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MEDIA II: Backing the development of a European multimedia industry

The Community's MEDIA II programme (1996-2000) is already asserting itself as a key support mechanism for fostering and strengthening the level of competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry, in particular in the multimedia sector.

The programme, which came into forc...
The Community's MEDIA II programme (1996-2000) is already asserting itself as a key support mechanism for fostering and strengthening the level of competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry, in particular in the multimedia sector.

The programme, which came into force on 1 January 1996 and has a budget of ECU 310 million over five years, is based on two Council Decisions. The first of these, adopted on 10 July 1995, provides a framework for bolstering the development and distribution of European audiovisual works, while the second, adopted on 22 December 1995, establishes a training programme for professionals from the audiovisual industry.

At a time when digital technology is becoming increasingly widespread and Europe is moving steadfastly along the road towards the Information Society, MEDIA II will promote new image technologies (infographics, multimedia, interactivity, etc.) and support the expansion of the interactive multimedia programmes' industry.

MEDIA II will back the development of programmes (information, educational and entertainment software) aimed at the European and international market which make use of the openings offered by CD-I and CD-ROM as well as online distribution technology.

Special attention will be paid to multimedia programmes which enhance the European film and audiovisual heritage.

The programme will also back the structural development of companies interested in developing catalogues of programmes or intent on establishing strong industrial platforms, in partnership with other European partners (producers, animation studios, software developers, distributors, training bodies, etc.), which share a common project for sectorial development. By setting up real cooperation networks, the companies and bodies involved in such consortia will be in a better position to develop new and creative software as well as quality programmes, and to develop coherent marketing and distribution campaigns.

Within the framework of the MEDIA II Training Programme, the EU will lend its support to the design and establishment of European training courses in multimedia production (workshops, seminars, masters' degrees, internships) and encourage cooperation between training bodies, the professional sector and businesses. The aim is to equip European businesses with the professional skills made essential by the emergence of the "new trades" of multimedia (multimedia project manager, programme developer, multimedia designer, etc.).

Finally, MEDIA II intends to support the promotion and access to the market of companies active in the multimedia sector, in particular by giving European producers and distributors the opportunity to market their know-how and products at a number of key European and international events.
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