURE strand provides for actions including the development of the creative aspects of sustainable cultural tourism, the design and fashion sectors, and for the promotion and representation of those sectors outside the Union. 

Details of the programme

The programme has the following specific objectives related to each respective strand.

  • CULTURE: to enhance the artistic and cultural cooperation at the European level in order to support the creation of European works and strengthen the economic, social and external dimension of the cultural and creative sectors, as well as innovation and mobility.
  • MEDIA: to promote the competitiveness, scalability, cooperation, innovation and sustainability, including through mobility, of the European audio-visual sector.
  • CROSS-SECTORAL: to promote policy cooperation and innovative actions supporting all strands of the programme and to promote a diverse, independent and pluralistic media environment and media literacy.

Additional information and how to apply

Examples of supported projects

Project title: Follow the Vikings

Description: Follow the Vikings is a four-year transnational project funded by Creative Europe, which brings together a network of partners to broaden and develop the audience for Viking heritage and its sites across Europe. These partners are already members of the Destination Viking Association, which will take forward the results of the project.

The Follow the Vikings project is a multi-faceted project to promote, celebrate, transfer knowledge and skills and facilitate the exchange of tangible and intangible cultural material relating to the Viking world. The objective of the project is to make transnational Viking heritage accessible and understandable to a world-wide audience. It aims to broaden the audience to both major and less well-known sites, museums, and attractions relating to Viking history, and to the legacy of the Vikings at large. It also aims to stimulate interest in the Viking world beyond the partnership and the cultural route.

The project has created a large and lasting network among cultural actors involved in the preservation, presentation and marketing of Viking heritage throughout Europe and further afield. It has supported an intensified exchange of knowledge and experience between these actors, as well as supporting the creation of joint transnational presentations and products on the legacy of the Vikings.

EU contribution: €1,960,000

Level of EU funding: 50%

Links to project: Follow the Vikings Project ( and Follow the Vikings Project


Project title: (a)Live Now

Description: ‘In Europe the arts are just a festival away’ is the slogan of the recently launched interactive search engine and online portal, It is a result of the pilot project ‘Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE)’ which drove 2,000 festivals to register on the site by 19 Sep 2019. Having focused on festivals to sign up, (a)Live Now launches this technological tool with 6 partnering stakeholders from 6 different perspectives: festivals, cities, national tourism boards, the press, academia and the technological world. The ultimate goal is to increase audience access to the arts and provide information on the rich diversity of festivals across Europe.

EU contribution: €199,437

Level of EU funding: 60%

Links to project: (a)Live Now Project ( Festival Finder - European Festivals Association


Project Title: European Industrial Heritage - A network in the heart of European history.

Description: The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) was launched in 1999 as an Interreg II C project. It delivered a master plan with concrete ideas and activities to promote European industrial heritage. A route system was put in place between important industrial heritage sites (’anchor points’) possessing a well-developed tourism infrastructure.

ERIH also worked on making Industrial Heritage attractive to children and young people. ERIH presents the most comprehensive cultural and tourism inventory of industrial heritage in Europe. The 2015 grant aimed to ensure the network's long-term sustainability by providing additional services and benefits to its members and cultural co-operation. These included market research,  an experts´ database and support for the exchange of experiences. This grant helped to establish national chapters and international thematic task forces.

EU contribution: €184,143 (2015-16)

Level of EU funding: 60%

Links to project: Creative Europe Project Results ( and European route of industrial heritage - ERIH

Database of examples