Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 16.3.2004 - 2004/03/16
This new Communication on State aid to European cinema, which was adopted by the European Commission, extends the previous regime by three years. The following conditions of the Communication of 2001 on national support regimes have been confirmed: first, it must be verified that conditions for aid eligibility do not contradict general legal principles (discrimination based on nationality, for example); second, it must be ensured that specific criteria for aid to the film and television sectors are met.
In addition, the Commission will take advantage of the entry into force of the new Communication to conduct a study on the economic and cultural impact of the current regime in order to determine whether it fully meets future challenges facing the European audiovisual market, and whether changes should be introduced during its next revision on June 30, 2007. It will also verify, in particular, whether the controversial issue of “territorialization,” required by some Member States, is fragmenting the European audiovisual market by hindering European co-productions. A State that applies the “territorialization” clause requires producers to spend 80% of their allocated budget within its country.
The Commission proposes adopting a Recommendation solely concerning cinematographic works, which would cover all of aspects of protecting film heritage. This Recommendation is aimed particularly at highlighting the importance of ensuring the lasting protection of assistance for cinematographic works, which have a limited lifespan and are part of Europe’s cultural diversity. (Available also in French, English, Spanish)