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  • Dominic McGonigal

Will the creative industries continue to flourish under the new European Parliament?

The European elections confirm the underlying political shifts, but what does this mean for artists and the creative industries?

 

The new European Parliament has shifted to the right, with a surge in the protest vote. The largest party is the centre right EPP, but they only hold about a quarter of all seats. They need at least two other centrist parties to support any legislation and make key appointments. The protest vote holds one third of all seats, making it easier to block initiatives.


 

The gains have been in the nationalist parties which generally oppose action at EU level and want to reduce or eliminate immigration. In France and Germany, the nationalist parties achieved a higher vote than the incumbent governing party, just as UKIP did for the UK back in 2014.

 

While this is unlikely to lead to a Member State leaving the EU (for now at least), it shows voters are increasingly disillusioned by politicians and it does weaken the EU institutions. In ten years, the anti-EU vote within the Parliament has grown from 23% to 32%. You can see the rise of the protest vote in this comparative tool on the EP website.

 

Up to now, the EU has been at the forefront of dealing with the negative effects of AI and platform dominance. Five years ago, the DMA and DSA were adopted, giving the EU direct powers to control quasi monopolistic behaviour and ensure market access for creative companies. In the most recent Parliament, the AI Act was passed, a world first. This introduced obligations for transparency on source material for the algorithms and accountability for use of others’ content.

 

Even for the DMA and DSA, it is still early days to see how effective they are, while the Commission has only just started setting up units to monitor and regulate AI. There is undoubtedly unfinished business. The Commission programme is expected to include further work on the digital economy, AI and the economic conditions for creators. Creative companies see themselves at a disadvantage still when at the mercy of gatekeepers and increasingly obscure ways to steal content.

 

While many populist MEPs would privately support measures to boost the European creative economy, they are not going to vote publicly for it. The future of the creative industries, in terms of regulation, rests with the four centre parties.

 

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