Tonight, the European Parliament will debate measures which will help the EU media and audiovisual sectors recover from the pandemic. For the EPP Group, it is crucial that the news and audiovisual sectors, in particular local and regional media organisations and those operating in smaller markets, get better access to finance and investment - also in order to protect their independence. The vote on the parliamentary Report is scheduled for Tuesday evening.
“We will do everything we can to help the industry get back on its feet and become globally competitive again”, said Željana Zovko MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group and the Group’s negotiator for the Report on Europe’s media in the digital decade and the recovery action plan. “We ask the European Commission to facilitate access to EU funding programmes and lower administrative burdens, especially for small and medium-sized media outlets. Member States should also be encouraged to increase their support from their national recovery plans”, she added. This would give the sectors the chance to use the recovery phase in order to get fit for the digital age.
During the pandemic, the EU audiovisual sector suffered a massive revenue loss with a drop of almost 70% in box office revenues for cinemas and distributors in 2020, totalling €4 billion. Meanwhile, active productions declined by 30%. Also, news media faced great losses due to a sudden halt in advertising investments dropping by 20% to 80%.
“It is in our high interest to ensure a fair and sustainable recovery of the media and audiovisual sectors. They are the cornerstones of our democracy, media freedom and pluralism and our rich linguistic and cultural diversity", Zovko concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 179 Members from all EU Member States