General outcry against the revised Cinema Communication
- 10 international organisations of directors, authors, actors, producers, operators and video professionals take a stand
In a joint statement, 10 international organisations of directors, authors, actors, producers, operators and video professionals expressed a very strong opinion against the new Communication of the European Commission on State aid for films and other audiovisual works.
According to the statement, "the territorial spending condition, according to which Member States can require that up to 80% of the entire film budget is spent in the Member State granting the aid, has been modified substantially. The Commission has put forward that Member States would only be able to require that up to 160% of the aid awarded is spent in the territory offering the aid.”
But, according to signatory organisations, "the development of dynamic production activity in the country that allocates various support mechanisms is the main justification for the provided support. The obligation of territorialisation of a substantial part of the expenditure is necessary to maintain a critical mass of activity. It is particularly important that sustainable and economically healthy technical industries helping the creation are maintained in the country of production."
Moreover, the 10 organisations reject the legal argument of the Commission for which “the territorial spending obligations in the film and audiovisual funding schemes are a problem with regard to their compliance with the internal market principles of the Treaty.” The signatories indeed believe that this analysis wrongly ignores the “cultural clause” introduced to the Treaty to ease tensions between the internal market principles and characteristics linked to the "cultural market " and especially in this case the film market.
Finally, the statement issues a warning: "the prohibition of territorial spending could lead to a situation where tomorrow's funding schemes in the different Member States could compete between themselves vis-à-vis European production companies without increasing activity or investment in the European film and audiovisual sector. Contrary to what the Commission expects, this prohibition of territorialisation spending will encourage the fragmentation of film and audiovisual sector and would be detrimental to the number and quality of European coproductions (...) The effects of this change on Member States State aid policy can only be harmful. While the territorial spending, as defined since the 2001 Communication can no longer apply, it will lead Member States to significantly reduce States aid, and even eventually to withdraw the existence of public finance support for films. This would have serious consequences for growth and employment in these sectors and impact European cultural diversity.”
EUROCINEMA – Association of film and television producers
FERA - Federation of European Film Directors
FIA – International Federation of Actors
FIAD – International Federation of Film Distributors Associations
FIAPF - International Federation of Film Producers Associations
FICAM - Fédération des Industries du Cinéma Audiovisuel Multimédia
IVF - International Video Federation
SAA – Society of Audiovisual Authors
UNIC – International Union of Cinemas
UNI-MEI – UNI Global Union – Media Entertainment and Arts
(Translated from French)
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