The MEDIA Plus programme, adopted by Council Decision 2000/821/EC in December 2000, had a budget of €350 million for its activities between 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005. The Council of Ministers agreed on 26 April 2004 to extend the MEDIA Plus programme until 31 December 2006 (Decision 846/2004/EC ).

The budget was raised to €453.6 million to take account of the extra year and the consequences of EU enlargement from 2004. MEDIA Plus activities focused on development, distribution/broadcasting and promotion.

Development – the programme helped independent companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, to carry out production projects/project packages for the European and international markets. Support is also available for the use of new information technologies.

Distribution and broadcasting support – for companies broadcasting European, non-national works to the public or for private use. In this connection, support was available for the circulation of European television programmes produced by independent companies, the creation of European works in digital format and linguistic diversity.

Promotion – support was available to promote European works at trade shows, fairs and audiovisual festivals in Europe and around the globe. Networking between European operators was also encouraged by supporting joint actions by private and public promotional bodies on the European and international markets.

Pilot projects – improving access to European works, taking advantage of new technologies, and making greater use of archives, digitisation, networking of special-interest channels and advanced online services.

Part two of the third generation of MEDIA programmes was MEDIA Training.