Brussels, 25 May 2007
EU Ministers for Culture gathered today on Europe Day at the Cannes International Film Festival to pledge their support for Europe's audiovisual industry at a time when it faces unprecedented change, driven largely by the impact of digital technologies and the resulting change in audience behaviour.
"Technological change and convergence is presenting the audiovisual industry with some tough challenges; but real opportunities lie in store for those that can best adapt," said Viviane Reding, EU Media Commissioner. "I feel that the political commitment expressed today will pave the way for the European audiovisual industry to become a powerhouse for Europe."
The EU Ministers' commitment to the audiovisual sector was underlined by their adoption in yesterday's meeting of the Culture Council, of the Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers directive (see IP/07/706). This will modernise the rules for traditional and emerging audiovisual media services in response to technological change and gives more flexibility to European TV- and filmmakers to produce digital content thanks to more relaxed advertising rules.
Ministers also discussed how audiovisual policy needs to keep up with developments in film making and distribution, and the impact of technology.
Policy initiatives taken by the Commission to support and invigorate Europe's audiovisual sector include:
Evidence that EU support to Europe's film industry is having positive results can be found at major international festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and at the Oscars (see IP/07/677).
While efforts are being made to boost the sector, the Commission also recognises the need for transparency, freedom of expression and diversity in Europe's media landscape. To better understand this and how best to preserve it, the Commission has outlined a three-step approach on safeguarding media pluralism (see IP/07/52).
For more on Europe's audiovisual and media policies:
and the latest on the 'Audiovisual Media Services Without Frontiers'