The MEDIA I Programme (1991-1995) was adopted on 21 December 1990. Under Council decision 90/685/CE the Commission is responsible for implementing the programme.

With a budget of ECU 200 million, MEDIA I was intended to:

  • "help create a favourable environment within which Community businesses will act as a driving force alongside those from other European countries",
  • "stimulate and increase the competitive supply capacity of European audiovisual products, with special regard for the role and requirements of small and medium-sized undertakings, the legitimate interests of all professionals who play a part in the original creation of such products and the position of countries in Europe with smaller audiovisual production capacities and/or with a limited geographical and linguistic area",
  • "step up intra-European exchanges of films and audiovisual programmes..." ,
  • "increase European production and distribution companies' share of world markets",
  • "promote access to and use of the new communications technologies, particularly European ones, in the production and distribution of audiovisual material",
  • "ensure that action taken at European level complements that taken at national level",
  • "contribute, in particular by improving the economic and commercial management abilities of professionals in the audiovisual industry in the Community, and in conjunction with existing institutions in the Member States, to creating conditions which will enable undertakings in that sector to take full advantage of the single market dimension"

MEDIA I included 19 sub-programmes to meet these objectives, including:

  • the SCRIPT programme offering support for script writing and screenwriting,
  • the EUROPA programme providing support for cinemas.