European Film and TV Funding Program Approved by Parliament
LONDON – The European film and TV sector breathed a collective sigh of relief before celebrating the news that the Creative Europe funding and subsidy program has been given the thumbs up by the European Parliament.
A total of 650 of the MEPs voted for the program’s plan, 32 against and 10 abstained from voting in Strasbourg on Tuesday for the $2 billion (€1.46bn), seven-year program that will support the cultural and creative sectors across Europe from 2014 to 2020.
The seven-year support is a nine-percent increase to the current commitment provided by the European Commission's present system.
The incoming system aims to allocate at least 56 percent of its budget for the MEDIA sub-program for audiovisual and the cinema and at least 31 percent for the culture sidebar for performing and visual arts.
The British Film Institute welcomed the move by the European authorities to continue backing the cultural and creative sectors.
BFI CEO Amanda Nevill described Creative Europe’s approval as "a clear and very welcome recognition from the European Parliament of the importance of the creative industries to the wider economy and its major contribution to the growth agenda of Europe and the U.K."
Nevill said that it is "more important than ever that culture is supported."
European Union president Jose Manuel Barroso described culture as being an essential part of the fabric of his member states.
Said Nevill: "I wholeheartedly agree with President Barroso’s assertion that culture is not a 'nice to have' but a 'need to have'."
MEDIA Desk U.K. director Agnieszka Moody said the Parliament's budgetary approval heralded a "new priority for collaboration and partnership in Europe, including enabling a closer relationship to be formed between audiovisual and other cultural and creative sectors."
Increased financial support will help ensure U.K. films are seen in Europe and that U.K. audiences have access to European cinema, Moody mused.
Creative Europe builds on the Culture and MEDIA programs, which have supported the cultural and audiovisual sectors for more than 20 years.
The new program includes a culture sub-program, supporting performing and visual arts, heritage and other areas, and a MEDIA sub-program, which will provide funding for the cinema and audiovisual sector.
New actions for the MEDIA sub-program include support for international co-production funds, video games and audience development, but no radical changes have been proposed for the changeover between MEDIA 2007 and Creative Europe.
The main funding priorities continue to be training, development, TV programming, distribution and access to markets and festivals.