Cultural and creative industries (hereinafter referred to as CCIs) are in a strategically important position to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in all EU regions and cities, and thus contribute fully to the achievement of the objectives of Europe 2020 Strategy, which is the EU’s growth strategy.
CCIs are by nature inter-disciplinary, they combine culture on one hand and economy on the other. Arts and culture are often described as the core in a system where the cultural and creative industries surround the core and the wider economy surrounds the cultural and creative industries. Together the core cultural and artistic expressions and the cultural and creative industries provide a great potential for local, regional and national development and spill-over effects on the wider economy.
CCIs produce many different types of positive spill-overs on the economy and society as a whole: from inspiring and nurturing creative and innovative entrepreneurism to designing new public service transportation or new interactions between patients and health service staff, from promoting innovation in other sectors of the economy to promoting behavioural shifts or fuelling digital devices and networks, from promoting a more quality-oriented tourism in regions and cities to helping social regeneration of deprived areas and innovative forms of teaching, from design thinking in all types of settings to the use of culture and creativity as a management tool for improving working relationships in companies etc. Spill-over effects inherent to CCI can help to build a more creative governance, innovative teaching methods and life-long learning, new quality social services and tourism, sustainable territorial development, more innovative economy, environment sustainability and a competitive identity – a creative country for creative and united people.
Back in 90ies the attempts to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of the sector of culture in the economically developed countries (Great Britain, USA, Germany, France, Denmark, Australia et.al) demonstrated that in particular the sectors related to culture and entertainment, non-traditional productive structures and objects of copyright evolve at the fastest rate with the highest development potential.
Cultural and creative industries form a significant sector of the economy which is also an important employment source in Latvia. (Eurostat data show that 2.3% of people in Latvia work in culture sector in 2009 from 1.7% of total employed in EU.) Cultural and creative industries sectors are characterized by close links with other sectors, they create economical spill-over effects – every lats invested in the culture sector generates another 1.41 lats income. In accordance with Central Statistical Bureau data, household expenses for recreation and culture was 8.2% in 2008 and 8% in 2009 from the total expenditure of households. These statistics confirm that even in the period of economic downturn cultural consumption remains almost constant.
In EU researches (such as „The Economy of Culture in Europe”, KEA, 2006) the development potential of cultural and creative industries is estimated as high. Quantitative indicators show that culture and creative industries is one of the fastest growing European economical sectors. European Competitiveness Report indicates that creative industries accounts in average for 3.3% of the GDP in EU and 3% from total employment. In several countries this indicator is much higher, for example, in Great Britain creative industries accounts for 5.6% of the GDP.
Exploration of creative industries and development of CCI policy in Latvia was initiated with the support of the British Council and in consultation with British experts. In 2005 the Ministry of Culture in the process of developing of the guidelines for cultural policy recognized that the idea of the creative industries is important for Latvia as well as for the work of the Ministry of Culture.
The definition of creative industries in Latvia was for the first time included in the Guidelines for the State Cultural Policy of Latvia for 2006 – 2015. The definition was reviewed while preparing the Information Report on creative industries and their policy in Latvia in 2008.
The definition of creative industries is as follows:
Activities, based on individual and collective creativity, skills and talents, which by way of generating and utilizing intellectual property, are able to increase welfare and create jobs. Creative industries generate, develop, produce, utilize, display, disseminate, and preserve products of economic, cultural and/or recreational value.
Creative Industries encompass the following sectors:
• Performing arts
• Visual arts
• Television, radio and interactive media
• Computer games and interactive software
• Cultural heritage
• Cultural education
• Recreation, entertainment and other cultural activities
Responsibility areas of the Ministry in the field of creative industries are:
• Provide participation of Latvia and represent the interests of Latvia on international level – in international organizations, partnerships, committees and working groups regarding cultural and creative industries issues;
• Inform the society and raise awareness about the issues related to cultural and creative industries;
• Draft policy documents and regulatory enactments in the field of creative industries;
• Establish partnerships and cooperate with competent state, local government and private institutions on the development issues of creative industries;
• Cultural and creative industries education (responsible institution - Centre for Arts Education and Intangible Heritage)
• Collect statistics regarding cultural and creative industries in Latvia;
• Develop and submit proposals on establishing of expert commissions, councils and working groups related to the topical issues of creative industries;
• Accumulate and analyze information on the status of creative industries in the country;
• Analyze the documents of the European Union and other institutions in the field of creative industries and draft proposals for such documents.
Decisive role in the implementation of creative industries policy is played by successful inter-institutional cooperation. Other state institutions and non-governmental organizations are also involved in the policy planning and implementation.