A few weeks ago, several of Europe's most brilliant filmmakers called for a better circulation of European works and for the protection of copyright. At the heart of their concerns were the European Commission's new initiatives to facilitate access to content on the Internet.

We presented our Strategy for a Digital Single Market on 6 May. I hope that filmmakers' fears have been allayed. I will be at the Cannes Festival this weekend to meet filmmakers and to dispel their last lingering doubts. Firstly, I want to reassure those who may be worried: cultural diversity is, and will, remain a core value of the European Union. It is one of our greatest strengths. European films help build a European identity. That is why copyright should continue to drive cultural creation in the digital age.

European rules on copyright — which largely date from 2001 — must be adapted to meet the challenges and opportunities offered by new technologies.

We want to ensure that legally acquired content is portable. A European consumer, who buys a film from a video-on-demand catalogue from their home country, should be able to watch it wherever they travel in the European Union. Secondly, we want to promote better access to creative works, while fully respecting the foundations of their financing. This would contribute to the circulation of works and cultural diversity in Europe; it could increase audiences and open up additional sources of income for creators.

We also need to clarify how copyrighted material is used by online intermediaries. Platforms and other new digital players should be fully involved in the creative economy. We also need to harmonise copyright exceptions across Europe to foster access to knowledge and support education and research.

We do not want to change the principle of territoriality of rights or to impose pan-European licences. Europe's audiovisual rules — which already support the promotion of European works — will be reviewed. We will also analyse the role of platforms and new online players in disseminating content.

The measures which we will propose will strengthen the cultural and creative sector, which is a driver for jobs and growth. These concepts are at the core of the Commission's proposals.

This is also why we invest in culture and creativity, in particular through the Creative Europe programme. This programme has a budget of €1.46 billion until 2020, half of which supports the European audiovisual sector, for the development, distribution and promotion of works. It also supports the training of young creators and helps the sector adapt to the digital age.

I am extremely proud that 25 films, which have received EU funding, have been selected for this year's Cannes Festival — a record since the creation of the MEDIA programme.

I will have the opportunity to see Mon Roi by Maiwenn on 17 May. I will meet many filmmakers, including several of those who signed the call of European filmmakers in Rome.  I particularly look forward to participating in a forum with the new generation of European filmmakers, along with Abderrahmane Sissako and Joachim Trier. I want to tell our young talents that it is they for whom we want to create the right conditions in Europe to support creators, to make art accessible to the public and to put cultural diversity at the heart of our digital age.

L'article complet en français peut être lu sur le site du journal Le Monde

 

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