Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • CORDIS
  • Programmes
  • Training programme for Professionals in the European audiovisual programme industry (MEDIA II-Training), 1996-2000; Programme to promote the development and distribution of European audiovisual works (MEDIA II-Development and Distribution), 1996-2000

Previous programme

OTH-MEDIA 1

Successor programme

OTH-MEDIA + - OTH-MEDIA-TRAINING

Programme funding

EUR 310 million

Official Journal Reference

L 321 of 1995-12-30
As regards Training, to help players in the programme industry adapt to the European and world-wide dimension of the market by promoting training on economic and commercial management, legal aspects and the use of new technologies; As regards Development and Distribution, to enhance the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry on the European and world market by supporting the development of works with genuine commercial potential and the creation and strengthening of cross-border distribution and transmission networks.

Abstract

For the period 1996-2000, the MEDIA programme is divided into two parts: MEDIA II-Training and MEDIA II-Development and Distribution. Each part is the subject of a separate proposal for a Council Decision.

MEDIA II builds on the achievements and experience of the 1991-1995 phase of the programme, and is established in the context of Article 130 of the Treaty on European Union which requires the Community to take steps aimed at "speeding up the adjustment of industry to structural changes by adopting specific measures in support of action taken in the Member States" in order to ensure the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of Community industry.

The content of MEDIA II is heavily influenced by the outcome of the Green Paper on "Strategy options to strengthen the European programme industry" which was adopted by the Commission in April 1994. This highlighted the importance of addressing the structural shortcomings of the European programme industry and of adopting a policy to safeguard its competitiveness in the medium-term, in order to ensure the anticipated cultural and economic benefits of the information society will be fully harnessed.

In light of the outcome of the consultation process during the Green Paper and the Treaty requirement as set out above, future Community action in favour of the programme industry must:

- Include measures with a structural impact on industry;
- Take full advantage of the potential of Community-wide measures;
- Encourage Community and national measures that complement each other, as well as promoting joint financial responsibility on the part of the audiovisual industry;
- Set up financial incentive mechanisms, by making greater use of returnable advances and soft loans rather than non-returnable grants;
- Make greater use of automatic aid systems rather than selective aid systems.

The Training component of MEDIA II will supplement action taken by the Member States. It aims at meeting the needs of the industry and bolstering its competitiveness by contributing to the development of initial and continuous training of audiovisual professionals on the know-how and skills they need in order to take account of the European market in developing business and projects, in particular in the fields of:

- Economic and commercial management, including legal aspects;
- Utilization and development of new technologies for the production of programmes with high added value.

In addition to the steps being taken by the Member States, Community action is expected to:

- Round off the skills of professionals operating in the European context;
- Enhance the awareness of vocational training centres of the European dimension and encourage them to include appropriate up-to-date courses on their syllabuses;
- Network existing training facilities.

Activities in the Development and Distribution part of the programme are focused on strengthening the European audiovisual sector. This is to be achieved by:

- Speeding up the adjustment of industry to structural changes;
- Encouraging an environment favourable to initiative and to the development of undertakings throughout the Community, particularly small and medium-sized undertakings;
- Encouraging an environment favourable to cooperation between undertakings;
Fostering better exploitation of the industrial potential of innovation and research and technological development activities.

As regards Development, activities are targeted at:

- Promoting the development of production projects aimed at the European and world market and supporting companies capable of developing such projects;
- Developing production projects that make use of new creative techniques and supporting companies capable of developing such projects;

As regards Distribution, activities are targeted at:

- Encouraging European distributors to invest in cinema film production and to set up cross-border structures to distribute the films;
- Encouraging television companies to cooperate in investing in the production of works aimed at the European and world market and to set-up cross-border structures to transmit those works;
- Supporting linguistic diversity of programmes;
- Stimulating access to commercial events promoting European productions, in particular independent ones.

In addition to the specific activities to be carried out under the MEDIA II framework, the Commission is planning to encourage the creation of financial engineering mechanisms to stimulate the mobilization of financial resources for audiovisual production (cinema and television). To this end, the Commission may prepare draft legislation introducing a financial instrument and specifying how this is to be funded.

Subdivision

Training:
Two areas:

- Training on economic and commercial management:
To develop the ability of people in the industry to conceptualize and exploit the European dimension in development, production, distribution and broadcasting of audiovisual programmes:
. Promoting the definition and updating of training modules on management to supplement national and regional initiatives by giving them a European angle (initial and continuing training);
. Encouraging incorporation of the modules into existing syllabuses;
. Networking of training programmes; facilitating exchanges of teachers and students/professionals by providing grants and organizing work experience placements in companies in other Member States and contributing to teacher training;

- Training on new technologies:
To develop the ability of people in the industry to use advanced creative techniques, such as computer graphics, multimedia and interactive technologies:
. Promoting the definition and updating of training modules on new audiovisual technologies, to complement national and regional operators;
. Encouraging incorporation of the modules into existing syllabuses;
. Networking of training programmes; facilitating exchanges of teachers and students/professionals by providing grants and organizing work experience placements in companies in other Member States and contributing to teacher training;

Development and Distribution:
Four areas:

- Development:
Improving development opportunities (pre-production) for drama, animation and documentaries with a view to access to the European and world market, by:
. Supporting the development of drama, documentaries and animation (cinema and television) aimed at a European and world audience, in particular by promoting improvement in screenplay techniques;
. Supporting companies that have development project packages with European and world market potential;
. Encouraging networking of companies with joint development projects aimed at the European and world market;

- Video and cinema distribution:
Improving film and video distribution for European works with high circulation potential on the European and world market, by:
. Supporting the introduction of European distribution mechanisms encouraging distributors to contribute to funding productions of works with commercial potential on the European and world market;
. Promoting networking of European distributors with joint commercial strategies on the European and world market;

- Television broadcasting:
Improving circulation opportunities for television programmes aimed at the European and world market, by:
. Introducing a mechanism encouraging television companies to contribute to the financing of works with high circulation potential made by independent production companies and to distribute them on the European market;
. Supporting linguistic diversity by means of dubbing, subtitling and multilingual production;

- Promotion and access to the market:
Improving access for independent producers and distributors to the European and world market by operating services and promotional activities at commercial events, such as markets, fairs and festivals, organized at European and international level.

Implementation

The MEDIA II programme is implemented in two distinct parts, MEDIA II-Training and MEDIA II-Development and Distribution. The Commission is responsible for implementing both parts of the programme, assisted by a single committee of an advisory nature composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

A budget of ECU 310 million has been established for the implementation of both parts of the programme, of which ECU 45 million is reserved for MEDIA II-Training and ECU 265 million for MEDIA II-Development and Distribution.

In implementing MEDIA II-Training, the Commission will work closely with all parties concerned, such as training centres, professional associations and businesses. Community funds are to be made available to encourage national/regional parties, who have been selected to participate in the programme following an invitation to tender, to supplement their existing training courses with modules on management and new technologies. As a general rule, the Community's financial outlay does not exceed 75% of the training costs, the remainder of which is to be provided by the national/regional participants.

For MEDIA II-Development and Distribution, the Commission will work closely with the public authorities that handle support for the audiovisual industry in the Member States in order to ensure that the operations complement each other and that they comply with the subsidiarity principle.

Community funds under this part of the programme are intended to improve market access opportunities for productions targeted at a European and world audience and to strengthen production and distribution companies with growth potential on the European market. In both cases, the Community's financial outlay does not exceed 50% of the costs and are granted in the form of repayable advances and loans. Subsidies will also be made available to support linguistic diversity in productions.

Repayments under the programme, together with the repayments from operations under the 1991-1995 phase of MEDIA, will provide the funds for financial instruments to mobilize public and private financing for European audiovisual production.

The Commission is required to draw up interim evaluation reports on the implementation of both parts of MEDIA II, within six months following the first three years of each programme's implementation. Upon completion of each part of the programme, the Commission will draw up final reports on their implementation and the results achieved.

Remarks

The two strands of the MEDIA II programme were adopted by two separate Council Decisions: MEDIA II-Development and distribution by Council Decision 95/563/EC of 10.7.1995 and MEDIA II-Training by Council Decision 95/564/EC of 22.12.1995.
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