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Assessing State aid for films and other audiovisual works

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Examples of European films produced with the help of State aid and supported by the MEDIA programme

Policy field

Competition: State aid

Target group

EU Member States, citizens, cinemas, film distributors, film producers, filmmakers, post-production facilities, film sector associations, as well as national, regional and local film institutes.

Period of consultation

From 14.03.2012 to 14.06.2012 See contributions

Introduction and purpose of the consultation

Audiovisual works, particularly films, play an important role in shaping European identities. They reflect the cultural diversity of the different traditions and histories of the EU Member States and regions. Audiovisual works are both economic goods, offering important opportunities for the creation of wealth and employment, and cultural goods which mirror and shape our societies.

Within the EEA, any assistance given by a public body to undertakings which has the potential to distort competition and affect trade between EU Member States is subject to the EU State aid rules. This generally includes public support for audiovisual works.

In 2001, the European Commission adopted a Communication which set out the State aid assessment criteria for support for producing films and audiovisual works (the Cinema Communication). The validity of these criteria was extended in 2004, 2007 and 2009.

In view of a number of different trends which have emerged since 2001, the draft Communication published below aims to ensure that European audiences are offered a more culturally diverse choice of audiovisual works by:

  • extending the scope of activities covered by the Communication to include all aspects from story concept to delivery to the audience;
  • limiting the possibility to impose territorial obligations on production expenditure;
  • controlling the competition between Member States to use State aid to attract inward investment from major productions; and
  • referring to Commission initiatives aimed at improving the circulation and increasing the audience of European films for the benefit of both the European audiovisual industry and the citizens.

The draft Communication draws from the issues paper published by the Commission on 20 June 2011 and the contributions received during the first consultation.

The Commission will be guided by comments on the draft Communication submitted during the 3-month consultation period which ended on 14 June 2012. The final Communication is due to be adopted by the Commission in the third quarter of 2013.

Consultation document: the draft Communication

Press release: IP/12/245: State aid: Commission consults on future film support rules de en fr

FAQ: MEMO/12/186 bg cs da de el en fr fi hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv

Draft communication (PDF): bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv

Draft communication (ODF): bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv

Draft communication (DOCX): bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv

Reference documents and other, related consultations

Indicative timetable

  • March 2012 - June 2012: Public consultation on draft Communication
  • June 2012: Publish consultation responses
  • Third quarter 2013: Adoption of new Cinema Communication

Contact details

Responsible service:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit C4
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: "Cinema Communication consultation 2 – HT 2950"

Ref.: HT 2950

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
Cinema Communication consultation 2 – HT.2950
State aid Registry
1049 Brussels
Fax (32-2) 296 12 42

Replies to the consultation

  • Jan Lindqvist sv
  • Séamas McSwiney en
  • VFX Soldier en
Public authorities
  • Austria de
  • Association des Cinémathèques Européennes en
  • Belgium fr
  • Berlin-Brandenburg de
  • British Film Institute en
  • Bulgaria bg
  • Cine-Regio en
  • Creative England en
  • Creative Scotland en
  • Croatia en
  • Czech Republic en
  • Danish Film Institute en
  • Denmark en
  • Deutsche Kinematek de
  • European Film Agency Directors en
  • Estonia et
  • FilmFernsehFonds Bayern de
  • Filmforderungsanstalt de
  • Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein de
  • Film und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen de
  • Finland en
  • France fr
  • Germany de
  • Hungary en
  • Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales es
  • Ireland en
  • Irish Film Board en
  • Italian Regions it
  • Italy it
  • Joint paper by Austria, Germany, France and the UK de
  • Latvia lv
  • Lithuania lt
  • Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung GmbH de
  • Netherlands nl
  • Northern Ireland Screen en
  • Norway en
  • Poland pl
  • Slovakia sk
  • Slovenia sl
  • Spain es
  • Sweden sv
  • Thüringer Agentur de
  • United Kingdom en
Registered organisations
  • AG Kino de
  • Associazione Produttori Televisi it
  • ARD - ZDF de
  • BECTU en
  • Biografencentralen sv
  • BUMA - STEMRA en
  • CEPI en
  • Channel 4 en
  • Creative Skillset en
  • Deutsch-Französische Filmakademie en
  • Directors UK en
  • European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity en
  • European Games Developer Federation en
  • European Film Commissions Network en
  • Eurocinema fr
  • EuroFIA - FERA - FIAPF – IVF- UNI MEI en
  • European Producers Club en
  • Film Distributor's Association en
  • FIAD en
  • Fédération des Industries du Cinéma, de l'Audiovisuel et du Multimédia fr
  • Film France fr
  • Finnish Film Distributors' Association (SEL) en
  • Finnish Cinema Exhibitors' Association (SEOL) en
  • Iliad fr
  • KIPA en
  • Olswang en
  • PACT en
  • Produzenten-Allianz de
  • Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques fr
  • Screen Producers Ireland en
  • Société des Réalisateurs de Films fr
  • Truquistes Infographistes de la Post Production Image fr
  • UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies en
  • UK Screen Association en
  • Union Internationale des Cinémas en
  • Verband der Filmverleiher de
  • Verband Technischer Betriebe für Film und Fernsehen de
Non-registered organisations
  • Associazione Nazionale delle Industrie Cinematografiche, Audiovisive e Multimediali en it
  • BBC en
  • Bundesverband Kommunale Filmarbeit de
  • British Screen Advisory Council en
  • Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers (SEK) en
  • CSU Filmkommission de
  • Danish Commercial Cinema Owners en
  • De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés fr
  • Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland de
  • Equity en
  • German Films Service de
  • Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater de
  • Pinewood en
  • Romanian Filmmakers Union fr
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