European Commission publishes audiovisual action plan

Last week the European Commission adopted an Action Plan to support the recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sector.

The Action Plan focuses on three areas of activity and 10 concrete actions, to help the media sector recover from the crisis by facilitating and broadening access to finance, transform by stimulating investments to embrace the twin digital and green transitions while ensuring the sector's future resilience and empower European citizens and companies. Most of the following the actions are expected to be launched in the first months of 2021.

Please note that following UK’s exit from the European Union early this year these support measures will not be open to UK companies or organisations.  

Recover

Under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, each National Recovery and Resilience Plan will earmark a minimum level of 20% of expenditure for digital. Measures to boost the production and distribution of digital content, such as digital media, will count towards this target. In addition, the Action Plan aims to:

  • Facilitate access to EU support via a dedicated tool for media companies to find all relevant EU funding opportunities for them. This will offer guidance on how to apply for relevant EU support, in the context of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, but also through national recovery and resilience plans;
  • Boost investment in the audiovisual industry via a new initiative MEDIA INVEST whose target is to leverage investments of €400 million over a seven-year period
  • Launch a “NEWS” initiative to bundle actions and support for the news media sector. The initiative includes a pilot NEWS invest project with foundations and other private partners, access to loans to be backed by the InvestEU guarantee, grants, and a European News Media Forum with the sector. Particular attention will be paid to local media.

Transform

The Action Plan seeks to support the green and digital transformation of the sector

  • Encourage European media data spaces for data sharing and innovation
  • Foster a European Virtual and Augmented Reality industrial coalition to help EU media benefit from these immersive technologies and Launch a VR Media Lab on projects for new ways of storytelling and interacting;
  • Facilitate discussions and actions for the industry to become climate neutral by 2050.

Enable and Empower

Finally, citizens and companies are at the centre of the efforts outlined in the Action Plan to enable and empower Europeans. Actions include:

  • Launch a dialogue with the AV industry to improve access to and availability of audiovisual content across the EU, to help the industry scale up and reach new audiences and consumers to enjoy a wide diversity of content;
  • Foster European media talents including by promoting diversity before and behind the camera, and by scouting and supporting media startups;
  • Empower citizens including by strengthening media literacy and supporting the creation of independent alternative news aggregation;
  • Strengthen cooperation among regulators within the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) to ensure the proper functioning of the EU media market.

For more information visit the European Commission website.

The following links may also be of interest: