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European film agencies commend the Commission’s approach towards the AVMS Directive

The European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to revise the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive, which is a positive first step towards the creation of a fair level playing field between new online and existing players. Making the AVMS Directive fit-for-purpose in the digital age is essential for the European film industry, European citizens, audiences and cultural diversity.

Today, the European Commission published a proposal revising the AVMS Directive which coordinates national rules and regulations for audiovisual media in Europe. The EFADs regards the general approach taken by the Commission as a positive first step towards creating an environment which would promote a sustainable European film and TV industry, benefit European audiences and strengthen European cultural diversity.

Peter Dinges, President of the EFADs, comments: “An update of the Directive is a necessity to ensure equal treatment between all market players so that they have the same ability to succeed. This should recognise that in Europe a level playing field means a fair commitment from all market players to the creation of local content and respect for national rules and common European values.”

The EFADs welcomes the Commission’s proposals to extend the scope of the Directive to new digital players such as video-sharing platforms and to introduce rules on the promotion of European works for on-demand services such as:

  • an obligation for on-demand services to devote 20 percent of their catalogues to European works;
  • the ability for Member States to request financial contributions, including to national funds, from on-demand services based in other Member States but targeting their national audiences.

The EFADs also encourages the European institutions to go further and introduce in the Directive a data transparency obligation to encourage the development of new business models and ensure agreements between different market players are clear.

The EFADs emphasises the importance of flexible rules to ensure film agencies can continue to fulfil their important role of funding the production of local content. Promoting cultural diversity is an important objective for the EFADs and the regulatory framework should create the conditions for culturally diverse content to flourish. The EFADs encourages the Commission to take a holistic approach to the Digital Single Market Strategy that includes respect for the principle of territoriality.

The EFADs looks forward to working closely with the European Commission, Parliament and Council on this proposal and further legislative initiatives to nurture an environment that supports audiovisual and cinematographic creativity and the effective distribution of European works in Europe and worldwide.

You can find the press release here.