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 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 


UNIC policy update 02.03.2017

Search engines and creative industries sign anti-piracy agreement in Britain – Intellectual Property Office
Representatives from the creative industries, leading UK search engines, and the IPO developed a Voluntary Code of Practice dedicated to the removal of links to infringing content from the first page of search results.

15/02: EU Ambassadors endorse agreement: Cross Border Portable Digital Services – Maltese Presidency to the EU website
The new rules, which will allow consumers to access online content services, paid for in their home country, whenever they are visiting another country within the European Union, have been endorsed by EU Ambassadors. This is part of the digital single market strategy, whose goal is to create an internal market for digital content and services.
23/02: MEPs welcome new portability rules – Parliament Magazine

New rules allowing EU citizens with subscriptions for online music, games, films and TV shows to access this content while travelling to another EU country have been welcomed by MEPs.

16/03: European Audiovisual Observatory Advisory Committee Meeting, Strasbourg – more information here 

The Conference organised by the European Audiovisual Observatory will look at the key trends from the audiovisual market and regulations. 
15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here

The 2017 edition of the Digital Assembly will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to debate, take stock and look ahead at how Europe and how its partners around the world are preparing for this digital transformation



UNIC policy update 14.02.2017

UNIC Update Cinema Industry

11/02: European cinema exhibition sees further growth in 2016 – Celluloid Junkie

UNIC released its provisional update on admissions and box office revenues across Europe for 2016, which is the first wide-ranging assessment of the performance of the European cinema sector last year. The figures show a positive year for cinema operators in most European territories.

Digital Single Market

2/02: CJ + UNIC Cinema Innovation – Interview with VP European Commission Andrus Ansip and UKCA/UNIC’s Phil Clapp – Celluloid Junkie

Vice President of the European Commission and the current Commissioner for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip and Phil Clapp, Head of the UK Cinema Association and President of UNIC, share their thoughts on cinema and innovation in Europe.

6/02: “Opportunities as well as challenges” by MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (Malta, EPP) on the EU copyright reform – Parliament Magazine

‘A digital single market that works for the cultural and creative industries requires a copyright framework that ensures digital access to creative content as well as fair remuneration’ states MEP Therese Comodini Cachia.

6/02: "An opportunity for both consumers and creators" by MEP Marc Joulaud (France, EPP) – Parliament Magazine

‘Consumers and rights holders both need each other to thrive and make the best of the tremendous opportunities o­ffered by the digital environment’ writes Marc Joulaud.


7/02: EU negotiators agree on new rules allowing Europeans to travel and enjoy online content services across borders – European Commission website 

The rules will reflect new ways in which Europeans enjoy culture and entertainment services online when they travel around the EU.


2/02: Antitrust: Commission opens three investigations into suspected anticompetitive practices in e-commerce – European Commission website

The European Commission has launched three separate investigations to assess if certain online sales practices prevent, in breach of EU antitrust rules, consumers from enjoying cross-border choice and being able to buy consumer electronics, video games and hotel accommodation at competitive prices.

Audiovisual Media Services Directive

6/02: "A prudent approach" by co-rapporteur MEP Petra Kammerevert (Germany, S&D) – Parliament Magazine

‘Our aim is to come up with a legal text that preserves media diversity and freedom of expression, protects consumers and guarantees fair competition between media providers in the distribution of audiovisual media content’ writes Petra Kammerevert.

European Parliament 

3/02: Priorities for Europe: EU leaders set objectives for 2017 – European Parliament website 

In December, former Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Robert Fico, representing the rotating Council presidency, signed the first ever joint declaration setting out the EU’s objectives and top six priorities for 2017, one of which is the Digital Single Market. 


02/03: EUIPO Conference on Copyright Enforcement, Malta 16/03: European Audiovisual Observatory Advisory Committee Meeting, Strasbourg 15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here 


UNIC policy update 31.01.2017

European Parliament 
17/01: Antonio Tajani elected as European Parliament President – European Parliament website and  EPP website
Antonio Tajani was elected president of the European Parliament on 17 January, succeeding Martin Schulz. Tajani, an Italian member of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) group and vice-president of the Parliament, received 351 votes in the fourth and final round of voting.

  • 19/01: Who's who: overview of the people in charge of Parliament – European Parliament website
    The infographic presents who was chosen for Parliament's vice – presidents and quaestors, who together with the President make up the bureau, which takes decisions on matters of internal organisation for the institution.
  • 23/01: Is Antonio Tajani the leader Europe needs? – The European Parliament magazine
    Antonio Tajani has won the hotly -contested race to become Parliament’s new President, though not all were pleased, reports Martin Banks. 

European Audiovisual Observatory

  • 16/01: Poland Takes Over European Audiovisual Observatory Presidency – FNE
    Poland is taking over the European Audiovisual Observatory's presidency from the Czech Republic as the Observatory is launching the celebrations of its 25th anniversary with a new logo.
  • 27/01: Boosting European films on VoD – what’s EU law got to do with it? – EAO website
    The report explores the regulatory context, sets out international and European obligations as well as national frameworks, considers self- and coregulatory tools and case-law, and provides an outline of the main aspects of the current reform of the AVMSD in this field.


  • 24/01: Geo-blocking: The Culture Committee calls for policy makers to protect Europe’s cultural diversity – CW! website
    CW! rejects amendments suggesting the inclusion of non-audiovisual copyright into the material scope of the proposed regulation for Geo-Blocking and the inclusion of audiovisual services into the review clause, so that the Geo-blocking Regulation does not achieve the opposite of its intended goal.

Creative Europe – MEDIA

  • 23/01: Open Public Consultation in relation with the evaluation of the Creative Europe-MEDIA programme – EC website
    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, and covers three strands of the Creative Europe programme, namely the Culture sub-programme, the MEDIA sub-programme, and the Cross-sectoral strand.


  • 02/03: EUIPO Conference on Copyright Enforcement, Malta 16/03: European Audiovisual Observatory Advisory Committee Meeting, Strasbourg 15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta - more inf

UNIC policy update 16.01.2017

Digital Single Market
11/01: Copyright rules fit for a Digital Single Market – EPP website
On January 11, MEPs discussed the modernisation of the EU copyright with stakeholders at a hearing organized by the EPP group. 

International Union of Cinemas - UNIC
16/01 UNIC released its Cinema Innovation Report exploring innovation and change in the European cinema. The report – Innovation and the Big Screen – can be found here
15/01: UNIC Cinema Innovation – Interview with Maddy Probst, Watershed / Europa Cinemas – Celluloid Junkie

Celluloid Junkie has partnered UNIC to highlight innovation in the European cinema sector through a series of interviews, excerpts and examples.In the first interview, CJ spoke to Maddy Probst, the Cinema Programme Producer for the Watershed, in Bristol, UK, as well as VP of Europa Cinemas, to find out some context on innovation around the European cinema scene.

European Parliament  
13/01: European Parliament elections on 17 January: All you need to know – EP website
MEPs elect on Tuesday 17 January Parliament's new president to replace Martin Schulz who is stepping down after five years.
16/01: Election of members to standing committees and sub-committees – EP website
At the start of the second half of its 8th legislative term – January 18 and 19, the European Parliament will decide on the composition of its standing committees and subcommittees during its constituent plenary session in Strasbourg.

Presidency of the EU
9/01: Malta presidency in full swing – Presidency website
The priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers are being outlined to parliamentary committees by Maltese ministers at a series of meetings taking place in January.

13/02: European Film Forum, Berlinale 
02/03: EUIPO Conference on Copyright Enforcement, Malta 
15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta - more information here