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Perspectives on transatlantic cooperation: Culture in EU-US relations

11-07-2017

North America and Europe dominate the global trade in cultural goods. Together they account for 49 % of exports and 62 % of imports. However, there is a significant cultural divide between the EU and USA, which is reflected in contrasting policy approaches towards culture. Under the 2005 Unesco Convention – not signed by the USA – the EU has a legal obligation to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions, a principle also enshrined in Article 167 TFEU. Culture and the audiovisual ...

North America and Europe dominate the global trade in cultural goods. Together they account for 49 % of exports and 62 % of imports. However, there is a significant cultural divide between the EU and USA, which is reflected in contrasting policy approaches towards culture. Under the 2005 Unesco Convention – not signed by the USA – the EU has a legal obligation to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions, a principle also enshrined in Article 167 TFEU. Culture and the audiovisual sectors are supported in the EU through its ‘Creative Europe’ framework programme, but most importantly through the EU-28’s national budgets, with cultural spending representing between 0.2 % and 1.9 % of GDP in the 2000-2005 period. By contrast, cultural action in the USA is not centrally guided by any federal policy, and the resources made available are relatively small for a country boasting the world’s largest economy. While the EU has a (long) tradition in supporting cultural and creative industries, in the USA, culture is generally viewed as a commodity with the American film and music industries perceived as its main ambassadors. In 2016, the EU announced a strategy for international cultural relations, seeking, among other things, to fill gaps and remove misconceptions about the EU. In July 2017, the European Parliament welcomed the initiative. Similarly, the EU Delegation in the USA, together with the recently created Euro-American Cultural Foundation, run a number of cultural initiatives to bring the best of EU culture and help advance knowledge of the EU and the value of the transatlantic partnership. This briefing continues a series which formed part of a broader research project on perspectives on transatlantic cooperation, requested by the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the United States.

Access to culture in the European Union

10-07-2017

Culture, a broad term with a variety of interpretations, is a competence of Member States. However, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union vests the EU with a supportive role towards Member States' cultural policies, protection of cultural heritage, promotion of culture and cultural cooperation. The Commission's culture work programme covers accessible and inclusive culture as an objective of EU cultural actions, in the conviction that culture can play a role in social integration, education ...

Culture, a broad term with a variety of interpretations, is a competence of Member States. However, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union vests the EU with a supportive role towards Member States' cultural policies, protection of cultural heritage, promotion of culture and cultural cooperation. The Commission's culture work programme covers accessible and inclusive culture as an objective of EU cultural actions, in the conviction that culture can play a role in social integration, education and well-being, in terms of consumption and also through active engagement. People consume cultural goods and services by attending cultural events, such as concerts, film screenings, plays, exhibitions and dance and music performances, visiting heritage sites or museums, and reading books and newspapers, as ways to spend leisure time and achieve personal development. By measuring and accessing the impact of cultural consumption on Europeans' lives and the cost, availability, accessibility and attractiveness of the culture on offer, cultural policy makers and fund providers can make informed decisions on the directions and risks to take. Supporting access to culture and cultural consumption can also contribute to the development of the cultural sector and the cultural and creative industry, which has developed significantly over recent years. Having resisted the 2008 crisis, it contributes to around 3.5 % of EU GDP and 3 % of EU jobs. The cultural services and goods on offer in the EU are diverse and rich, but the missing link is support on the demand side in terms of audience building and the promotion of a varied 'cultural diet'.

EYE 2016 – Patents, pirates and fair play

28-04-2016

Today the internet is at the heart of the new digital society. It is a communication tool but it can also be used to offer and to access online a vast range of commercial and cultural services or content. Policy-makers are trying to clarify the respective rights and obligations of consumers, creators of content and intermediaries who interact on the internet, and to make sure that innovation and fair competition can flourish. This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place ...

Today the internet is at the heart of the new digital society. It is a communication tool but it can also be used to offer and to access online a vast range of commercial and cultural services or content. Policy-makers are trying to clarify the respective rights and obligations of consumers, creators of content and intermediaries who interact on the internet, and to make sure that innovation and fair competition can flourish. This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

An overview of Europe's film industry

16-12-2014

In spite of the fact that Europe pioneered both technological and content innovation in cinema, at present the EU film landscape is characterised by the strong presence of Hollywood productions. In 2013, they held a share of nearly 70% of the EU market, while European productions represented only 26%. What makes the major US companies so powerful is the fact that they are vertically integrated, with activities spanning production and distribution, allowing them to spread risks over several films, ...

In spite of the fact that Europe pioneered both technological and content innovation in cinema, at present the EU film landscape is characterised by the strong presence of Hollywood productions. In 2013, they held a share of nearly 70% of the EU market, while European productions represented only 26%. What makes the major US companies so powerful is the fact that they are vertically integrated, with activities spanning production and distribution, allowing them to spread risks over several films, and reinvest profits in new projects. To offset the financing challenges facing EU film companies, different types of film-support schemes have been set up, accounting in 2009 for an estimated €2.1 billion (excluding tax incentives and interventions by publicly funded banks and credit institutions). Notwithstanding the ever-increasing presence of Hollywood majors, the European film industry is quite dynamic and encompasses over 75 000 companies, employing more than 370 000 people, and reaping some €60 billion in revenue in 2010. Within the EU, the 'Big Five' – France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain – account for around 80% of releases, industry turnover, and persons employed. In its 2014 communication on European film in the digital era, the European Commission identified a number of structural weaknesses which prevent the EU film industry from reaching potential audiences in the EU and globally. Along with the fragmentation of production and issues related to financing, there is greater focus on production, resulting in limited attention to distribution and promotion, and insufficient opportunities for international projects. Helping overcome distribution barriers for European films is also one of the European Parliament's goals through the LUX Prize, awarded annually since 2007. The winner of the prize does not receive a direct grant. Instead, during the LUX Film Days, the three films in competition are subtitled in the 24 official EU languages and are screened in more than 40 cities and at 18 festivals, allowing many Europeans to see them.

El apoyo a la industria cinematográfica europea

05-12-2014

El cine nació en Europa, pero en la actualidad el panorama cinematográfico europeo se caracteriza por la fuerte presencia de los «grandes» de Hollywood, como Sony Pictures, Walt Disney y Warner Bros. Sorprendentemente, a pesar de que las empresas con sede en los Estados Unidos han producido solo 622 películas en 2013, en comparación con las 1 546 producciones europeas en el mismo período, actualmente representan casi dos tercios del mercado de la UE

El cine nació en Europa, pero en la actualidad el panorama cinematográfico europeo se caracteriza por la fuerte presencia de los «grandes» de Hollywood, como Sony Pictures, Walt Disney y Warner Bros. Sorprendentemente, a pesar de que las empresas con sede en los Estados Unidos han producido solo 622 películas en 2013, en comparación con las 1 546 producciones europeas en el mismo período, actualmente representan casi dos tercios del mercado de la UE

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