The EFADs (European Film Agency Directors) gathered in Paris on April the 3rd, before the Forum de Chaillot on “Future of culture, future of Europe” organized by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Sharing the same belief that cultural and economic objectives are not antinomic and that the main challenges faced by the audiovisual sector in a converging world requires a European answer, the EFADs intend to fully take part in building the future of European film. They wish to learn from the year 2013, which was marked by difficulties with the European Commission, notably on the issue of State aid rules and on the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We can no longer remain reactive and we now need a new proactive approach.
This is the reason why, a few months before the European elections and the designation of a new Commission, the EFADs wish to launch the following twofold agenda:
- Regulating and committting the new digital operators, especially the Internet “giants” who avoid, through their transnational dimension, the regulation and fiscal policies of Member States their programmes are targeting and do not pay their fair share to the European audiovisual creation. The issues of illegal downloading and of the protection of a sustainable copyright environment should also be addressed.
- Developing new schemes at European level in order to promote a coherent audiovisual strategy. Initiatives towards increasing film literacy, reinforcing co-productions, and promoting European films across the world should be further encouraged as they undoubtedly contribute to a better integration of the audiovisual sector at European level and foster a European common identity.
The EFADs believe this agenda should be underpinned by the following principles:
- Creation and cultural diversity need to be supported
- A level playing field should be ensured between traditional and new digital audiovisual operators
- The competitiveness of the European audiovisual operators must be reinforced in a global economy facing the digital revolution. The EU should foster and not limit national and European initiatives to support them, especially in the fields of VoD and film export towards developing markets.
- Solidarity between European nations must be reasserted in order to allow each of them, whatever their size, to produce and distribute audiovisual works, even in an unstable economic context.
This process should further lead to a meaningful dialogue with the European Commission and Parliament. In this perspective the EFADs will shortly hire a Brussels-based representative. They would also like to call for:
- The designation of a single Commissioner to lead the audiovisual policy, who would be in charge of coordinating the distinct related Commission departments (competition, internal market, trade, culture, information society) ;
- The setting up of European parliament intergroup focused on audiovisual issues and more broadly on the promotion of cultural diversity.
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