European Commission calls Catalan Law on Cinema “discriminatory”
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
22/06/2012 - The European Commission has declared the Catalan Law on Cinema to be “discriminatory” because it encourages the diffusion of Spanish-language films over films in other European languages in Catalonia. According to Stefaan de Rynck, spokesperson for the Internal Market at the European Commission, the Spanish government has two months to solve the issue.
The Catalan Law on Cinema requires 50 % of films distributed in Catalonia to be in Catalan (either dubbed into Catalan, or with Catalan subtitles), and this requirement costs up to € 77,000 in dubbing and up to € 5,370 in subtitling.
But Spanish films filmed in the Spanish language are exempt from this requirement, which is “incompatible with the EU rules on the free movement of services” as stated in Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, according to a press release published by the Commission.
The Catalan law makes the circulation of non-Spanish European works more expensive, and therefore more difficult, according to the Commission.
The Catalan political sphere reacted fast to the news. President of the Generalitat Artur Mas (foto) has not yet stated his intentions, but seems to be leaning towards a “technical solution”, which could mean extending the obligation to translate films into Catalan to Spanish-language films. If this were the solution, members the film sector would most probably oppose themselves to it.
But the parties who initially advocated for the Catalan Law on Cinema have received the European Commission’s request favorably as, first, it doesn’t question its policy of promoting the Catalan language and, second, it shows up the protection of the Spanish language as something bad.
(Translated from Spanish)