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 and4.4% of GDP.1 However, the Creative Europe budget – the EU’s sole support programme forculture and one of the smallest in terms of budget – represents just 0.14% of the total budgetin the current Multi-annual Financial Framework period (2014-2020). It is therefore crucialthat the next generation of the MEDIA Programme receives adequate financial resources tofurther foster our sector’s economic and social contributions to the European economy andsociety as a whole. Such a decision would reaffirm that the audiovisual sector and thecirculation of European film, TV content, culture and values, inside and outside Europe, areseen as pivotal for the promotion of European cultural diversity and a key component of theEuropean Union’s soft power outside its borders.The MEDIA Programme’s track record as a flagship initiative that enables European citizensto explore and experience European cultural diversity speaks for itself, and it is only througha budgetary proposal that reflects both its successes and potential opportunities forexpansion in the future that MEDIA will continue to benefit both the industry and Europeancitizens alike.We therefore strongly urge the European Commission to propose an ambitious budgetfor the next programming period and the Member States to support it, reaffirming inpractice 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 forTV distribution schemes resulting in better circulation and promotion of Europeancontent;- Increased development funding to sustain the quality of European film and TV contentproduced year-on-year, complemented by an ambitious support for co-productions;- Expansion of the Europa Cinemas network to provide better access to European filmsfor citizens across the EU;- Opportunities for professional networking and collaboration across the sector, be thisthrough industry events and/or festivals;- Opportunities for training, film literacy and mentorship schemes, with an eye onyounger audiences and a gender-balanced approach;- A strategy for the digital transition that takes into account both the opportunitiesprovided in the digital age whilst keeping in mind the success and relevance oftraditional support schemes.Such a proposal would not only ensure the future of the programme but would provide asuitable environment to promote and celebrate Europe’s cultural diversity andcompetitiveness, European values and the success of the European audiovisual industry.
Animation in Europe – Federation of Animation Producers’ AssociationsCEPI – The European Coordination of Independent ProducersEurocinema – Association des producteurs de Cinéma et de TélévisionEuropa Distribution – European Network of Independent Film DistributorsEuropa International – European Network for Sales AgentsFERA – Federation of European Film DirectorsFIAD – International Federation of Film Distributors’ AssociationsFIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers’ AssociationsIVF – International Video FederationSAA – Society of Audiovisual AuthorsUNIC – International Union of Cinemas