Further to its September 1994 session, the Committee of the Regions has published its opinion on the Green Paper entitled "Strategy options to strengthen the European programme industry in the context of the audiovisual policy of the European Union." The Green Paper was written in response to a requirement in the White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment, that the Commission should propose ways of developing and refining existing policy instruments in order to strengthen the television and film programme industry in Europe to the year 2000. Among other points, the Committee of the Regions agrees with the Economic and Social Committee's criticism that the Green Paper has not taken sufficient account of the social and political consequences of unrestrained competition in the audiovisual sector. The Committee considers that it is vital to discuss ways of addressing the threat of concentration of ownership of the European media, with particular reference to: - Free speech; - Consumer choice; - Human rights; - Regional diversity. It is the opinion of the Committee that it will only be possible to create jobs in the audiovisual sector if small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the smaller Member States are given a realistic chance in the marketplace. It also stresses that training in this context should be a priority. The Committee notes that the current MEDIA programme, which promotes the development of the European audiovisual industry, runs until 1995 and it strongly endorses the need for a MEDIA II programme to run until the year 2000. The Committee also feels that programmes such as MEDIA should have a greater geographical coverage to facilitate regional diversity. In conclusion, the Committee hopes that the Commission will successfully coordinate an audiovisual policy that is: - Capable of developing a competitive European film and television industry; - Forward-looking; - Capable of generating jobs.