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27/05/2003

Europe's state film councils propose a new vision for the industry

Europe's 16 state-funded European film councils have called for the European Commission to adopt a more ambitious vision for the European film industry, and to detail this policy in the new constitution of the European Union.
In their joint submission to the European Commission, the European film organisations - whose key role is to support the development of their own national and European film cultures and industries - have raised concerns that the draft treaty, while reaffirming that the EU member states lead in relation to culture and audiovisual policy, states that the European Union itself will have exclusive responsibility for defining the framework of key cultural and audiovisual policies. In effect, the individual member states may be prevented from fulfilling the specific needs of their own cultural industries and pursuing effective policies in the trade negotiations with non-EU countries.
The organisations also believe that the role of culture in the future European Union is restricted and unambitious and that the proposal to modify the decision-making process around international trade policy on cultural and audiovisual services from unanimity to qualified majority, effectively removing the right of veto of individual states, brings with it substantial risks.
The European film councils, as stated on May 15 2003 by Commissioner Viviane Reding, support the concept of unanimity as essential to ensure the specific differences of each national cultural policy. All the film organisations believe that this is the only way to guarantee the future development of film in each state and across Europe as a whole.
The European film councils are currently in discussion with their own government culture departments in relation to all these key issues.
(GB)
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