According to the European Audiovisual Observatory, national film funds distribute around 2 billion euros per year to support audiovisual creation in general (excluding tax incentives). National support schemes are diverse and different from country to country. They cover all stages of the creation: script writing, development, production, distribution, promotion... They are not limited to feature films but can also benefit other audiovisual works: TV series, VR, interactive works, video clips, user-generated content, video games...
Most of this money take the form of grants or loans and are considered state aid under EU law. The critera for assessing under EU state aid rules Member States' support schemes in favour of films and other audio-visual works are set out in the Cinema Communication, revised in November 2013. For certain schemes, the simplified rules of the General Block Exemption Regulation can apply.
The European Commission adopted on 9 March 2023 an amendment of the GBER, a revision mainly aimed to further facilitate and speed up the green and digital transition. The new regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (entering into force the following day, ie on 1st July). The article 54 on Aid schemes for audiovisual works remains unchanged but the transparency threshold (article 9) related to the obligation to publish the information about individual aids is lowered from 500K€ to 100K€ (see pages 1 and 32). The validity period of the GBER is extended by three years until 31 December 2026.
The EFAD have been involved in the revision of the Cinema Communication and closely follow up EU state aid policy and guidelines applicable to the support to audiovisual creation. EFAD members also exchange regularly with Cine-Regio on this matter.
- Communication from the Commission on State aid for films and other audiovisual works (November 2013)
- European Commission Competition Policy Brief "State aid rules for films and other audiovisual works" (September 2014)
- European Audiovisual Observatory IRIS plus on the New Cinema Communication
- General Block Exemption Regulation Amendment (June 2023)
- General Block Exemption Regulation (consolidated version of July 2023)
News & Publications about State Aid
09/01/2023 : EFAD Contribution to Commission’s consultation on de minimis aid
16/02/2022 : Targeted review of the General Block Exemption Regulation: EFAD & CineRegio raise concerns
01/09/2011 : Contribution to the European Commission consultation on “Assessing state aid for films and for other audiovisual works"
01/07/2007 : Study on the economic and cultural impact, notably on co-productions, of territorialisation clauses of State aid schemes for films and audio-visual productions