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MEDIA Plus (2001-2005)

Supporting the development, distribution and promotion
of European audiovisual works


Official title

"Programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA Plus - Development, Distribution and Promotion - 2001-2005)"

Legal references

Council decision 2000/821/EC of 20 December 2000 on the implementation of a programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works.


To improve the competitiveness of the European audiovisual sector, including SMEs, on the European and international market by supporting the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works while taking account of the development of new technologies.

Specific objectives

In the sector of development, the specific objectives of the programme consist of:

  • promoting, with financial support, the development of production projects (cinema or television, original documentaries, etc.) presented by companies and intended for the European and international market;
  • promoting production projects using new creation, production and distribution technologies.

In the sector of distribution, the programme underlines the need to:

  • strengthen the European film distribution sector by encouraging distributors to invest in the acquisition and promotion of non-national European cinematographic films;
  • improve distribution conditions by encouraging cooperation between international and national distributors, cinema owners and producers, encourage the creation of networks between distributors and particularly SMEs and support joint actions to promote common measures for the projection of European films;
  • favour wider transnational distribution of non-national European films on the European and international market through measures and initiatives in favour of their distribution and projection in cinemas.

In the area of promotion and market access, the programme aims to:

  • facilitate and encourage the promotion and circulation of European audiovisual and cinematographic works at trade fairs in Europe and throughout the world and at European film festivals;
  • encourage the networking of operators at European level, notably by supporting common actions between national promotional bodies.

Target public / beneficiaries

The call for proposals for the development of production projects is aimed at European independent production companies, whose activities help fulfil the above-mentioned objectives (see paragraph on Specific Objectives - Development) (OJ 2001/C 110/07).

The call for proposals for promotion and market access at festivals is aimed at European bodies and operators whose actions help fulfil the following objectives:

Action 1
encourage cooperation projects of a European dimension involving film events from at least eight Member States.

Action 2
support film festivals organised through partnerships and showing a large percentage of European works. (OJ 2001/C53/07 of 20/02/2001).


The MEDIA Plus programme is to run from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005.
For the call for proposals to support the development of projects, the two types of projects (project packages or individual projects) may be submitted at any time until and including 14 September 2001.

For the promotion of festivals (Action 2), the application deadline is 10 September 2001 for events organised between 1 December 2001 and 28 February 2002.

Nature of the activities

For development, support will be granted to production projects intended for the European and international market: fiction films for the cinema or television, original documentaries, animated works for television or the cinema, works taking advantage of the audiovisual and cinematographic heritage and presented by small and medium-sized independent companies.

For distribution, the MEDIA Plus programme is supporting measures to improve the distribution of European works and promoting the networking of European, national and international distributors.

The programme is also encouraging multilingualism and cultural diversity by supporting dubbing and subtitling and is favouring the projection of non-national European films through measures for their distribution in cinemas.

Finally, the actions to encourage the promotion of European films consist in the granting of aid to help independent producers and distributors gain access to the market. This aid goes to service structures that bring companies into contact with one another, particularly through festivals.

Budget and amount of aid

The amount of aid available for the period from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005 is 350 million euros.

The Community will not fund more than 50% of the cost of the operations (up to 60% in certain cases).

The total amount of 350 millions euros is divided between the following areas:

  • development (individual projects or project packages): at least 20%;
  • distribution (automatic support for distribution, selective support for distribution, support for cinemas, support for video distribution, support for television distribution and online distribution): at least 57.5%;
  • promotion: (market access, databases, catalogues, festivals): about 8.5%, - pilot projects (development of archives, digitalisation, thematic channels, advanced online services): about 5%;
  • horizontal costs: at least 9%.



The European Commission is implementing the programme. It makes the final selection with the help of recognised independent experts of the audiovisual sector.

The Commission is ensuring, in close cooperation with the Member States, the overall coherence and complementarity with other Community policies, programmes and actions concerned with the audiovisual field.

For the entire duration of the programme, pilot projects are being run to improve access to European audiovisual content and to take advantage of the opportunities created by the development and introduction of new and innovative technologies, including digitalisation and new distribution methods.

Communication means

The official texts, calls for proposals and other useful documents can be downloaded at the following address:


Additional sources of information

Unit in charge:
European Commission
DG "Education and Culture"
Jacques Delmoly (Office B100-4/20)
Head of Unit DG EAC/C3
rue de la Loi 200
B-1049 Brussels
Fax: +32 (0)2 299 92 14

The contact addresses of the different teams in charge of the MEDIA Plus programme can be found at:

Last update: 07/01

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