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European Commission


Brussels, 17 May 2013

Statement by Vice President Almunia following the EYCS Council meeting

I attended the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council today. We had a constructive exchange of views on the new EU rules on state aid to the audiovisual sector – the so-called "Cinema Communication".

I am happy to see there is an agreement around the objectives of our rules: encouraging creation and cultural diversity everywhere in the EU and setting the scene for a successful European audiovisual sector. Our rules should also foster a genuinely European cinema, where cross-border productions can be set up easily.

Compared to the existing rules, the new rules we propose will now extend to all phases of an audiovisual work, from concept to delivery to audiences. While a film will still be able to receive aid up to 50% of its budget, we propose to increase this ceiling to 60% for cross-border productions. I am very happy there is a consensus on these important points, as with most of the new provisions of this revised communication.

On territorial spending, our proposal aims to preserve the cultural exception while reconciling the different points of view expressed as to what rules are needed at EU level. Given the special characteristics of the audiovisual sector, we propose to continue to allow Member States to impose territorial spending obligations up to the same level as currently foreseen, in a way that remains proportionate to the aid granted. It is also clear that there should be no discrimination on the origin of the goods and services. This is a basic principle of our Single Market which is non-negotiable.

Our third and last consultation on the draft rules is ongoing until 28 May. We will carefully analyse the replies. I am confident that this process can lead to adoption of the new communication during the summer.

Press release on the consultation is available here: IP/13/388

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