Magazine article Screen International

EC Proposes 20% Budget Increase for Next Generation of EU MEDIA Programme for 2014-2020

Magazine article Screen International

EC Proposes 20% Budget Increase for Next Generation of EU MEDIA Programme for 2014-2020

Article excerpt

The next generation of the European Union's MEDIA Programme from 2014-2020 could see a 20% hike in its budget to [euro] 900m from [euro] 755m for MEDIA 2007.

Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily ahead of the 21st Dijon Film Forum (Oct 20-22), Philippe Brunet, chef de cabinet of Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou, explained that this proposed budget increase by the European Commission (EC) would be subject to approval by the European Parliament and the European Council on Nov 23.

A total budget of [euro]1.6bn had been proposed by the EC last July as part of its Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) budget plan for 2014-2020 for its new framework programme Creative Europe encompassing the current Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus schemes.

"It will actually be a bit more because in the proposal we will be taking the current value of the Euro and that of 2010 into account and eventually we will have [euro]1.8 bn," Brunet said. "From that, 50% will go to MEDIA which will represent roughly a 20% increase."

"In these times of budgetary constraints and the fact that the amount of the MFF has been capped at 1.05% of the EU GDP, it's quite an achievement to have 20% more for MEDIA," Brunet declared, adding that "for the first time, apart from the cultural benefits per se in the [MEDIA] Programme, we have stressed the industrial weight of the sector and the fact that the cultural and creative industries including cinema make up 4.6% of the GDP."

In addition to the increased MEDIA budget, European audiovisual professionals can also look forward to benefitting from an innovative financial instrument - a third pillar in the Creative Europe programme - which would work with the European Investment Bank group to provide debt and equity finance for cultural and creative industries.

A budget of [euro]180m is being proposed for this guarantee fund which, "depending on the sector, could have a leverage effect of 10-12 times," Brunet said, pointing out that the cinema sector was likely to be main beneficiary of this new instrument.

(In comparison, European film producers currently have access to the MEDIA Production Guarantee Fund, launched at the beginning of this year which has a budget of [euro]8m until 2013.)

Meanwhile, MEDIA unit chief Aviva Silver told ScreenDaily that the Commission is looking at new business models for the film industry of the future. …

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