Brussels, 16 July 2019
Following her confirmation earlier today as the new President of the European Commission, IMPALA wishes Ursula von der Leyen a warm welcome at the helm of the EU's executive body and outlines its priorities for the new commission.
IMPALA's Executive Chair Helen Smith said: "We are very pleased to see - for the first time ever - a woman take up this role. We hope that under her guidance, the commission will build on its previous commitment to strengthen the cultural sector in Europe. More ambitious policies and programmes are needed, as well as better funding for cultural and creative SMEs, the backbone of the sector".
Helen Smith continued: "Culture and creativity are one of Europe's main strengths. Their added value is economic (4.4% of the EU’s GDP and 12 million full-time jobs), and they are the perfect vehicles for European values and what the EU stands for: a diverse, yet united group of countries bound by culture".
Helen Smith concluded: "We look forward to continuing the discussion with the EU , and hope that Ms. von der Leyen, will place culture at the heart of the EU's priorities".