EUROPEAN AUDIOVISUAL SECTORMEDIA
Letter from James Purnell MP, Minister
for Creative Industries and Tourism, Department for Culture, Media
and Sport to the Chairman
I am writing to update you on progress following
the partial Political Agreement on the MEDIA 2007 programme (11585/04)
reached at the Culture and Audiovisual Council on 14 November
2005. Your Committee cleared this proposal on 12 October 2004;
therefore this letter is for your information only.
The final steps to agree the financial aspects
on this programme have been ongoing at official level and we are
now in a position to reach a final agreement by Ministers in Council.
In early April, the European Commission, Council
of Ministers and the European Parliament reached agreement on
the size of the 2007-13 Financial Perspective (FP).
Following this latest agreement, the Commission
has produced a revised breakdown of the figures under each of
the Headings of the overall budget. This document sets the budget
for the MEDIA 2007 programme at a total of 671 million (£467
million) in 2004 prices for the seven years. This has been provisionally
agreed at political level by Council. These numbers will now be
confirmed by the final legal agreement, which will take place
with the adoption of the Decision on the MEDIA 2007 programme
on 18 May. The European Parliament is expected to approve this
figure during their plenary vote on 17 May.
Whilst the budget for this programme is considerably
below the original amount proposed by the Commission, the Presidency,
Commission and all Member States have agreed at Council Working
Group level that the partial Political Agreement reached last
year on the content of the new programme should not be reopened.
Instead the focus should be on making the best and most effective
use of the resources available.
Therefore, amendments to the text of the financial
article, Article 2, and the breakdown of resources across the
different action lines, as set out in Chapter 2 Section 1.4 of
the Annex, have been agreed.
Regarding Article 2, Member States and the Commission
have agreed to the insertion of the final ceiling of 671
million (£467 million) for the budget for the duration of
the programme, noting that it is in 2004 prices and therefore
subject to technical amendment. In addition, the insertion of
a reference to the indicative breakdown of resources set out in
the Annex has been agreed.
Regarding the breakdown of the resources in
the Annex, the following wording and figures have been agreed
(changes are printed in bold-italics):
"1.4 Breakdown of resources
The funds available will be broken down according
to the following guidelines:
|Acquisition and improvement of skills||approximately 7%
|Development||at least 20%
|Distribution||at least 55%
|Pilot project||approximately 4%
|Horizontal issues||at least 5%
These percentages are indicative and subject to change by
the Committee provided for in Article 11 in accordance with the
procedure referred to in Article 11(2).
In order to secure overall efficiency and appropriate
implementation of the objectives of the programme, as laid down
in Article 1, Community actions should concentrate on the development
of the actions carried out under the previous programmes cited
in Recital (5).
All actions shall be reviewed on a yearly basis in accordance
with the procedure laid down in Article 10(2), allowing the Community
to react to the needs and the development of the sector.
In order to secure the overall cultural and industrial
objectives of the programme the decision on the annual breakdown
of the budget should be based on an ongoing monitoring of the
effectiveness of the action lines in the programme."
The last paragraph was added following a proposal by the
UK, agreed to by the Commission and other Member States. As you
will be aware, the UK has repeatedly stressed that EU funding
must be spent more efficiently and effectively across the EU budget
as a whole.
The figures as agreed demonstrate the overall trans-border
focus of the programme, with the main priority being the distribution
of audiovisual works across the EU. However, the annual review
process of both the budget and the different action lines will
enable the Management Committee to review the effectiveness of
each of those action lines. It provides the necessary flexibility
to make minor amendments to the percentage of budget to be allocated
to them for the following year, within the context of the overall
agreed figures. This, coupled with the reference to SMART objectives
and indicators in Recital 18a of the agreed text, will ensure
a more robust monitoring and evaluation and, consequently, a more
effective programme than has previously been the case.
We are content with both the final text of the Decision and
the aim of agreeing the final Political Agreement on the MEDIA
2007 programme at the Culture and Audiovisual Council on 18 May,
covering the financial aspects of the programme.
2 May 2006