12-11-2020

CICAE on the agreement on the EU budget Important signal for European film industry

Demand: Recovery plans budget should be doubled in the crisis

The International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas (CICAE) salutes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and EU Member States in the Council on the next long-term budget (2021-2027) and NextGenerationEU, the temporary recovery instrument, with a package of a total of €1.8 trillion.

This will include an increase of €600 million for the Creative Europe budget from €1.4 billion to €2.2 billion, including also support for European cinema co-productions, film festivals and markets, as well as for the distribution and sales of feature films, and for cinema theatres.

"Increasing the budget for Creative Europe is an important signal that the diversity of European cinema will be ensured. We thank all those who have worked to achieve this goal. Creative Europe MEDIA programme with its Europa Cinemas network is one of the success stories of the European Union and a special example of European integration in action," says CICAE President Dr. Christian Bräuer.

The pandemic has affected the film industry seriously. The rapidly changing announcements and decisions taken in relation to the security measures in place have forced exhibitors to continuously invest in their cinemas at a time of uncertainty, fear, and lack of fresh film offer. The recently ordered closures reinforces a vicious cycle pushing the independent venues, film distributors and festivals ultimately on the verge of their existence.

The European Commission has set out strategic guidance for the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility in its 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, providing €672.5 billion of financial support for the crucial first years of the recovery. Member States are to submit the draft of their recovery and resilience plans to benefit from these.

"It is good that clarity has now been achieved in relation with the EU budget", continues Bräuer. "This ensures continuity and secures the funding for 2021. Unfortunately, there was no decision taken to guarantee at least 2% of the resources of the Recovery Fund for the cultural and creative industries. We therefore call on the Member States to give targeted and appropriate consideration to the film industry and cinemas in their national recovery plans".

In order to at least begin to mitigate the distortions and damage to cinemas the CICAE calls for a doubling of the budget dedicated to Europa Cinemas from the Recovery fund.

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The International Confederation of Arthouse Cinemas is a non-profit organisation aiming at promoting cultural diversity in cinemas and festivals. It was founded in 1955 by the national arthouse cinema associations of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Today it counts more than 2000 members and 4000 screens across 46 countries, representing 11 national and regional associations, 61 individual cinemas, 14 festivals and 6 special members.
 
Dr. Christian Bräuer is the president of the CICAE, president of AG Kino, the German arthouse cinema association and CEO of the Yorck Kinogruppe, which operates 14 arthouse cinemas in Berlin.