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Consensus on supporting the AV & film sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in Parliament

MEPs recalled the importance of supporting the European film and audiovisual sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, in a debate on the Report Media & Audiovisual Action Plan, under the responsibility of rapporteur Dace Melbarde (ECR, LV).

MEP Melbarde initiated the exchange by recalling a need for tailored support to the audiovisual ecosystem. In particular, the Commission should work on improving direct financing in the Member States by means of a study, guidelines and practice-sharing.

MEP Zovko (EPP, HR) recalled the “difficulties these sectors have been facing since March last year” and that the Union’s support is crucial. The shadow rapporteur added that she is focusing on, inter alia, copyright and territorial exclusivity. In meetings with MEP Zovko and her team FIAD has communicated a clear message that for distributors to enjoy a swift and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic it is vital that the ability to conduct licensing and distribution agreements on the basis of territorial exclusivity is preserved and that film distributors can enforce their copyright.

MEP Heide (S&D, AT), intervening on behalf of shadow rapporteur MEP Smeriglio (S&D, IT), reminded his colleagues of the importance of full implementation of both the AVMS and the Copyright Directive, and stated the Commission should monitor this; the MEP recalled the impact of the pandemic on rights holders.

Shadow rapporteur MEP Farreng (Renew, FR) expressed the importance of considering cinemas in the report, as they are a pillar of the audiovisual sector, and confirmed that she will be including this in her amendments. Farreng also asked the rapporteur what she foresees regarding access to data for audiovisual players.

MEP Nienass (Greens, DE) added that “we shouldn’t forget the traditional media landscape."

In her final comments, MEP Melbarde agreed that cinemas are “an essential form of cultural participation and expression”.

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