With the international and European audiovisual markets dominated by US productions, the European Commission is looking for new ways to strengthen the European film industry and enhance cooperation with third countries.
The Media International initiative has already struck a chord, attracting considerable interest, Commission official Aviva Silver explained on Wednesday (25 June) during a public hearing in which numerous film industry stakeholders participated.
34 applications have already been submitted, while more than 200 professionals have contributed to the policy debate via an online public consultation, she noted.
Boosting the image of Europe in the world
Speaking at the public hearing, German centre-right MEP Ruth Hieronymi (EPP-ED) welcomed the widespread interest and support for the Media International project in Europe and abroad, saying it was “a brilliant example of what the EU means by fostering cultural diversity”.
At a time when the importance of a strategy for external cultural policies is being stressed repeatedly, Media International and Media Mundus provide the European film industry with the opportunity to develop international networks for the promotion of Europe’s image in the world, she added.
Making room for culture in international law
Jean Musitelli, a former French ambassador to UNESCO, congratulated the Commission on the Media International initiative, which was originally designed to comply with the standards set out in the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. He said he was pleased with the efforts made to meet the terms of the Convention.
“UNESCO is working to make more room for culture in international law: there is a possibility to integrate parts of UNESCO conventions into international trade law, in a similar way to what has happened for environmental legislation,” he concluded. Competitiveness and cultural diversity are in fact complementary and can be reconciled.