Despite these challenges, the sector resisted the 2008 crisis. According to Eurostat culture statistics, overall 8.4 million people (nearly 4 % of the total number employed) work directly in the cultural sector. Creative and performing artists, together with authors, journalists and linguists, account for 30 % of total employment in the sector, representing also the highest level of people with a university diploma or equivalent (58 %). The cultural heritage sector alone directly employs more than 300 000 people with 7.8 million occupying jobs in related sectors (tourism, building work, and services such as transport, interpretation or translation, and maintenance and security of cultural sites). The rate between direct jobs in the cultural heritage sector and indirect or induced jobs is one to almost 27 compared to the 6:3 ratio for the car industry. This job potential is important in the context of Europeans’ concerns about unemployment.
Cultural attractiveness and cultural diplomacy as a tool in international relations and an instrument of soft power, help promote peaceful international relations and economic growth. Europe’s cultural diversity, particularly its cultural heritage, is also beneficial for tourism. In a 2015 opinion poll, between 70 % and 80 % of respondents from Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, the US (strategic partners) and Russia, found EU countries attractive, particularly for their cultural heritage – museums and monuments – but also arts, luxury goods and clothes. The EU accounts for nearly half of Unesco world heritage sites.