Council boosts support for media and audiovisual industry
New initiatives will create financial opportunities for both sectors to recover fast from the crisisEuropost , Brussels
The Council set out on Tuesday steps to help audiovisual industry and the news media sector, hardly hit by the pandemic crisis, to recover fast and emerge stronger. The adopted conclusions foresee MEDIA INVEST initiative to provide €400m to support investment in the audiovisual industry.
News media will benefit from the loans and investments of the NEWS initiative. An interactive digital tool will help media companies identify the most suitable financial support scheme.
The initiative will not only give media better access to finance, but will facilitate capacity building among them and investors and will also back media to work on collaborative transformation.
Both audiovisual industry and the news media sector are important economic actors with an annual turnover of €193bn according to European Commission estimates, but due to the COVID-19 crisis their advertising revenue dropped by over 20% and Europe's cinemas incurred massive losses.
Member States are invited to take advantage of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is the EU's post-crisis financial instrument, and to invest in the acceleration of the digital transformation and green transition of the news media and audiovisual sectors.
Graça Fonseca, Portuguese Minister of Culture pointed out that the role of news media and the audiovisual industry in providing accurate information and entertainment is of great importance for Europe's democratic debate and cultural diversity.
The media and the audiovisual sector face enormous challenges such as changes to people's viewing habits and loss of advertising revenue, she said adding that COVID-19 has put additional pressure on both sectors.
Ministers also call for efforts to make sure that the audiovisual industry can more easily reach European and international markets and audiences.
They agreed that in order to boost the circulation of European content within Europe and internationally, cooperation on production and distribution needs to be facilitated. Supporting cross-border collaboration between audiovisual market actors is also key.