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Industry Report: European Policy

EFAD calls for “more ambition” in the implementation of the EU’s AVMS Directive


While acknowledging efforts made in terms of minimum quotas and obligations, the members of the organisation identified four potential areas for improvement

EFAD calls for “more ambition” in the implementation of the EU’s AVMS Directive

Following the adoption of the European Parliament’s Resolution on the implementation of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in the plenary session on 9 May, the members of the European Film Agency Directors Association (EFAD) have published a joint press release in which they call for “more ambition” in the implementation of the provision.

In it, they thank “the MEPs for having highlighted the structuring role of the revised directive in promoting cultural diversity in the audiovisual sector as enshrined in Article 167(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.” They also recall the importance of the directive’s three new key provisions, defined as “instrumental to foster the creation, circulation and promotion of European works.” The first of them is the minimum 30% VoD quota across Europe. “Quotas are drivers for cultural diversity, supporting the expression of and access to different creative voices. They are a European success story and a source of inspiration in other countries in the world,” EFAD explains.

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The second key provision focuses on prominence and consists of the obligation to promote European works online, since EFAD argues that “combining a quantitative and qualitative obligation is the only way to ensure real visibility of European works.”

The third key provision concerns the possibility to impose financial obligations on cross-border players in the countries they target. “Those contributions (levies or direct investment obligations), that should not be confused with tax incentives, are already in place in a majority of EU countries and create a powerful leverage for financing European independent creation,” the press release further explains.

Adopted in November 2018 with a deadline for transposition set in September 2020, the concrete implementation of the revised directive on the ground is still recent. The press release states that the association is “continuously monitoring” the impact of the directive, and that it has already identified four potential areas for improvements. 

First, EFAD members suggest implementing “a more detailed monitoring on what enters in the quota, with the help of the European Audiovisual Observatory and the audiovisual regulators.” Second, they ask to improve and ensure “an effective implementation of the definition of European works so that it benefits more works produced by European companies and European independent producers (keeping IP rights in their hands), as well as works with a highly creative component (ex. authored works), keeping in mind the particular challenges faced by smaller Member States.” Third, they wish to encourage “direct investment obligations to be channelled towards European independent productions and works in different languages, in the respect of authors’ rights.” Lastly, they stressed the importance of “exchanging best practices and developing guidance on prominence,” ultimately wishing for  “more precise obligations, incentivising the services that are doing more, introducing a transparency obligation to share viewing data with public authorities and right holders, proposing new initiatives on discoverability and findability.”

You can read the full press release here

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