European Scrutiny Committee Contents

11 European content in audiovisual media services



COM(12) 522

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Commission report on the application of Articles 13, 16 and 17 of Directive 2010/13/EU for the period 2009-10: Promotion of European works in EU scheduled and on-demand audiovisual media services

Commission Staff Working Document: Part I on the application of Article 13

Commission Staff Working Document: Part II on the application of Articles 16 and 17

Commission Staff Working Document: Part III: Annex to Part II

Legal base
Document originated24 September 2012
Deposited in Parliament2 October 2012
DepartmentCulture, Media and Sport
Basis of considerationEM of 19 October 2012
Previous Committee ReportNone
Discussion in CouncilNo date set
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionClear


11.1 The purpose of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive is to provide for the free circulation within the European Union of television broadcast and on-demand audiovisual media services, subject to compliance with a number of minimum requirements. Amongst other things, the Directive requires Member States to ensure, where practicable and by appropriate means, that:

  • on-demand audiovisual media service providers promote the production of, and access to, European works (Article 13);
  • broadcasters reserve a majority proportion of their transmission time for European works (Article 16); and
  • broadcasters reserve at least 10% of their transmission time or programming budget for European works created by producers who are independent of broadcasters (Article 17).

11.2 The objectives set out in Articles 16 and 17 are to be achieved progressively and exclude time allocated to news coverage, sports events, games, advertising, teletext services and teleshopping. The term "European works" means works originating in EU Member States or in non-EU European States which are parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television, but also includes works co-produced with other third countries within the framework of specific agreements relating to the audiovisual sector.

The Commission report

11.3 The purpose of the Commission's report is to review the application of Articles 13, 16 and 17 for the period 2009-10.

Application of Article 13

11.4 The Commission notes that the uneven development of on-demand service markets across the EU, as well as the patchiness of the information provided by Member States, make it difficult to draw reliable conclusions on the application of Article 13. However, it considers that on-demand services include a relatively high share of European works.

Application of Article 16

11.5 The Commission reports an increase in the average transmission time dedicated to European works by all reported broadcast channels in 2009 (63.8%) and 2010 (64.3%), whilst observing that most of these are purely domestic works. The average transmission time for European works broadcast in the UK is towards the bottom end of the scale (44.5% in 2009 and 41.3% in 2010).

Application of Article 17

11.6 All Member States exceeded the 10% threshold indicated in Article 17 for the proportion of transmission time reserved for independent productions of European works, but the report reveals a downward trend from 34.1% in 2009 to 33.8% in 2010 (28.5% in the UK for 2009 and 27.5% in 2010). The Commission suggests that all Member States should increase efforts to promote the circulation of non-domestic European works.

The Government's view

11.7 The Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries (Mr Ed Vaizey) notes that the Report is based on information provided by Member States and data contained in an independent study carried out in 2011. He draws attention to the reasons given in the report for the difficulties encountered by the UK in reaching the required proportion of European works under Article 16. These include: the specific programming content of some channels and the fact that they are relatively new; difficulty in finding European programmes at competitive prices; and the fact that some channels are subsidiaries of companies based in non-EU countries and broadcast mainly from their stocks. The Minister does not question the Commission's analysis and says that the report has no new policy implications for the UK.


11.8 The Commission report usefully illustrates the extent to which EU law imposes obligations concerning the promotion, production and transmission of "European works", which we consider may be of wider interest to the House. As, however, the Report makes no new policy recommendations, we are content to clear it from scrutiny.

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© Parliamentary copyright 2012
Prepared 2 January 2013