The European Foreign Affairs Council decided June 14 not to include audiovisual services in the mandate for the EU-US negotiations on the coming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The European Film Agency Directors Network – EFAD – welcomes the decision.
The EFAD network finds the decision well-founded and hopes that the Member States and the EU Commission from now on can concentrate their effort on the major challenges for the audiovisual sector that follows in the wake of the digital development. Opposite to USA, the European audiovisual sector is strongly fragmented. On the one hand the fragmentation has been the breeding ground for high quality audiovisual content expressing the cultural distinctiveness of Europe. On the other hand, the fragmentation has a profound impact on the market and financial conditions for development, production and distribution of European content.
If Europe wishes to develop its position in a fully digitized audiovisual market without sacrificing the cultural diversity, these conditions cannot be overestimated. It is crucial that the Member States continuously have the means and incentives to adapt their audiovisual policies to the digital challenges. The questions given by the EU Commission in the public consultation on the Green Paper preparing for a fully converged audiovisual world are a reminder that the starting point for the future development in Europe is private-public partnerships at Member States level as well as EU-level. Regarding state aid assessment criteria for the production of films and audiovisual works, unnecessary restrictions based of one-size-fits-all market conditions will not contribute to the development of a vibrant and digital European audiovisual sector with characteristics that position Europe as an interesting trading partner to the USA and the rest of the world. And this is what it is all about.