MEDIA II – (1996-2000)
On 23 July 1993, the Commission presented a Communication on the evaluation of MEDIA I, with comments [COM(93) 364 final]. The guidelines for MEDIA II (1996-2000), based on these documents, focused EU funding on three priority areas: training, development and distribution.
MEDIA II therefore had two areas of focus: MEDIA II - Training and MEDIA II - Development and Distribution, established respectively by Council Decisions 95/564/CE of 22 December 1995 and 95/563/CE of 10 July 1005.
With a budget of €265 million, Media II – Development and Distribution aimed to foster the development and transnational circulation of European films, by encouraging and consolidating cooperation between European distributors.
MEDIA II - Training, with a budget of €45 million, promoted the provision of initial and ongoing training schemes in order to improve the skills of audiovisual professionals.
Overall, MEDIA II support has had a considerable knock-on effect. The mid-term assessment of MEDIA II concluded that every EU euro invested generated €5.75 of investment in the industry. This multiplication factor was higher in the distribution sector and to some extent also in the development sector.
In spite of this, European cinema's share of the market remains small in relation to non-European productions. This has been cited as a reason for increasing the funding available through the distribution part of the MEDIA Plus Programme.