Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 350 million

Official Journal Reference

L 336 of 2000-12-30

Legislative Reference

2000/821/EC of 2000-12-20
To improve the competitiveness of the European audiovisual sector; to promote linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe; to enhance the European audiovisual heritage, in particular the digitisation and networking; to develop the audiovisual sector in countries or regions with a low audiovisual production capacity and/or a restricted linguistic or geographical area; to disseminate new types of audiovisual content using new technologies.


The European audiovisual content industry, because of its fragmentation, is not yet fully able to stand up to the growing world-wide competition. The MEDIA programme for the period 2001-2005 is intended to establish optimum conditions based on a coherent strategy and clear objectives, with a view to overcoming these difficulties and allowing European operators to position themselves as best possible in these new markets while exploiting European cultural diversity.
The industries of the information society, including the audiovisual content industry, have become one of the dynamic sectors of the European Union's economy. The audiovisual industry employed 950 000 people in the European Union in 1995, and 1 030 000 in 1997. Income from this market is expected to grow by 70% by 2005, and that could be reflected in the creation of more than 300 000 highly qualified jobs during that period. Given this new environment, the results of the evaluation of the MEDIA 2 programme and of consultations undertaken by the Commission, an increase in the programme’s resources appears to be necessary.

The MEDIA programme (2001-2005) has a budget of 400 million euros. One part of this programme covers continuing training for audiovisual professionals (MEDIA-TRAINING), which will receive 50 million euros, while the other part relates to development, distribution and promotion, which has been allocated 350 million euros (MEDIA +). The MEDIA 2 budget (1996-2000) was 310 million euros.


Type of measures:

_ In the development of audiovisual works sector:
To provide financial assistance for enterprises in the audiovisual sector. Selection criteria will chiefly take account of the European and international nature of the projects.

_ In the distribution and dissemination sectors:
Cinema distribution:
. A support scheme in the form of a conditionally reimbursable advance for distributors of European cinematographic works outside their production territory. The criteria for selecting beneficiaries may include provisions to distinguish between projects according to their budget category. Special support will be granted for films that exploit European cultural diversity.
. A system of automatic support for European distributors proportional to the number of seats sold for non-domestic European films in countries participating in the programme, up to a limit per film and adjusted for each country.
. A system to assist European companies specializing in the international distribution of cinema films (sales agents) according to their performance on the market over a given period. This type of assistance may be used by international distributors only for investment in costs arising from the promotion of new European works on the European and international markets.
. Appropriate assistance to encourage operators to screen a significant proportion of non-domestic European films in premiere cinemas for a minimum screening period.
. A support scheme for the production of international soundtracks (music and effects) for European cinematographic works.

_ Distribution of off-line European works (that is the distribution of European works on media intended for private use):
Automatic support:
. A system of automatic support for editors and distributors of European cinematographic works on media intended for private use (e.g. videocassettes, DVD, DVD-ROM) according to market performance over a given period.

_ Television broadcasting:
Encourage independent producers to produce works (feature films, documentaries and animated films) involving at least three broadcasters in several Member States belonging to different language zones.

_ Distribution of European works on-line (that is the distribution of European works on-line via advanced distribution services and new media such as the Internet, video-on-demand, pay-per-view). The aim is to encourage the European audiovisual industry to adapt to developments in digital technology, particularly as regards advanced on-line distribution services.
. Introduction of incentives to digitise works and create promotional and publicity material in digital form, so encouraging European companies (suppliers of on-line access, special-interest channels, etc.) to create catalogues of European works in digital format for exploitation via new media.

_ Promotion:
. Improve the conditions governing access by professionals to the European and International markets via specific technical and financial support schemes as part of events;
. Encourage the creation of a database on catalogues of European programmes.
Criteria for selecting projects will principally take account of the following:
. The European dimension;
. The quality of professional services (producers, distributors, broadcasters, sales agents);
. The expertise of service providers and operators in the field of promotion;
. Support audiovisual festivals that screen a significant proportion of European works.

_ Activities to promote European productions:
To encourage professionals, in close association with the Member States, to organize activities to promote European audiovisual and cinema productions intended for the general public.

_ Pilot projects:
. Conservation and exploitation of the cinematographic heritage, by encouraging partnerships between operators in the cinematographic sector and public or private bodies;
. Digitisation of European audiovisual programme archives;
. Networking the owners of rights to catalogues of European audiovisual works;
. Scheduling of European audiovisual works on special-interest channels in digital format;
. Creation of a suitable environment for developing and disseminating new advanced on-line distribution services.


The Commission shall implement the programme. It may, to this end, call upon consultants and technical assistance offices to be selected, after a call for tenders, on the basis of their expertise in the sector. The Technical assistance shall be financed by the programme’s budget. The Commission may also conclude partnerships for ad hoc operations with specialist bodies such as Audiovisual Eureka, in order to implement joint measures that meet the programme objectives in the field of promotion.
The Commission will make the final selection of the beneficiaries of the programme and decide on the financial support to be granted.

In implementing the programme, the Commission will work closely with the Member States. It will also consult the partners concerned and ensure that the participation of professionals in the programme reflects European cultural diversity.
Community funding will not exceed 50 % of the cost of the planned measures (other than in the cases expressly provided for in the Annex, where a higher ceiling applies) and will be granted in the form of advances or conditionally reimbursable loans. For multilingual support, the Community contribution will be in the form of subsidies.
The Programme shall be open to the participation of:

_ The associated countries of Eastern and Central Europe;
_ Cyprus, Malta, Turkey;
_ EFTA countries which are parties to the EEA Agreement;
_ The countries which are parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television.

The opening-up of the programme to the European third countries may be subject to a prior examination as to the compatibility of their national legislation with the Community acquis.
The Programme shall also be open to cooperation with other third countries on the basis of supplementary appropriations and the specific arrangements to be established in agreements between the interested parties.

After completion of the projects, the Commission shall evaluate the manner in which they have been carried out and the impact of their implementation, in order to assess whether the original objectives have been achieved.
After two years of implementation of the Programme, the Commission shall present to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee an evaluation report on the impact and effectiveness of the Programme based on the results obtained.
On completion of the Programme, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee a report on the implementation and results of the Programme.
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top