DecryptionsThe President of the Republic ensured the survival of the sector during the Covid-19 epidemic. It injected massive funds without revolutionizing cultural policy.
It was not planned in his program, but it will remain as one of the feats of arms of his five-year term. To preserve the world of culture from the consequences of Covid-19, Emmanuel Macron has put nearly 15 billion euros on the table. A maddening figure, more than three times higher than the annual budget of the Ministry of Culture, but which has kept professionals’ heads above water. “The virus forced us, like the vast majority of countries, to close cultural venues for several months. It was not lightheartedly. But what will remain is that we have done everything to protect the sector and help it recover,” do we want to believe in the Elysée.
In fact, the government did not skimp on the means during the two years of health crisis. Eighteen-month “white year” for intermittent performers (1.3 billion euros), sectoral aid for cinema or music (1.7 billion), partial unemployment for employees (1.3 billion) , state-guaranteed loans for businesses (4.2 billion), recovery plan (2 billion)… “Everything will be done to protect (…), no matter what, promised the Head of State, on March 12, 2020, during his first televised address devoted to Covid-19. And it’s not over: several systems have been maintained to support the sector.
“No social breakdown”
Of course, the professionals were sometimes vehement during the crisis, in particular to denounce the classification “non-essential” of their sector. “This expression has been misunderstood, because it has been poorly explained,” recognizes the deputy (LRM, Bas-Rhin) Bruno Studer, president of the cultural affairs commission of the National Assembly. But many of them admit the effort made by the executive. “The State was there to compensate. There has been no social breakdown either among artists or in companies,” concedes Pascal Rogard, general manager of the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD). “We have been closed for three hundred days in two years, it has been painful. But, in the end, the government ensured the survival of the place,” abounds Marc-Olivier Sebbag, general delegate of the National Federation of French Cinemas.
The health crisis will have had the merit of demonstrating the importance of the unemployment insurance scheme for intermittent work in preserving the cultural sector.
“The State’s commitment to supporting the sector has been exemplary, also judges Nicolas Dubourg, president of the National Syndicate of artistic and cultural enterprises. In Europe, France has been envied, hailed. » The health crisis will have had the merit in particular of demonstrating the importance of the unemployment insurance scheme for the intermittency of the show in preserving the cultural sector. There is also an unmistakable sign: no more candidate for the 2022 presidential election is calling for the abolition of this long-decried regime, especially on the right.
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