Council of the EU: Conclusions to support the recovery and transformation of the European media, cultural and creative sectors

IRIS 2021-6:1/9

Francisco Javier Cabrera Blázquez

European Audiovisual Observatory

On 18 May 2021, the Council of the European Union approved conclusions to support the recovery and transformation of the European media sector. The conclusions respond to the Action Plan presented by the Commission on 3 December 2020 (see IRIS 2021-2/3).  

The audiovisual industry and the news media sector have suffered during the COVID-19 crisis and face enormous challenges such as changes to people's viewing habits and the loss of advertising revenue. Member states are invited to take advantage of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, (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. Ministers also call for efforts to make sure that the audiovisual industry can more easily reach European and international markets and audiences. 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. The Action Plan puts forward a number of initiatives to support the audiovisual and news media sectors. A planned MEDIA INVEST initiative will provide EUR 400 million 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.

On the same date, the Council also adopted conclusions on the recovery, resilience and sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors. They restate that the cultural and creative sectors are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and that there is a need to take decisive policy actions in their support, both as an immediate response and as a more ambitious and far-sighted approach, as the current crisis has exposed some structural challenges and pre-existing vulnerabilities of the cultural and creative sectors. In order to promote the recovery, resilience and sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors, the conclusions identify six priorities:

- improving access to available funding;

- enhancing the resilience of professionals in the cultural and creative sectors;

- further strengthening mobility and cooperation;

- expediting the digital and green transitions;

- improving knowledge and preparedness for future challenges;

- taking cultural scenes and local communities into account.

The Council conclusions also aim to promote fairness and equality for all, giving special attention to the situation of female artists and cultural professionals. The Council calls on member states and the Commission to exchange views on best practices and to take stock of these conclusions in 2023.    


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IRIS 2021-2:1/3 European Media and Audiovisual Action Plan  

This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.