Financing cultural projects

The Interreg programmes

Nevertheless, numerous cross-border cultural projects are financed within the framework of the Interreg programmes. In order to benefit from this type of funding, projects must demonstrate added value. This added value can be linked to a particular field:
Economic – the development of creative industries 
- Environmental – protection and promotion of natural and cultural heritage, sustainability of cultural sites 

More specifically, the Interreg programmes propose working on:

  • Cultural and creative projects promoting competitiveness and innovation within the territories;
  • Large-scale projects, requiring an integrated and structuring approach and having an impact on the territory;
  • Cooperation projects relying on broad and open partnerships, bringing together territorial stakeholders, social stakeholders, and stakeholders in education and training, or business.


Following the success of the “CULTURE”, “MEDIA” and “MEDIA Mundus” programmes, the "Creative Europe" programme was launched in 2013 for the 2014-2020 period. With a €1.46 billion budget, it is made up of three strands of action:

  • Culture strand - supporting initiatives in the cultural sector, creation and cooperation
  • Media strand - supporting initiatives in the audio-visual sector, notably concerning the conception and distribution of audio-visual works, as well as access to these works
  • Cross-sector strand – a guarantee facility to encourage funding for the cultural and creative sectors, promotion of transnational political cooperation, supporting transnational exchanges of experience and know-how within the cultural and creative sectors

“Creative Europe” supports international cooperation projects between cultural organisations within the EU as well as beyond its frontiers. Under certain conditions, countries in the European Economic Area (such as Norway) or countries covered by the EU neighbourhood policy (such as Ukraine) can also participate in the programme.

“Creative Europe” grants patronage to the European Capitals of Culture and to the European Heritage Label.

Funding at national and regional levels

Other means of financing cultural projects exist, but they are generally intended for national cultural projects and do not necessarily correspond to the realities of cross-border territories. One answer to this problem could be to adjust the criteria for national funding through the integration of specific rules to support cross-border cultural projects.