Press conference by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC, on state aid in favour of films and other audio-visual works
Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on the adoption by the EC of a new communication on state aid in favour of films and other audio-visual works. This new Communication allowed aid for a wider scope of activities, highlighted Member States' discretion in defining cultural activities worthy of support, introduced the possibility to give more aid to cross-border productions and promoted film heritage. The Commission took into account the comments received during three public consultations of Member States and stakeholders. The new rules extended the scope of the 2001 Cinema Communication, which applied only to state aid for film production, to include all phases of an audiovisual work from concept to delivery to audiences. The intensity of the aid that could be granted to a film continued to be limited in principle to 50% of the production budget. Distribution and promotion costs might be supported with the same aid intensity. However, co-productions funded by more than one Member State might receive aid of up to 60% of the production budget. By contrast there were no limits on aid for script writing or film project development, or for difficult audio-visual works, as defined by each Member State in accordance with the subsidiarity principle.