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Audiovisual and Media Policy

Audiovisual media (radio, television and cinema) represent more than a million jobs in the EU and are the primary source of information and entertainment for Europeans. Each Member State pursues its own audiovisual policy, but since 1989 the EU has set guidelines for issues of common interest.

The principal focus of the Danish Presidency will be on the negotiations of the Commission’s proposal for a Creative Europe framework programme, which will include the next generation of the Culture Programme that supports cross-border cultural projects, and of the MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes that support the European audiovisual industry.

The MEDIA-Programmes

The MEDIA programmes started in 1990. The main current programme – MEDIA 2007 - runs from 2007 until 2013 with a total budget of EUR 755 million. Like its predecessors, it focuses on the production, distribution and promotion of films and other audiovisual works. The MEDIA Mundus Programme runs from 2011 to 2013 with a total budget of EUR 15 million focusing on cooperation between the European Audiovisual sector and professionals from third countries.

Commission Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation

A further priority of the Presidency is to respond to the Commission Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation, which was published in October 2011.

The Recommendation addresses the progress on digitisation and digital preservation in the Member States, as well as the development of Europeana - the EU public digital library - and the findings of the "Comité des Sages", the reflection group on digitisation established in 2010.

The Community’s objectives
The Community’s objectives in terms of audiovisual matters are European cultural diversity, the protection of minors, the promotion of media diversity, as well as increased European film production. In this context, the Union encourages cooperation between Member States and supports their action on the basis of the Lisbon Treaty.

Two of the cornerstones of the Community’s audiovisual policy are the "Audiovisual Media Services" (AVMS) Directive, which aims to create a single European market for audiovisual services and the MEDIA Programme, which supports European film and TV production.

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive from 2007 is the first cornerstone of EU audiovisual policy. The directive governs EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media - both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services. The directive also covers aspects like advertising and the protection of minors.

The MEDIA Programme is the second cornerstone of EU audiovisual policy and provides financial support to expand Europe’s output of quality films and TV programmes, to increase their circulation in Europe and beyond, and to make the local industry more competitive internationally. Since its launch in 1991, more than a dozen Oscar and Palme d’Or winners have benefitted from the MEDIA Programme.

Instruments of implementing the policy 
In addition to the AVMS Directive and the MEDIA Programme, the EU promotes the audiovisual and media policy through other means. For example by pursuing European cultural interests in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The EU is also involved in promoting the online distribution of content and media pluralism. For example through the initiative, Digital Agenda, which among other priorities aims to develop the EU public digital library - Europeana. The ambition is to set up and develop Europeana as a single access point for digital copies of the materials held by libraries, museums and archives across Europe.

Opportunities and challenges of the digital development
A strategy on how to use the opportunities and face the challenges which the digital development has created is outlined in the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe through to 2020. A part of the Digital Agenda is the development of the EU public digital library - Europeana. The goal is to set up and develop Europeana as a single access point for consulting digital copies of the materials held by libraries, museums and archives.