As European Institutions reflect on the next Multi Financial-Framework (MFF) and the future of EU programmes, the European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) call on all EU policy makers toreinforce MEDIA and significantly increase its budget fromjust over 100M€ per year today to €150 million per year in the next MFFto reinforce successful schemes and develop new actions.
“For more than 25 years the MEDIA Programme has been successfully promoting Europe’s values, creativity and cultural diversitythroughout the Union and across the world”, says Peter Dinges, President of the EFADs.“This mission has always been essential to the process of integration and mutual understanding in the European Union. Today, against the awakening of nationalist movements and populism in Europe, this mission must be a top priority for all European institutions.We need an effective MEDIA Programme to face this challenge.”
Currently, Creative Europe, the only EU programme dedicated to culture, represents a mere 0.14% of the total EU budget (MFF period 2014-2020), with a MEDIA budget of just over 100M€ per year. This budget is contrasted by the fact that the promotion of cultural diversity by the audiovisual sector is a key driver of EU values and a quintessential part of Europe's cultural richness. It is also not reflecting theessential contribution of the cultural and creative sector in economic terms: the cultural and creative sectorsmakeup for 4.4% of the EU’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 3.8% of its workforce.
The MEDIA programme is effective, complementary to other EU or national schemes and has a powerful leverage effectfor all types of projectsin their search for public and private financing. Building on its successes, the EFADs suggest increasingits budget to € 150 million a year, reinforce performant MEDIA schemes and develop new actions, such as:
- Expanding the Europa Cinemas Network, which has demonstrated its high added value and should be further supported.
- Enhancing promotion and visibility of European works online, in line with the new provisions of the AVMS Directive.
- Develop a stronger “external pillar” to support the circulation and promotion of European works abroad andthe development of internationalco-productions with third countries.
- Improve tools to disseminate results on the supported projects and the collection & treatment of data on impact of MEDIA supports.
Cultural diversity requires nurturing, and in this respect the EU's support to foster the production and circulation of a diverse range of audiovisual works across borders remains vital.“If we want the Digital Single Market, as the European Commission is currently building it, to be strong and effective, we need to feed this market with high quality content and foster the circulation of our works. To make this happen, it requires the combined force of national funding and targeted support on a European level”, concluded Peter Dinges.