Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on a programme to promote the development and distribution of European audiovisual works (MEDIA II - Development and Distribution) (1996 - 2000)
/* COM/94/523 final - CNS 95/0027 */
OJ C 108, 29.4.1995, p. 8–12 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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Proposal for a Council Decision on a programme to promote the development and distribution of European audiovisual works (Media II - Development and Distribution) (1996 to 2000)
(Text with EEA relevance)
COM(94) 523 final - 95/0027(CNS)
(Submitted by the Commission on 28 February 1995)
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 130 (3) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee,
Whereas the Heads of State or Government, meeting as the European Council in Brussels on 10 and 11 December 1993, adopted the White Paper on Growth, competitiveness and employment as the basis for action by the European Union and its Member States, supporting an industrial development approach based on global competitiveness as the key to growth and jobs; whereas the White Paper, and in particular Chapter 5-C thereof, states the economic importance of the audiovisual industry;
Whereas the Heads of State or Government, meeting as the European Council in Corfu on 24 and 25 June 1994, took note of the report by the Bangemann Group entitled 'Europe and the global information society - Recommendations to the European Council`, in particular acknowledging the strategic importance of the audiovisual programme industry in terms of content;
Whereas Article 128 (4) of the Treaty requires the Community to take cultural aspects into account in its action under other provisions of the Treaty; whereas participation in the programme should reflect European cultural diversity;
Whereas the Council, at its joint industry/telecommunications meeting of 28 September 1994, issued a favourable opinion on the Commission communication of 19 July 1994 entitled 'Europe's way to the information society: an action plan` (1) and emphasized the need to improve the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry;
Whereas the Council took formal note, on 17 June 1994 of the Green Paper on 'Strategy options to strengthen the European programme industry in the context of the audiovisual policy of the European Union` (2);
Whereas the Commission consulted the people in the industry on the options put forward in the Green Paper, in particular by holding the European Audiovisual Conference in Brussels from 30 June to 2 July 1994;
Whereas the European Parliament, in its resolution of 6 May 1994 (3), examined the problems of the audiovisual industry, following Council Directive 89/552/EEC (4) (the 'Television without frontiers` Directive), in preparation for the European audiovisual conference and took the view that the priorities established inter alia during the discussions on amendments to the Media programme, namely financing mechanisms, pre-production, distribution and training, were the best means of establishing coherent, stable European networks;
Whereas the Economic and Social Committee issued its opinion (5) on the Green Paper, stating that European-level programmes such as Media could have a positive influence on the development structures and means of production in Europe;
Whereas the Commission has implemented a programme of measures to encourage the development of the European audiovisual industry (Media 1991 to 1995), adopted by Council Decision 90/685/EEC (6), including measures to support the development and distribution of European audiovisual works;
Whereas the Council, at its meeting of 5 November 1993, after taking note of the Commission communication of 23 July 1993 on the Media programme mid-term evaluation report, felt that it would be appropriate to examine suitable measures for launching a Media II programme after 1995;
Whereas the European Council in Essen on 9 and 10 December 1994 called on the Commission to present proposals for a new Mediaprogramme;
Whereas experience from the Mediaprogramme has shown that action is needed both before and after production; whereas companies in the sector, in particular small and medium-sized businesses, should be strengthened and cooperation between distributors/broadcasters and producers should be encouraged;
Whereas the emergence of a European audiovisual market requires the development of 'European works`, which means works from Member States of the European Union as defined in Article 6 of Directive 89/552/EEC;
Whereas the competitiveness of the audiovisual programme industry requires utilization of new technologies at the programme development stage;
Whereas there is a need for improvement in the circulation prospects of European cinematographic works on the European and world market;
Whereas European producers and distributors should be more numerous and more effective on programme markets;
Whereas the development of the European audiovisual industry requires mechanisms capable of attracting public and private resources;
Whereas support for development and distribution should take account of structural objectives such as developing the independent production industry, in particular small and medium-sized businesses, and developing potential where audiovisual production capacity is low, as in small countries or regions with less widely spoken languages;
Whereas, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, action taken by the Community should support and supplement action taken by the relevant authorities in the Member States,
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
A programme to promote the development and distribution of European audiovisual works (hereinafter referred to as 'the programme`), to run for five years from 1 January 1996, is hereby adopted for the purpose of strengthening the European audiovisual industry, particularly in the areas of development and distribution.
The aims of the Programme are as follows:
1. as regards development:
- to promote the development of production projects aimed at the European and world market and to support companies capable of developing such projects,
- to develop production projects that make use of new creative techniques and to support companies capable of developing such projects;
2. as regards distribution:
- to encourage European distributors to invest in cinema film production and to set up cross-border structures to distribute the films,
- to encourage television companies to cooperate in investing in the production of works aimed at the European and world market and to set up cross-border structures to transmit those works,
- to support linguistic diversity of programmes,
- to stimulate access to commercial events promoting European productions, in particular independent ones.
The measures described in the Annex shall be put into effect in order to achieve the objectives laid down in Article 2. They shall be implemented in accordance with the procedure set out in Article 6.
As a rule, beneficiaries of Community support working on the implementation of the measures laid down in Article 3 must provide a significant proportion of the funding; Community funding shall not exceed 50 % of the cost of operations.
Financial support under the programme may be granted in the form of loans, repayable advances or subsidies. The repayments under the programme, together with the repayments from operations under Media 1991 to 1995, will provide the funds for financial instruments to mobilize public and private financing for European audiovisual production.
1. The Commission shall be responsible for implementation of the programme.
2. The Commission shall be assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.
The representative of the Commission shall submit to the Committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The Committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft, within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, if necessary by taking a vote.
The opinion shall be recorded in the minutes; in addition, each Member State shall have the right to ask to have its opinion recorded in the minutes.
The Commission shall take the utmost account of the opinion delivered by the Committee. It shall inform the Committee of the manner in which its opinion has been taken into account.
3. The draft proposals for measures to be taken by the Commission, as referred to in paragraph 2, shall principally cover the following:
- arrangements for budget implementation for the programme,
- arrangements for implementation of the operations set out in the Annex,
- arrangements for monitoring and evaluating the operations.
Within the six months following the first three years of the programme's implementation, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee an evaluation report on the results achieved with suitable proposals, as appropriate.
When the programme has run its full term, the Commission shall submit a report on the implementation and results of the programme to the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.
(1) COM(94) 347 final, 19. 7. 1994.
(2) COM(94) 96 final, 6. 4. 1994.
(3) OJ No C 205, 25. 7. 1994, p. 561.
(4) OJ No L 298, 17. 10. 1989, p. 23.
(5) ESC 1000/94, 14. 9. 1994, p. 6.
(6) OJ No L 380, 31. 12. 1990, p. 37.
1. ACTION TO BE TAKEN
The programme is intended to enhance the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry on the European and world market by supporting the development of works with genuine commercial potential and the creation and strengthening of cross-border distribution and transmission networks.
THE PROPOSED OPERATIONS SHALL COVER THE FOLLOWING:
Improving development opportunities (pre-production) for drama, animation and documentaries with a view to access to the European and world market by:
- supporting the development of drama, documentaries and animation (cinema and television) aimed at a European and world audience, in particular by promoting improvement in screenplay techniques;
- supporting companies that have development project packages with European and world market potential,
- encouraging networking of companies with joint development projects aimed at the European and world market.
1.2. Distribution and transmission
1.2.1. Improving film and video distribution for European works with high circulation potential on the European and world market by:
- supporting the introduction of European distribution mechanisms encouraging distributors to contribute to funding production of works with commercial potential on the European and world market,
- promoting networking of European distributors with joint commercial strategies on the European and world market.
1.2.2. Television broadcasting
Improving circulation opportunities for television programmes aimed at the European and world market by:
- introducing a mechanism encouraging television companies to contribute to the financing of works with high circulation potential made by independent production companies and to distribute them on the European market,
- by supporting linguistic diversity by means of dubbing, subtitling and multilingual production.
1.2.3. Promoting independent productions
Improving access for independent producers and distributors to the European and world market by operating services and promotional activities at commercial events, such as markets, fairs and festivals, organized at European and international level.
2. IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURE
In implementing the programme, the Commission will work closely with the public authorities that handle support for the audiovisual industry in the Member States of the Union in order to ensure that the operations complement each other fully in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. The Commission will see to it that there is a good geographical spread among the professionals participating in the programme and that Europe's cultural diversity is reflected.
Community funds are intended to improve market access opportunities for productions targeted on a European and world audience. They are also intended to strengthen production and distribution companies with growth potential on the European market and thereby help restructure the industry.
In either instance, Community outlay shall not exceed 50 % of the costs and shall be granted in the form of repayable advances. The remainder will be provided by the industry.
Community support for linguistic diversity in production will be granted in the form of subsidies.
In implementing the programme the Commission will be assisted by two contractors capable of coordinating the performance of the tasks laid down in the action plan.
One contractor will handle development, the other distribution as follows:
- development of drama, animation films and series, and documentaries; and support to companies,
- development of programmes using advanced creative technologies.
- film and video distribution on the European market,
- broadcasting of television programmes on the European market,
- promotion of access for independent productions to the European and world market.
The contractors will be selected by tender.
The Commission will draw up terms and conditions for each of the contractors specifying how the tasks laid down in the action plan are to be implemented.
The contractors will manage, on behalf of the Commission, the resources allocated to them for the purpose of stimulating development and distribution in the audiovisual industry. Resources will be conveyed to audiovisual project promoters in the form of repayable advance or of loans.
The contractors must be general-interest non-profit-making bodies.
Selection of contractors will be based on the following criteria:
- their professional experience in development and distribution,
- their contacts with the relevant parties in the industry at national, regional and European level,
- the depth of their familiarity with the European audiovisual industry and the Union's policy on it,
- their experience of cross-border or European management,
- the calibre of their staff and the soundness of their management infrastructure.