17 Apr 2018

Pdf version of the Statement

Brussels, 17 April 2018

THE FUTURE OF THE CREATIVE EUROPE MEDIA PROGRAMME

As organisations working across the European audiovisual sector, and in the context of the discussions surrounding the next Multi-annual Financial Framework, we would like to reiterate our support for the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme, a vital component of the European audiovisual landscape, and call for an ambitious budgetary proposal to ensure the continued success of the European audiovisual sector in the future.

Over the past 27 years, the MEDIA Programme has invested over €2.4 billion in European content, creativity and diversity. Through promoting cultural diversity, encouraging cross-border creative and financial partnerships, boosting competitiveness and providing valuable training to professionals across the film value chain, it has enabled audiences to enjoy the best that Europe has to offer in terms of its rich tapestry of audiovisual content.

It is therefore of the utmost importance that the MEDIA Programme’s budget is preserved and strengthened. Now more than ever, the Programme is in need of an ambitious budgetary proposal in order to build on its success so far in order to bolster its already efficient schemes and to keep pace with the fast-changing nature of the sector through new and innovative actions.

European storytelling has proved to be a success not only in Europe but also further afield. The MEDIA Programme has played an important role in this respect, itself a stamp of quality that raises the profile and reach of European works throughout the EU and across the globe. MEDIA represents a true European success story.

The important achievements of the MEDIA Programme are evident throughout the European film value chain, including:

– Essential development support in order to continue to level-up investments into high-quality European stories, scripts and concepts and, hence, the economic sustainability of production companies;

– Furthering the emergence of high-quality European productions and building on the success of co-productions in both film and TV;

– Providing international sales companies with funding for the acquisition and marketing of non-national European films;

– Essential funding for distributors to enhance the circulation and promotion of European content, enabling audiences to discover films from across the EU;

– Supporting European cinemas through the Europa Cinemas network, in its efforts to screen non-national European films across the EU;

– Contributions towards training programmes for over 20,000 skilled audiovisual professionals, enabling them to keep up with new developments and challenges.

Constraints to the Creative Europe MEDIA budget would not only affect the sustainability and future economic growth of the European audiovisual sector but would also undermine European cultural diversity as a whole, through negatively impacting the production, promotion and distribution of European content to audiences in non-national markets in Europe and the rest of the world.

At present, Europe’s cultural and creative sectors represent 3.8% of the EU’s workforce and 4.4% of GDP.1 However, the Creative Europe budget – the EU’s sole support programme for culture and one of the smallest in terms of budget – represents just 0.14% of the total budget in the current Multi-annual Financial Framework period (2014-2020). It is therefore crucial that the next generation of the MEDIA Programme receives adequate financial resources to further foster our sector’s economic and social contributions to the European economy and society as a whole. Such a decision would reaffirm that the audiovisual sector and the circulation of European film, TV content, culture and values, inside and outside Europe, are seen as pivotal for the promotion of European cultural diversity and a key component of the European Union’s soft power outside its borders.

The MEDIA Programme’s track record as a flagship initiative that enables European citizens to explore and experience European cultural diversity speaks for itself, and it is only through a budgetary proposal that reflects both its successes and potential opportunities for expansion in the future that MEDIA will continue to benefit both the industry and European citizens alike.

We therefore strongly urge the European Commission to propose an ambitious budget for the next programming period and the Member States to support it, reaffirming in practice the strategic importance of the following key strands:

– Increased support for the film distribution schemes, through all distribution channels, through local distributors, video publishers and world sales companies, as well as for TV distribution schemes resulting in better circulation and promotion of European content;

– Increased development funding to sustain the quality of European film and TV content produced year-on-year, complemented by an ambitious support for co-productions;

– Expansion of the Europa Cinemas network to provide better access to European films for citizens across the EU;

– Opportunities for professional networking and collaboration across the sector, be this through industry events and/or festivals;

– Opportunities for training, film literacy and mentorship schemes, with an eye on younger audiences and a gender-balanced approach;

– A strategy for the digital transition that takes into account both the opportunities provided in the digital age whilst keeping in mind the success and relevance of traditional support schemes.

Such a proposal would not only ensure the future of the programme but would provide a suitable environment to promote and celebrate Europe’s cultural diversity and competitiveness, European values and the success of the European audiovisual industry.

1 https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/20170706_cultural-creative-cities-monitor-infographic.pdf

Signatories

Animation in Europe – Federation of Animation Producers’ Associations

CEPI – The European Coordination of Independent Producers

Eurocinema – Association des producteurs de Cinéma et de Télévision

Europa Distribution – European Network of Independent Film Distributors

Europa International – European Network for Sales Agents

FERA – Federation of European Film Directors

FIAD – International Federation of Film Distributors’ Associations

FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations

IVF – International Video Federation

SAA – Society of Audiovisual Authors

UNIC – International Union of Cinemas