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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting European culture

28-06-2019

The concept of cultural diversity lies at the heart of the European project. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the sector's potential for promoting social cohesion, unity and tolerance, on the one hand, with continued recognition of its valuable economic role, on the other. There is a strong commitment at the EU level to ensure that culture is mainstreamed in all policy areas, with a special focus on the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, which are key elements in cultural ...

The concept of cultural diversity lies at the heart of the European project. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the sector's potential for promoting social cohesion, unity and tolerance, on the one hand, with continued recognition of its valuable economic role, on the other. There is a strong commitment at the EU level to ensure that culture is mainstreamed in all policy areas, with a special focus on the protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, which are key elements in cultural identity and expression. From the economic point of view, the cultural and creative sector, which employs 8.4 million people in the European Union, is dynamic and has a large potential for growth due to its diversity and scope for individual creative freedom. Yet the development of this potential is hampered by barriers, notably linguistic diversity, fragmentation and different financial mechanisms across the EU. The EU's cultural and creative industry also faces challenge from digital technologies and global competition, particularly from the United States' (US) audiovisual industry, and from US and Chinese diplomatic efforts to promote their cultural output. Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU's role in the context of cultural policy is a supportive and complementary one, direct responsibility in the area being largely a matter for the individual Member States. Nevertheless, since 2014, these challenges have been addressed at the EU level, inter alia via the strengthening of the digital single market, which is essential for access to culture, the circulation of European cultural works, the fair remuneration of creators and fair competition. Since the economic crisis, additional funding has also been made available for the sector via the European Fund for Strategic Investment introduced by the Juncker Commission in 2015. As indicated in a 2017 European Commission communication on the role of culture and education, the synergies between the socio-economic aspects are to be enhanced. The European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 is to feed into a reflection and actions related to shared culture and history. These issues are addressed in the New European Agenda for Culture, while the new multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 envisages increased funding for culture. This will also support efforts to combine artistic and technological skills, which are a prerequisite for artistic expression in the new digital environment. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

The place of women in European film productions: Fighting the celluloid ceiling

17-01-2019

The sexual assault allegations brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein laid bare the painful reality for scores of women working in the film industry around the world. However, sexual harassment is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where gender inequalities relating to biased representation and pay are arguably systematic and pervasive. Europe's own film industry has not been spared. The weighted average of films directed by women in the 2012-2016 period is just 19.6 ...

The sexual assault allegations brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein laid bare the painful reality for scores of women working in the film industry around the world. However, sexual harassment is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where gender inequalities relating to biased representation and pay are arguably systematic and pervasive. Europe's own film industry has not been spared. The weighted average of films directed by women in the 2012-2016 period is just 19.6 %, with country results varying from 5 % (Latvia) to 30 % (Sweden). More worryingly, research shows that the various positions in the film industry appear to be dominated by one or the other gender. Thus, women are over-represented in professions traditionally considered feminine – such as costume design and editing – and under-represented in others viewed as more technical, such as those dealing with sound, music and image. To start redressing these imbalances, various EU-level initiatives have been introduced in support of female film projects. One such example is the LUX Film Prize, through which over the past 11 years the European Parliament has been consistently encouraging the dissemination of films directed by women and portraying strong, inspiring female characters. For its part, the European Commission has started measuring women's participation in key positions in projects supported under the Media strand of its Creative Europe programme. Similarly, it is currently considering specific ways for a more gender-balanced provision of support. Yet again, the cultural support fund of the Council of Europe – Eurimages – committed in its 2018-2020 strategy to achieving equal distribution of co production funding between women and men by the year 2020; the distribution of funding currently stands at 38 %. Sweden is the EU leader in terms of regulatory policies at national level. The critical acclaim won by Swedish female filmmakers in the past 10 years has shown that by applying a methodical and systematic approach it is possible to achieve gender equality without compromising quality.

2015 – A record year for European cinema

16-11-2016

In 2015, 976 million tickets were sold in cinemas across the EU. This represents the second highest level registered in the past ten years. Don't miss our infographic with plenty of other interesting facts.

In 2015, 976 million tickets were sold in cinemas across the EU. This represents the second highest level registered in the past ten years. Don't miss our infographic with plenty of other interesting facts.

LUX Prize: Ten years of support for EU cinema

11-11-2016

This year Parliament marks the 10th anniversary of one of its best known cultural initiatives – the LUX Film Prize – awarded annually by the institution since 2007. Over the last 10 years, the prize has contributed to the promotion of 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry.

This year Parliament marks the 10th anniversary of one of its best known cultural initiatives – the LUX Film Prize – awarded annually by the institution since 2007. Over the last 10 years, the prize has contributed to the promotion of 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers faced by the European film industry.

LUX Prize: Supporting cinema in Europe

18-11-2015

Only 707 films were produced in the United States in 2014, compared to over 1 600 European productions in the same period. However, the European film landscape is still dominated by the strong presence of Hollywood 'majors' such as Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Warner Bros, accounting for almost two thirds of the EU market.

Only 707 films were produced in the United States in 2014, compared to over 1 600 European productions in the same period. However, the European film landscape is still dominated by the strong presence of Hollywood 'majors' such as Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Warner Bros, accounting for almost two thirds of the EU market.

Digitisation of Europe's film heritage

09-07-2015

EU film heritage covers over 120 years of cinema history and its technological evolution. The recent digital shift has resulted in significant digitisation of film production and distribution chains. Consequently, films produced on other formats (for example, 35mm film or magnetic recording) can only be accessed if appropriate screening equipment is preserved and operational, or the material is digitised. This challenge has redefined the scope of the work and tasks performed by European film heritage ...

EU film heritage covers over 120 years of cinema history and its technological evolution. The recent digital shift has resulted in significant digitisation of film production and distribution chains. Consequently, films produced on other formats (for example, 35mm film or magnetic recording) can only be accessed if appropriate screening equipment is preserved and operational, or the material is digitised. This challenge has redefined the scope of the work and tasks performed by European film heritage institutions. These, mostly publicly funded, bodies have a mission to preserve European films and make them accessible. The process of film heritage digitisation comprises many stages, involving both technical and legal elements. The legal issues include copyright clearance, which enables authors, producers and other rights-holders to receive payment for use or exploitation of their work. Rights management systems vary considerably between EU Member States, as do the technical solutions applied for digitising, preserving and making such digital content accessible. These technical and legal disparities lead to difficulties and higher costs in cross-border or interinstitutional access to film heritage. As these issues are common to all Member States, solutions at EU level could allow mass digitisation of European film heritage, and improve the process, thus reducing costs. Since 2000, the European Commission and the European Parliament, together with the Council, have supported moves to foster cooperation in this field. European funding is available to co-finance such efforts.

European Cinema Online - Past and Present

16-06-2008

"Cinema Online – Past and Present” assesses the feasibility of establishing a pan- European film portal that could lead to more collaboration among film stakeholders in the EU and raise awareness regarding Europe’s cinematographic legacy. In a second part, the study assesses the challenges European film companies face with regards to benefiting from Video on Demand (VOD) and gives an overview of EU policy in relation to VOD.

"Cinema Online – Past and Present” assesses the feasibility of establishing a pan- European film portal that could lead to more collaboration among film stakeholders in the EU and raise awareness regarding Europe’s cinematographic legacy. In a second part, the study assesses the challenges European film companies face with regards to benefiting from Video on Demand (VOD) and gives an overview of EU policy in relation to VOD.

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Kern European Affairs (KEA)

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