The European Commission has approved under E.U. state aid rules a €576 million Spanish film support scheme until December 31, 2015. The scheme covers Spain’s national film support measures, including film production and distribution. The E.C. found the scheme to be compatible with Article 107(3)(d) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which allows aid to further cultural objectives under certain conditions. In particular, the scheme is in line with the rules of the Commission’s Cinema Communication (see IP/01/1326 ).
“I commend the Spanish authorities for targeting the aid to increase the cultural diversity of films available to Spanish audiences,” said competition commissioner Neelie Kroes. “This scheme should improve the visibility and popularity of Spanish independent films, not only in Spain but worldwide, without unduly distorting competition.”
According to the E.C., “the scheme is a package of complementary selective and automatic measures that the Spanish authorities believe are necessary to achieve their objective of preserving linguistic and cultural diversity among the films available to Spanish and European audiences. The selective support is intended to sustain arthouse films while the automatic, audience-based support aims to encourage independent producers to make better-financed films rooted in Spanish/European culture. In 2008 U.S. films accounted for 71.5% of the Spanish market.”