1. An Overview of Policy Issues at Various Levels
The international, European, national and local creativite industry policy framework is broad in its scope and complex in its structure. The first aim of this paper was to provide an accurate, although generalised, snapshot of the policy players, issues, support services and structures within the field of creative industry development.
At the international level we discussed macro level concerns in relation to the creative industries. At this level national governments come together to address broad legislative, infrastructure, trade and personal and national identity related issues. These policies contain universal aims, noble goals, and are consensus based with the largest representation possible.
Although there are more than twenty-five United Nations Agencies and Funds each one has a specific remit within the international system and only a handful -UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNDP, WIPO – have developed creative industry support services or legal
The efforts of the EU in the field of “cultural and creative policy” clearly point toward more specific national agendas.
At the regional, or European level, representatives of governments also discuss similar policy objectives and issues that appear at the international level but with a growing concern for more tangible outcomes such as competitiveness, business development, funding, regulation and specific forms of inter nation cooperation.
This section focused on the players within the European cultural policy realm. The major convener at this level is the European Union. Here a stronger influence on the national policy infrastructure was more detectable. Trends such as linking European economic growth and development with the creative industries were discussed. As were the effects of regional priorities taking precedence over noble international goals, particularly in the domain of regional values and identity and whether they existed or not. One such example noted in the discussion on European policy was referred to as ‘cultural integration’ as opposed to the more general and universal ‘cultural diversity’. These issues then become country specific when it enters the realm of national creative industry policy.
With the election of the Labour government in the mid 1990s and throughout this decade the United Kingdom restructured its national cultural policies to include the creative industries. This shift away from a limited view of culture, encompassing the traditional classical arts, to a larger view of the creative economic sector has paid considerable dividends for the country. During this time the government identified workspace, intellectual property protection, education, financing and the ability to access foreign markets as the main issues that should be addressed by local authorities to stimulate a thriving creative industries sector.
This novel formula of enlarging the definition of cultural industries to creative industries coupled with systematic research within the sector drastically altered the national discourse on the importance of the creative industries within the economic and social development of the United Kingdom.
These new cultural policy ideas have clearly had an effect within the UK and began to appear in regional and international policy arenas from 2000. Approximately a decade after the first attempts to redefine the cultural industries was undertaken by the British authorities an international wave of national cultural policy reviews followed.
Concerning UK policy, micro concerns became more evident while hints of the macro concerns remained. Funding, space issues, intellectual property rights, training and business support become tangible issues.