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Factsheet for case MT-2021-6/2021 Updated – measures in Malta

Restart Schemes 2021 - Arts Council Malta

L-iskemi Restart 2021 - Il-Kunsill Malti għall-Arti

Country Malta , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 04 February 2021 – 10 December 2021
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Measures to support a gradual relaunch of work
Author Luke Anthony Fiorini (University of Malta) and Eurofound
Case created 06 October 2021 (updated 07 February 2022)

Background information

The COVID-19 pandemic affected many sectors, with the arts hit particularly hard. Events related to the arts and entertainment were often the first to be closed down due to public health COVID-19 restrictions, and also one of the last to open up again. Once the arts and entertainment sectors began to function, public health restrictions made it difficult for such events to be financially feasible. In order to address the recover and resilience of the cultural and creative sectors, Government developed the RESTART Schemes.

Content of measure

Administered by the Malta Arts Council, the RESTART Schemes are multifaceted. Originally presented in February 2021 and then expanded upon in July 2021, the programme consists of 12 arts investment and support schemes. The scheme has 3 overarching principles which include (a) the adoption of COVID-19 mitigation measures; (b) the schemes are inclusive with simplified processes available to a wide range of stakeholders, including private individuals, non-profit organisations, and registered companies; (c) the schemes are an investment in the sector, investment will be holistic with a focus on long-term sustainability.

The 12 schemes, each of which have different deadlines for applications which ranged from February 2021 until October 2021, included the following:

  • Professional development - promotes further professionalism within the cultural and creative sector and aims to foster an entrepreneurial culture;
  • Digital research and development - a fund to aid with the development of technology skills; Young talent - supports the development and exposure of young artists;
  • Programme support - aims to restart creative and cultural programming and to operate in a sustainable manner even when circumstances require the postponing of events;
  • Project support - supports artists in taking creative risks to develop new work through research, experimentation and collaboration;
  • Arts education - which supports arts education institutions; Kultura TV - incentivises the development of cultural and creative content on private broadcasting stations;
  • International cultural exchanges - primarily focuses on addressing digital cultural exchanges; Creative communities - aims to foster sustainable community-building and emphasise the Participatory Creative Process;
  • Gozo cultural support - support for cultural projects in Gozo;
  • Investment in Cultural organisations;
  • Event support scheme - aims to make cultural and artistic events more economically viable.

Whilst seven of these measures were announced in February 2021, others were announced in July 2021, following pressure (including public events) to provide more support for the sector. One measure that was added after such pressure by the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA), who argued that events were financially unsustainable due to public health measures, was the Event support scheme. This scheme provides applicants with free access to government venues, and a grant of up to €30,000 per applicant to cover event costs.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

04 December 2021

It was announced that the budget for the Restart schemes in 2022 would be increased from the 2021 budget of €3.62 million to €7 million. Details of any new measures were not provided.

Use of measure

This scheme was originally allocated €1.32 million, however this was increased to €3.62 million later in 2021. The Malta Arts Council website highlights the allocation for each measure. The production support scheme was allocated €1.3 million, the Project support scheme €345,000, the Arts education scheme €120,000, the Digital research and development scheme €300,000, the Creative communities scheme €100,000, Kultura TV €240,000, Professional development €50,000, Young talent fund €30,000, Gozo cultural support €280,000, Investment in cultural organisations €326,500, and Event support €1.27 million.

In May 2021, it was announced that 16 cultural and creative programmes had been awarded €433,333 from the initial pot of €1.32 million.

In December 2021, it was announced that in total 466 eligible applications had been received in 2021 for the various Restart schemes. No further details provided.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
Local funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Consulted
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Regional or local level

Involvement

The Arts Council Malta Chair stated that the measures were designed via close consultation with the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA), a newly formed body that represents those working and employing within the sector. Prior to the introduction of these measures the MEIA had been very vocal about the lack of support provided to those working within the arts and entertainment sectors. Furthermore, throughout 2021, the MEIA carried out meetings with several stakeholders, including Government and Public Health officials, where they presented their concerns and suggestions for a safe re-opening of the sector.

Views and reactions

Throughout the first three quarters of 2021, the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) has been very vocal with regards to the limited opening up of the arts and cultural sector - including the lack of standing events, the inability to open art related schools, and the restrictive number of people allowed to attend events, which was viewed as discriminatory. MEIA pushed for further support for those working in this sector, primarily for financial support to cover the cost of events and cancellations. Subsequently, whilst the body expressed limited views at the initial schemes that were implemented through Restart 2021, the body welcomed the further €2 million in funding announced in July 2021, primarily highlighting how the 'Event Support Scheme' was a step in the right direction.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Restart Schemes 2021 - Arts Council Malta, case MT-2021-6/2021 (measures in Malta), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.