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Assessing State aid for films and other audiovisual works

Secrets & Lies
Los Abrazos Rotos
Tadeo Jones
Dancer in the Dark
Slumdog Millionaire
Lo Imposible

Examples of European films produced with the help of State aid, some of which have also been 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 30 April 2013 to 28 June 2013 (extended!)

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.

The criteria expired on 31 December 2012. As a new Communication is expected to be adopted by the Commission shortly, during this interim period, the Commission is continuing to assess film support schemes directly on the basis of the Treaty based on its case practice, where possible, provided that the Member State commits to modify the scheme if needed by a change in the State aid rules during its lifetime.

The draft Communication published by the Commission on 14 March 2012 has been restructured and revised to address the contributions received during the second consultation.

Consultation document: the revised draft Communication

Press release: IP/13/388: State aid: Commission consults on new film support rules

Revised 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

Revised 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

Revised 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

  • 30 April 2013 – 28 June 2013: Public consultation on revised draft Communication
  • July 2013: Publish consultation responses
  • Fourth quarter of 2013: Adoption of new Cinema Communication

Contact details

Responsible service:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit C4
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
Cinema Communication consultation 3 – HT.2950
State aid Registry
1049 Brussels
Fax (32-2) 296 12 42
e-mail :

Replies to the consultation

Public authorities
  • Austria de
  • British Film Commission en
  • British Film Institute en
  • Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel - Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds fr
  • Creative England en
  • Creative Scotland en
  • Croatian Audiovisual Center en
  • Cyprus el
  • Denmark en
  • Filmoteca de Catalunya en
  • Filmoteka Narodowa en
  • Film London en
  • Finland en
  • France fr
  • German Federal Filmboard de - de
  • Germany de
  • Germany - Länderförderer de
  • Greater London Authority en
  • Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute en
  • Hungary en
  • Ireland en
  • Irish Film Board en - annex_en
  • Italy it
  • Latvia lv
  • Lithuania lt
  • Poland pl
  • Royal Belgian Film Archive en
  • Rhône-Alpes Cinéma fr
  • Slovakia sk - sk
  • Slovenia sl
  • Slovenian Film Archive en
  • Spain - Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales es
  • Swedish Film Institute en
  • United Kingdom en
Registered organisations
  • Association des Cinémathèques européennes en
  • AG Kino - Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater e.V. de
  • Allianz Deutscher Produzenten de
  • ARD - ZDF de
  • Bundesverband der Film- und Fernsehregisseure in Deutschland de
  • CEPI - European Coordination of Independent Producers en
  • Cineregio en
  • Ericsson en
  • Eurocinema fr
  • EuroFia/FERA/FIAPF/IVF/UNI MEI Global Union joint submission en
  • Europa Distribution en
  • European Producers Club en
  • International Federation of Film Distributors' Associations en
  • Film, TV and Multimedia Industries Federation (FICAM) en fr
  • Film France fr
  • Gruppo Alcuni en
  • Independent Pan-European Digital Association (IPEDA) en
  • Joint contribution of women associations en
  • Screen Producers Ireland en
  • Société des Réalisateurs de films fr
  • Union des Producteurs de Films Francophones (Belgique) fr
  • UK Screen Association en
Non-registered organisations
  • Associazione Nazionale delle Industrie Cinematografiche, Audiovisive e Multimediali en
  • Austrian Film Museum en
  • Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union (BECTU) en
  • Bundesvereinigung der Filmschaffenden-Verbände e.V. en
  • British Screen Advisory Council (BSAC) en
  • Confederación de Productores Audiovisuales Españoles "FAPAE" es
  • Deutsches Filminstitut de
  • Distributeurs Indépendants Réunis Européens (DIRE) fr
  • European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (ECCD) en
  • European Film Agency Directors en
  • Eye Film Institute en
  • Film and Music Austria en
  • Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français (FNCF) fr
  • Joint submission VNAP/OTP/FPN/DPN en
  • Federation of Screenwriters in Europe en
  • Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles / Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds fr
  • HDF Kino e.V. de
  • International Art Cinemas Confederation (ICAC) fr
  • PACT en
  • Polskiej Izby Komunikacji Elektronicznej (PIKE) pl
  • Slovenian Cinematheque en
  • Syndicat National des Techniciens et Travailleurs de la Production Cinématographique et de Télévision fr
  • Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft de
  • The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) en
  • Union Internationale des Cinémas en
  • Verband der Drehbuchautoren (VDD) de
  • Verband Technischer Betriebe für Film und Fernsehen de
  • Marcel Kolvenbach de
  • Martyn Drake en
  • Zoltan Bago en
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