News News

Mapping of national rules for the promotion of European works in Europe

European Audiovisual Observatory releases new report commissioned by the EFADs
Strasbourg 27/02/2019
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
  • Imprimer en PDF
Mapping of national rules for the promotion of European works in Europe

European Audiovisual Observatory figures show that European films make up 27.5% of the European film market compared with 66.2% for US movies. European TV series episodes represent 19% of subscription VoD catalogues and 24% of titles available on transactional VoD. Europe has been making a concerted effort to boost its TV and film content in European markets since the late eighties. Almost thirty years on, a whole range of measures exists to tip the playing field in favour of the next Borgen, or the next Amélie Poulain or the next Cold War, whatever they may be. The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has just released a brand new mapping report which compares the various measures aimed at promoting European film and TV programmes in Europe.

This study was commissioned by the European Film Agency Directors (EFADs) and covers the 31 EFADs countries (EU-28 plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) with the aim of supporting member states in the transposition process of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

The report kicks off by walking us through the range of available measures to promote European films and TV programmes. Most common (in three quarters of the countries) are the financial obligations imposed on public broadcasters which are less stringent, or even optional for commercial broadcasters. In 10 out of 31 countries financial obligations are effective on VoD services, usually as investment obligations as a share of turnover or revenues.

The mapping shows a range of different obligations, such as:

  • financial investment obligations by broadcasters in the vast majority of the cases (26 out of 31);
  • financial investment obligations by VOD services and distributors (in 10 out of 31 cases);
  • levies imposed on linear (in 11 out of 31 cases), and non linear services as well as on other players in the audiovisual industry such as cinema exhibitors.

The report finds that few countries currently impose levies on VoD services (in 7 out of 31 cases in Europe for example). Only France, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, and Belgium (both Communities) have introduced such measures. In the cases of Belgium – Flemish Community, Germany and France, the levies also apply to foreign VOD services targeting the domestic audience.

  • quota obligations on broadcasters (in all 31 cases) and VOD services for European works;
  • obligations on VOD services to give prominence to EU works (in 10 out of 31 cases);
  • measures to support independent productions.

Not all countries have a definition of independent production; for example, in the case of Belgium and the Netherlands, the definitions of an ‘independent producer’ are largely based on legal and financial separation from broadcasters. We also learn that Austria stipulates that 10% of broadcasting time must be given to independent European works, while this figure for Finland goes up to 19%. This tabulated information provides a quick and easy means of comparison.

The authors draw up country by country comparative tables, placing side by side the various different national definitions and quoting the actual legal texts. The authors then zoom in, providing national legal summaries for the 31 countries covered by this extensive publication. Each country is given a tabulated overview taking in the three main promotion tools for European works: financial investment obligations, levies and means of promotion. The report then drills down into the details of each method of promotion, giving an explanation of how each system or obligation functions. Looking forward, the authors also comment on possible future changes to media law in each country studied. The Danes, for example, are looking to replace financial investment obligations in terms of percentage by a set number of films which have to be financed. Each national country chapter is rounded off by a bibliography of the various studies used as source material for the report.

An invaluable glossary of technical terms concludes this major new piece of audiovisual research.

This mapping study was produced by the Observatory’s legal team in collaboration with EFADs members and national experts for each country. Jean-François Furnémont, partner at Wagner-Hatfield, provided valuable expertise as contributing author.

How does Europe boost its films and television programmes? We’ve mapped the countries and methods for you in this new report!

Featured report Featured report

Key Trends 2019/2020 

Understanding the European film, television and VOD industries

Where were we before the COVID crisis?

To understand how COVID-19 has hit the film, TV and VOD sectors, we need to know how they were performing before it started. Key Trends 2019/2020 gives you a complete overview of the European audiovisual markets before the current crisis hit us.

  •  Which players are dominating today’s European audiovisual landscape?
  •  What are the latest market trends for cinema, television and on-demand services?
  •  How does Europe finance the production of new content and how well does it circulate?

These are some of the question explored in our new edition of Key Key Trends 2019/2020

The brand-new Key Trends 2019/2020 is free to download here. It gives you a one-volume overview of the latest developments in the European film, television and VOD industries, including market trends, financing models and circulation figures for European works. Key Trends is an executive summary of data contained in the European Audiovisual Observatory’s Yearbook – Television, VOD, cinema and video in 40 European states.

See previous Key Trends reports here

Featured Newsletter Featured Newsletter

IRIS Newsletter – our latest legal observations 

The IRIS Newsletter reports monthly on the most important legal developments for the audiovisual industry in 39 European countries.
In more than 30 short articles, it provides a regular, free overview of what has been happening at national and international level. In short, the IRIS Newsletter is an indispensable publication for all decision-makers and experts in the audiovisual sector, produced by us to improve the flow of information and transparency in the sector.

Featured Workshop Featured Workshop

Artificial Intelligence in the audiovisual industry

In the audiovisual industry, as in other sectors, the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is likely to announce a paradigm shift, as it can transform the entire value chain.
The Observatory decided to take a closer look at these effects and devoted the 2019 edition of its annual workshop in December to discussing the opportunities and challenges raised by AI in the audiovisual sector, particularly in the journalistic field and in the film sector.

Tracking COVID-19 measures in the audiovisual sector Tracking COVID-19 measures in the audiovisual sector

We are tracking measures in our Member States and on a European level to support the audiovisual sector during and after the
COVID-19 crisis.

paid for services paid for services

Yearbook Online Service 2019/2020

The BEST SOURCE OF DATA on:• television • film • video • on-demand audiovisual services in 40 European countries and Morocco

Published: 16/11/2019

► 400 tables collecting more than 25 000 data
► 40 country data sheets
► Data from 2014 to 2018


Price:  370 €
(click here for details)

Database of studies and data from the European film agencies

Our monthly newsletter Our monthly newsletter

If you want to stay informed, make sure you receive our monthly “wrap-up” newsletter and information about our latest free publications.

To join our mailing list:

email Alison Hindhaugh

Or telephone on:
  + 33 (0) 3 90 21 60 10 (direct)

Events and Diary Events and Diary

Visit our Events page for up to date details of Observatory events, plus information on events attended by our talented team.

Click here

Follow us on Social Media Follow us on Social Media


  Watch our videos