FNE and UNIC Present EU Cinema Policy News

FNE has teamed up with the Brussels based team of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) to bring you regular updates on EU cinema policies that impact all industry professionals across Europe.

Each two weeks the UNIC team of experts will update FNE readers with a selection of information on the most important developments in cinema policy in the areas of the Digital Single Market, copyright, new research on audience development, policy meetings and events and other vital information that the leaders of the European cinema need to keep abreast of to do their jobs.

These are issues that have an impact on all of us and will determine the future direction of our industry and indeed even its survival.

UNIC policy update 03.11.2017


Digital Single Market

19/10: 4th Council of Europe Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation – Council of Europe
The 4th Platform Exchange on Culture and Digitisation, organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with ZKM at the ZKM headquarters in Karlsruhe, took place from 19-20 October, with the aim to explore the potential of Culture, Arts and Science as a strong resource for empowering democracy for culturally competent citizens.
22/10: Recommendation on measures to safeguard fundamental rights and the open internet in the framework of the EU copyright reform - IPKat
Together with a group of scholars active in copyright issues, Professor Martin Senftleben (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) has published a Recommendation on measures to safeguard fundamental rights and the open internet in the framework of the EU copyright reform.

Lux Film Prize

17/10: The starting pistol is fired for the 2017 LUX Film Days - European Parliament
The time has come for the 2017 edition of the LUX Film Days to get under way. Once again this year, the European Parliament’s LUX Prize will take the three finalist films on a trip across Europe, from theatre to theatre, and from festival to festival, visiting more than 60 cities.


TBC: EP JURI vote on the Broadcast RegulationTBC: Vote on the Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content Directive6/11: UNIC Film Screening of 'Borg McEnroe' - Brussels - email to reserve21/11: Joint Film Screening of 'The Square' - Bozar - email to reserve27-28/11: Estonian Presidency conference on audiovisual content, technology and policy – Tallinn – more information here 



UNIC policy update 17.10.2017

28/09: Security Union: Commission steps up efforts to tackle illegal content online – European Commission
The Commission has presented guidelines and principles for online platforms to increase the proactive prevention, detection and removal of illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism online.

Digital Single Market
29/09: Key messages of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to heads of state or government in Tallinn on the state of play of the digital single market – eu2017.ee
‘Since the beginning of the mandate, the Commission has put forward 43 initiatives to complete the digital single market, of which 24 legislative proposals. Over the same period, the need to achieve a digital single market was repeatedly discussed amongst ourselves and in 10 different Summits we have agreed to complete the digital single market’ stated President Juncker. 

Creative Europe Programme 
30/09: Registrations open for the European Culture Forum 2017 – European Commission
The European Culture Forum takes place every two years with prestigious speakers and lively discussions on the hottest topics in culture.

EU Budget
10/10: Next MFF must match EU ambitions – EPP website
The MFF lays down the maximum annual amounts which the EU may spend in different political fields over a period of at least five years.


  • TBC: EP JURI vote on the Broadcast Regulation
  • TBC: Vote on the Contracts for the Supply of Digital Content Directive
  • 19/10: The Impact of Brexit on the UK Copyright Regime panel discussion - London - more information here
  • 6/11: UNIC Film Screening of 'Borg McEnroe' - Brussels - email to reserve
  • 27-28/11: Estonian Presidency conference on audiovisual content, technology and policy – Tallinn – more information here 

UNIC policy update 29.09.2017

Digital Single Market
25/09: European Audiovisual Observatory publishes results of its Brussels SATCAB workshop – EAO website
The publication summarises the main points of the discussion during the round-table workshop,which was held on 21 June in Brussels in order to explore certain aspects of the Regulation Proposal. The workshop was organised, and the discussion facilitated by the European Audiovisual Observatory (Strasbourg) upon request of the European Commission. 
15/09: Expert Survey Shows Direct Injection as the Principal Form of Broadcasting in Europe – SAA
The Ampere Analysis economic survey of channel distribution in the EU confirms that broadcast signals, whether domestic or cross-border, are overwhelmingly transmitted to retransmission platforms such as cable using a method known as Direct Injection.

21/09: Hidden European Commission's study copyright study leaked – Netzpolitik 
The study ‘Estimated displacements rates of copyrighted content in the EU’ commissioned by the European Commission explores the relation between online copyright infringement (digital piracy) and sales of copyrighted content.
12/09: The urgent for a reform of EU copyright law by MEP Axel Voss – EP Magazine  

‘The proposal is a great opportunity not only to adapt the legal situation, but also to generate economic success for European works within the EU. In this connection, we need to strive for a good balance between all players. Ultimately, we are protecting cultural diversity in the EU and thus our European identity, thereby helping to make sure that it is still worthwhile to be creative’ stated MEP Axel Voss.  

European Commission
13/09: Juncker’s full 2017 State of the Union speech – European Commission
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered his annual State of the Union speech and presented the EU plan on a number of institutional, economic and political reforms.

27/09: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference on media convergence – Brussels 
29/09: Workshop on the Promotion of European Works in Audiovisual Media Services – Brussels
27-28/11: Estonian Presidency conference on audiovisual content, technology and policy – Tallinn – more information here 


UNIC policy update 13.09.2017

European Film Forum 
04/09: European Film Forum in Venice: Speech by EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel – European Commission

The newly appointed Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel shared her perspective on the current and future MEDIA programme.
02/09: The European Film Forum goes to Venice – European Commission

The European Film Forum (EFF) brought together industry representatives and policy makers to explore, on one hand, the industrial and societal effects of virtual reality and, on the other hand, to look ahead to the future of audiovisual policy and support programmes.

04/09: EFADs call for a copyright framework to support film education, audiovisual heritage, and a fair, diverse and transparent online marketplace in the 21st century - EFADs

The European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) have launched a paper calling on Europe’s policy makers, the European Commission and leading audio-visual organisations to work together in ensuring a copyright framework is established that is fit for the industry and audiences in the 21st century.

27/09: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference on media convergence - Brussels 29/09: Workshop on the Promotion of European Works in Audiovisual Media Services - Brussels27-28/11: European Film Forum in Tallinn - Estonia


UNIC policy update 27.07.2017

Digital Single Market
11/07: Mariya Gabriel is the new Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society – European Commission
Mariya Gabriel has been appointed as the new Member of the European Commission for the Digital Economy and Society. Her candidacy was proposed by the Bulgarian Government as Commissioner to replace former Member of the Commission Kristalina Georgieva.

11/07: European Copyright: Parliament committees vote for an unwaivable right to fair remuneration for audiovisual authors – SAA 
The European Parliament Industry and Culture committees voted in favour of an unwaivable right to fair remuneration for authors and performers for the making available of their works. Supported by the European audiovisual authors’ community, such a remuneration right would ensure that screenwriters and directors receive royalties when their works are exploited on on-demand services, wherever in Europe, thanks to its collective mechanism. 

11/07: A loss for culture and research in today’s copyright votes by Pirate MEP Julia Reda – Julia Reda’s website
The Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) and the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) ceirtainly didn’t prioritize culture, education or research in today’s copyright votes, highlights MEP Julia Reda.

Audiovisual Media Services Directive 

/07:  Mandate to the Culture committee on a new directive on audiovisual media services – IRIS newsletter
The European Parliament gave a mandate to the Committee on Culture and Education to begin talks with the European Council on a new directive on audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities. 


8/09: Conference "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – the role and responsibility of advertising, logistic and financial service providers", Switzerland – more information here 

3/4/09: European Film Forum in Venice – more information here


UNIC policy update 11.07.2017

Digital Single Market
4/07: MEPs endorse Mariya Gabriel as Digital Economy Commissioner – Parliament Magazine
MEPs have confirmed Mariya Gabriel as the new digital economy and society Commissioner. Gabriel has been an MEP since 2009 and is currently a Vice-Chair of Parliament's EPP group. She was recently rapporteur on introducing a visa waiver for Ukrainian citizens entering the EU.

4/07: European Audiovisual Observatory study : Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright – EAO website
The study aims at providing a general overview of the rationale and the evolution of the exceptions and limitations to copyright in the numerous international treaties and European directives devoted to this topic, and in the consequent ratifications and implementations at national level. 
10/07: EPP Group position on copyright: fair remuneration for creativity – EPP website

The EPP Group has adopted its common position on the proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. 

Presidencies of the EU
7/07: Priorities Estonian Presidency of the EU – Estonian Presidency website

The priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU include: An open and innovative European Economy, a safe and secure Europe, a digital Europe and a free movement of data, and an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

MEDIA Programme
23/06: Call for proposals "Crowdsourcing subtitling to increase the circulation of European works" – European Commission website 
The Commission launches a €1 million call for proposals to find innovative solutions for film translation and for tracking language versions of films.

LUX Film Prize
3/07: LUX FILM PRIZE Official Selection Unveiled – FNE
One Polish film and no less than three Bulgarian co-productions are among the ten films selected for the Official Selection of the LUX Prize.

2/07: Update on the Trilogue negotiations on the Geo-blocking Regulation in IMCO committee – more information here 13/07: Consideration of amendments in JURI committee for the Broadcasting Regulation – more information here 8/09: Conference "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – the role and responsibility of advertising, logistic and financial service providers", Switzerland – more information here


unic policy update 27.06.2017

13/06: UNIC’s 2017 annual report celebrates continued growth and innovation in European cinema exhibition – UNIC
The International Union of Cinemas has published its Annual Report, examining key trends and developments in across the 36 territories represented by the association over the last year.
19/06: UNIC President Stresses Innovation And Diversity in CineEurope Keynote – Celluloid Junkie
During his keynote address at CineEurope 2017, UNIC President Phil Clapp has highlighted the importance of innovation and diversity for the continued success of the European cinema sector.
21/06: Exhibitors Create Global Cinema Federation to Tackle Major Issues – UNIC
The world’s leading cinema operators today announced the establishment of the Global Cinema Federation, a Worldwide grouping intended to represent cinema exhibition’s global interests.
22/06: UNIC launches Women's Cinema Leadership scheme – UNIC
During CineEurope 2017, UNIC has launched its Women’s Cinema Leadership Scheme, a one year pilot mentoring programme for women in cinema exhibition. The programme will provide six rising female European cinema professionals with the unique opportunity to network with and receive 1-to-1 career advice from a group of senior female executives recognised for their leadership and business success across the wider cinema landscape.

15/06: Axel Voss appointed new Rapporteur for Copyright Directive – EPP website
Following the announcement that Therese Comodini Cachia will step down from the European Parliament in order to take up a seat in the Maltese Parliament, the EPP Group has appointed Axel Voss MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman on Legal Affairs, to carry on the rapporteurship of the Copyright Directive.

19/06: European films make up one third of all films promoted on VoD platforms in Europe – European Audiovisual Observatory
The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has just published a new report “Audiovisual Media Services in Europe: Focus on Services Targeting Other Countries”. Based on data gathered in the MAVISE database, the report provides an overview of the European audiovisual media landscape. 

01/07: Launch of the Estonian Presidency of the EU 
11/07: Votes in CULT, LIBE and ITRE on Copyright Directive (tbc)
8/09: Conference "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – the role and responsibility of advertising, logistic and financial service providers", Switzerland – more information here


UNIC policy update 01.06.2017

27/05: European Cinema Trade Body UNIC Underlines Importance of Theatrical Release for Leading Film Festivals – Celluloid Junkie

The International Union of Cinemas (“UNIC”), representing cinema associations and key operators across 36 European territories, has today underlined the importance it attaches to ensuring that films selected for competition at leading film festivals receive a theatrical release and supporting the position adopted by French exhibition colleagues during the Cannes International Film Festival.

Digital Single Market
10/05: Digital Single Market mid-term review: Commission calls for swift adoption of key proposals and maps out challenges ahead – European Commission website 

Having reached the middle of its mandate, the European Commission published the mid-term review of its Digital Single Market strategy.

10/05: Antitrust: Commission publishes final report on e-commerce sector inquiry – European Commission website

The European Commission's final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry identifies business practices that may restrict competition. It allows the Commission to target its enforcement of EU antitrust rules in e-commerce markets and has already prompted companies to review their practices.

Audiovisual Media Services Directive
23/05: The Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a revised directive on audiovisual media services – Consilium website

The Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a revised directive on audiovisual media services (AVMS) . The aim of the proposal is to respond to the unprecedented technological and market changes that the digital shift has brought about in order to preserve the competitiveness of Europe's audiovisual industry, while preserving fundamental values such as the protection of minors, media pluralism, cultural diversity and consumer protection. 

24/05: AVMS Directive – Great progress to support Europe’s audiovisual works – SAA website

General Approach adopted by Culture Council goes further than European Commission proposal and promises a positive result on promotion of European works ahead of negotiations on final text with European Parliament and Commission.

19 – 22/06: CineEurope 2017 – You can still register here

15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here 8/09: Conference " Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – the role and responsibility of advertising, logistic and financial service providers", Switzerland – more information here


UNIC policy update 11.05.2017

Proposed Regulation on country-of-origin licensing of certain online services by broadcasters
2/05: Over 400 audiovisual sector leaders covering all 28 Member States have signed a letter urging the EU Institutions to “reject and abandon” a proposal that “undermines the entire audiovisual eco-system in Europe” – International Video Federation & CW! 
The signatories, representing film and TV directors, screenwriters, performers and other creators, media workers, producers, distributors and publishers of film and television content, cinemas, commercial broadcasters, sports rights owners and collecting societies, are concerned that the proposed Regulation on country-of-origin licensing of certain online services by broadcasters threatens cultural diversity, growth and sustainable jobs for creative talent and skilled workers, as well as future investments in the audiovisual sector in Europe.

5/05: Hearing on copyright and the proposed Cab-Sat regulation – European Parliament website
On 4 May 2017, the Committee on Legal Affairs held a public hearing on the Commission's proposal for a Regulation laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and re-transmissions of television and radio programmes.

27/04: The sale of a multimedia player which enables films that are available illegally on the internet to be viewed easily and for free on a television screen could constitute an infringement of copyright – Press release by the Court of Justice of European Union
The Court also finds that temporary acts of reproduction, on that multimedia player, of a copyright protected work obtained by streaming on a website belonging to a third party offering that work without the consent of the copyright holder, cannot be exempted from the right of reproduction.

Audiovisual Media Services Directive
25/04: EPP Group wants European content quota and cut-offs for advertising on Netflix and Co – EPP website
"The usage behaviour has fundamentally changed. Nearly one quarter of internet users stream music or films on the internet. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we adapt the rules for traditional television to the internet to bring the media world into the 21st century", said Sabine Verheyen MEP, the EPP Group's Rapporteur of the revision of the Audiovisual Media Directive (AVMD)

25/04: Media services: European content quota of 30% for on-demand platforms – European Parliament website
To reflect Europe’s cultural diversity, MEPs called for a 30% quota of European works in on-demand platform catalogues, instead of the 20% proposed by the EU Commission. This quote should include works in the languages of the countries where they are distributed.

25/04: S&Ds prioritise consumer protection and fair competition in the distribution of audiovisual media content – S&D website
“We are proud that the legal text adopted preserves media diversity and freedom of expression, protects consumers and guarantees fair competition between media providers in the distribution of audiovisual media content, regardless of the way in which these contents are distributed. This has been our primary objective.” stated Petra Kammervert MEP, S&D chair of the committee on culture and education.


25/04: E-commerce: ending "unjustified" geo-blocking across the EU – European Parliament website
The draft law defines specific situations in which geo-blocking will not be allowed. This means that online sellers will not be able to discriminate against consumers elsewhere in the EU with regard to general terms and conditions, including prices, on the basis of their nationality, place of residence or even their temporary location, MEPs added.

25/04: Parliament votes to put an end to geo-blocking of online goods or services – S&D website
The European Parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee voted in favour of new rules that would prevent geo-blocking of online content in the EU. This means that companies will no longer be able to stop consumers accessing or purchasing from their website just because they are in a different EU member state.

 25/04: Digital Single Market: geo-blocking should not obstruct cross-border trade – EPP website
The EPP Group is in favour of limiting geo-blocking so that consumers can download music from applications, play their favourite video games or read e-books, regardless of in which country they purchased their subscriptions.


  • 10/05: Commission's mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy 15/05: Vote in plenary Audiovisual Media Services Directive
  • 16/05: Vote in plenary Portability Regulation 20/05: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference, Cannes – more information here
  • 21/05: Europa Cinemas Conference, Cannes 22/05: European Film Forum, Cannes
  • 15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here 

UNIC policy update 28.04.2017

11/04: European screenwriters and directors call for right to fair remuneration online – SAA
European screenwriters and directors including Pedro Almodovar, Agnieszka Holland and Sir Alan Parker sent a letter to the Members of the Legal Affairs’ committee to support the introduction in the EC proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market of an amendment that would guarantee audiovisual authors proportionate remuneration wherever their works are exploited online across Europe.

10/04: CineEurope announce winner of international exhibitor of the year award – UNIC
Eddy Duquenne, Chief Executive Officer of Kinepolis Group, has been named as the 2017 recipient of the “International Exhibitor of the Year Award” at CineEurope.

European Parliament
14/04: “Culture has a key role to play in overcoming Europe's challenges“ by MEP Petra Kammerevert (DE, S&D) – The Parliament Magazine
Culture has been overlooked in EU policymaking, but it has a crucial role to play in overcoming Europe's challenges, writes Petra Kammerevert.

25/04: Geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination: adoption of draft report on 25 April – European Parliament website
The regulation on geo-blocking seeks to provide more legal certainty and enforceability by defining specific situations when there can be no justified reason for discrimination on the grounds of nationality/residence. It also bans the blocking of access to websites and the use of automatic re-routing without the customer's prior consent.
25/04: Vote on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive on 25 April in Culture Committee – European Parliament website
On 25 April, the CULT committee voted its report on the review of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. More than 1300 amendments have been tabled to the proposal published in May last year, evidence of the great interest it has generated.

16/05: Vote in plenary Portability Regulation 
20/05: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference, Cannes – more information here
21/05: Europa Cinemas Conference, Cannes 
22/05: European Film Forum, Cannes 
15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here 
19-22/06: CineEurope 2017 – register here


UniC policy update 07.04.2017

Digital Single Market
23/03: Digital Single Market: watching TV shows when travelling – EPP website

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee made yet another step in achieving the Digital Single Market. The Committee approved a deal with the Council on a regulation on the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market. 

29/03: GS Media and Its Implications for the Construction of the Right of Communication to the Public within EU Copyright Architecture – Common Market Law Review
This article assesses the implications of the GS Media decision in respect of linking, and - more generally - the construction of the right of communication to the public.
1/04: Conference report: Online platforms and intermediaries in copyright law – The IPKat
The conference on “Online Platforms and Intermediaries in Copyright Law” hosted by Ansgar Ohly and Matthias Leistner at the LMU Munich on 23 and 24 March 2017 shed light on several issues and challenges concerning current trends and developments in copyright law and intermediaries’ liability. 

Media Literacy
28/03: New study published by the European Audiovisual Observatory on Media Literacy in Europe – EAO
“Mapping of media literacy practices and actions in EU-28” is focused on projects relating to media services delivered on electronic communication networks, both linear and non-linear, and on information services where pertinent, whereas press, radio and off-line media are excluded from the report’s scope. Considering the existence of specific studies on actions related to school curricula, the European Commission has asked to include only media literacy actions that have taken place outside schools.

19- 22/06 CineEurope - more information here
16/04: Deadline European Commission's public consultation on Creative Europe MEDIA – more information here
21/05: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference, Cannes
22/05: European Film Forum, Cannes


UNIC policy update 22.03.2017

CineEurope 2017 
CineEurope 2017, UNIC’s official annual convention and Europe’s biggest cinema exhibitors’ gathering, will take place from 19 - 22 June in Barcelona, Spain - UNIC

Creative Europe MEDIA
2/03: S&Ds call on the Commission to increase funding for European creative, cultural and audiovisual sectors – S&D website
“We believe, that the integration of funds is indispensable. It could enable the European Union to not only value its cultural and linguistic diversity, but also strengthen the culture and creativity sectors, which are currently supporting growth” stated MEP Silvia Costa.
6/03: Deadline for the Open Public Consultation in relation with the evaluation of the Creative Europe programme is April 16 – Creative Europe Media
The consultation aims to gather comments and perspectives on the relevance of the Creative Europe programme's objectives, the effectiveness of the measures taken to achieve them and the efficiency of their implementation.

8/03: Politico publishes (part of) draft copyright report by MEP Comodini Cachia – The IPKat & here
Politico Europe (PRO version) has just published part of the text of the draft report that MEP Comodini Cachia is preparing on the European Commission's copyright package - including the proposal for a directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market - at the request of the European Parliament.

Czech Republic
10/03: Czech Film Center and Czech Film Commission Became Part of the State Cinematography Fund – FNE
The Czech Film Center together with the Czech Film Commission became part of the State Cinematography Fund, an institution that plays a key role in shaping the filmmaking environment in the Czech Republic.

21/05: European Audiovisual Observatory Conference, Cannes 
22/05: European Film Forum, Cannes
15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here