EY study: Rebuilding Europe through Culture

26 Jan 2021

The new EY study on cultural and creative industries in Europe demonstrates the considerable impact of the crisis, but also the key role this sector can play in boosting the economy.



Study finds that cultural and creative industries (CCIs) before COVID:

Employed more than twice as many people as telecommunications and automotive industries combined were growing faster than the EU average Represented 4.4% of EU GDP

But were some of the worst affected by the pandemic.

CCIs are much more than “just another sector to get out of the crisis”: they are a significant part of Europe’ solution for this crisis, at a time when we need political unity, a powerful economic stimulus, and social regeneration.

Download the press release

Download the excutive summary




According to a EY Study, the Visual Arts sector has the largest turnover amongthe EU’s Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) but is set to suffer a -38% loss in turnover in2020 compared to 2019 (-53 billion euros).

As the measures to tackle the pandemic were adopted throughout Europe, the primary physical venues for visual artists’ business (museums, art fairs, art galleries, auction houses etc) have beenthe first to be closed and the last ones to be re-opened. The immediate consequence of this was for visual artists’ economic activities to be greatly reduced if not completely halted, resulting in high economic, visibility and opportunity loss for the whole 2020. Among CCIs in the EU, visual arts suffered the biggest loss in absolute terms: -53 billion euros compared to 2019.

In 2020 the shift of visual art consumption towards online sites accelerated, but as it is the case for other art sectors, online revenues are not enough to offset the loss of the correspondent offline revenues, especially taking into account the higher risk of piracy and unauthorised uses.

This is worrying even more as, according to the study, 1 out of 8 museums in the EU may never reopen and in France1 alone, 1 out of 3 art galleries are projected not to reopen either.

Despite the sectors’ employment growth in the past years and counting 1,890,000 jobs in
2019, many visual artists may now give up on their activity.

EVA calls for urgent financial support to the sector both at EU and national levels to preserve these jobs and avert a disastrous impact on Europe’s cultural contents and diversity.


Carola STREUL, Secretary General
+32 2 2909247

Download focus about visual arts (EVA)



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