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MEDIA Plus (2001-2006): programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European works

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MEDIA Plus (2001-2006): programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European works

The aim of the MEDIA Plus programme is to support the European Union's audiovisual industry with a view to boosting the production and distribution of European audiovisual works. The underlying objective is to prevent the European market from being dominated by imported programmes, particularly from the USA.

There are two parts to the MEDIA programme: the first relates to the development, distribution and promotion of audiovisual works and the second to training. The text below refers to the former.


Council Decision 2000/821/EC of 20 December 2000 on the implementation of a programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA Plus - Development, Distribution and Promotion) (2001-2005) [See amending acts].


The Media Plus programme follows on from the MEDIA (1991-1995) and MEDIA II (1996-2000) programmes.

Budget. The MEDIA Plus - Development, Distribution and Promotion programme has a budget of 350 million euros for the period from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005.

General objectives. The programme's general objectives are: to improve the competitiveness of businesses in the European Union, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises; to support the transnational movement of European works and to promote linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe. It also promotes the enhancement of Europe's audiovisual heritage, the development of the audiovisual industry in regions with a low production capacity and/or a restricted geographical or linguistic area, and the use of new technologies.

Types of measures assisted. Actions which receive support are transnational and involve different operators from the Member States participating in the programme.

Areas of action. The programme supports actions to develop audiovisual content, actions in the distribution and dissemination sector, and promotion of and access to the market in audiovisual works. Pilot projects may also be carried out.

Development. This involves helping independent companies and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises to carry out projects or packages of production projects for European and international markets. Assistance is also provided for the use of new information technologies.

Distribution and dissemination. The following are encouraged: companies disseminating non-domestic European works to the public or for private use; the movement of European television programmes produced by independent companies; the creation of European works in digital format and support for linguistic diversity.

Promotion. Assistance is given for the promotion of European works at trade shows, fairs and audiovisual festivals in Europe and throughout the world. The networking of European operators is encouraged by supporting joint activities in the European and international markets for promotion by private and public bodies. Actions supporting market access, the creation of databases and participation in festivals are promoted.

Pilot projects. The aim of pilot projects is to improve access to European works by taking advantage of innovative technologies. Making greater use of archives, digitisation, networking of special-interest channels and advanced online services are encouraged.

Participants. The programme is open to operators from the Member States of the EU and, according to the agreements in force with these countries, the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta, the members of the European Free Trade Association and the countries which have signed the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

Funding. Community support does not normally exceed 50% of the total cost of the actions. In some cases, particularly for projects which promote linguistic diversity within the European Union, Community support may be up to 60% of eligible expenditure.

Cooperation with the EIB: "i2i-Audiovisual" initiative

The " i2i Audiovisual " Initiative, which is financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), is intended to supplement the MEDIA Plus programme in order to provide Europe's audiovisual industry with new financial and banking instruments. This should help to give the creators of audiovisual works a stronger financial base and to speed up the changeover to digital technologies. The measure is intended to fund some of the costs of the guarantees demanded by banks or financial institutions and/or part of the cost of a loan for financing their trade debts.

This initiative is an integral part of the "i2i" Initiative (for the "Innovation 2000" Initiative) set up in June 2000 by the EIB Group to help develop a European economy based on knowledge and innovation.

By Decision 846/2004/EC, the programme was extended to run until 2006. The budgetary allocation rose from 350 million to EUR 453.6 million for the period 2001-2006 to allow for the impact of enlargement.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2000/821/EC [adoption: consultation CNS/1999/0276]



OJ L 13 of 17.01.2001

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 846/2004/EC [adoption: codecision COD/2003/0067]



OJ L 195 of 02.06.2004


MEDIA 2007

Decision No 1718/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 concerning the implementation of a programme of support for the European audiovisual sector (MEDIA 2007) [Official Journal L 327 of 24.11.2006].

The MEDIA 2007 programme follows on from the MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training programmes of support for the European audiovisual sector. The new programme is conceived as a single programme combining the two existing parts (development, distribution, promotion / training). With a budget of EUR 755 million, it will cover the period 2007-2013.

Results and implementation

Commission report of 24 November 2003 on the implementation and mid-term results of the MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training programmes (2001-2005) and on the results of the preparatory action "Growth and audiovisual: i2i audiovisual" [COM(2003) 725 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

This report evaluates the first two years of implementation of the MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training programmes. According to the report, initial results show that MEDIA Plus has achieved its objectives:

  • Development: this strand has helped to make professionals more aware of the importance of the development phase and given them access to additional funding (MEDIA Plus support represents on average16% of development costs);
  • Distribution: MEDIA Plus support in this area has produced satisfactory results in terms of the objectives which had been set: 90% of films distributed outside their national territory during the reference period received funding from MEDIA Plus;
  • Promotion and Festivals: this strand has proved very effective for circulating non-national European works and disseminating them among the public. On average, 80% of European works were screened at the festivals which received funding, which gives this strand a high European added value;
  • Pilot projects: the pilot projects were small in number (five) but accounted for a significant part of the budget (EUR 3.2 million);

"i2i Audiovisual" preparatory action: the period covered by the evaluation included only one selection exercise, during which 40 projects were selected, with total funding amounting to around one million euros.

The report also highlights the advantages linked to financial support at European level:

  • it gives a European dimension to the projects receiving assistance - this would not exist if the selection mechanisms used in the MEDIA programme did not emphasise this aspect;
  • it redresses the balance between the small countries, where national assistance is either non-existent or insignificant, and the large countries;
  • national aid and Community assistance complement one another, one example being the transnational dimension introduced by Community support, while national aid systems are still largely geared towards support for national production.

Last updated: 26.01.2007