During a presentation on the new Creative Europe programme, the European Commission invited representatives from various EU Member States to discuss how best to increase the competitiveness of the European film industry while preserving its cultural diversity.

The panel confirmed that Europeans are strongly attached to the cultural and linguistic diversity displayed in European cinema, but that adaptations must be made to keep up with the pace of the global audiovisual sector.

A common challenge expressed by the film funds was how to involve global Internet players in the promotion of European films, either through investment in productions or contributions to public funding.

Fred Breinersdorfer, scriptwriter of the Oscar nominated film "Sophie Scholl", expressed a particular concern over the relatively weak availability of European films online, stating the need for "more innovative online offers for films that can be an attractive alternative to piracy".

Key conclusions from the discussion include:

  • Fostering better exchanges between Member States and the EU in order to share best practices, encourage experimentation and adapt film policies to better respond to the market development.
  • Working at national level to follow-up on reporting exercises in the cinema sector (i.e. the France's 'Bonnel report' and the report on digital challenges and possibilities for Danish film in Denmark).
  • Finding ways to counter the inadequate availability of European films on legal online platforms.
  • Developing innovative distribution methods to safeguard cultural diversity in European cinema.
  • Identifying the most effective funding mechanisms to boost creativity.

"The Commission will pick up the ball and contribute to a better dialogue with the national and regional funding institutions. Creative Europe will only be a success if we all join forces and work together for the benefit of the European film industry and of the European audience," said Michel Magnier, Director of Culture at the European Commission, and host of the event.

The panel included representatives from Croatia, Germany, France, and Denmark as well as members of the European film sector.