December 7, 2020
The Commission has adopted an Action Plan to support the recovery and transformation of the media and audiovisual sector, which has been particularly badly hit by the coronavirus crisis. The Action Plan focuses on three areas of activity to help the media sector to:
- recover from the crisis by facilitating and broadening access to finance: under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, each National Recovery and Resilience Plan will earmark a minimum level of 20% of expenditure for digital; measures to boost the production and distribution of digital content, such as digital media, will count towards this target. In addition, the Action Plan will:
- facilitate access to EU support via a dedicated tool for media companies to find all relevant EU funding opportunities available;
- boost investment in the audiovisual industry via a new initiative MEDIA INVEST, whose target is to leverage investments of €400 million over a seven-year period; and
- launch a “NEWS” initiative to support for the news media sector; the initiative includes a pilot NEWS invest project with various private partners, access to loans to be backed by the Invest EU guarantee, grants, and a European News Media Forum; particular attention will be paid to local media.
- transform by stimulating investment to support green and digital transition by:
- encouraging European media data spaces for data sharing and innovation;
- fostering a European Virtual and Augmented Reality industrial coalition to help EU media benefit from these immersive technologies and launching a VR Media Lab on projects for new ways of storytelling and interacting;
- facilitating discussions and actions for the industry to become carbon neutral by 2050;
- enable and empower European citizens and companies: actions include:
- launching a dialogue with the AV industry to improve access to and availability of audiovisual content across the EU, to help the industry scale up and reach new audiences and consumers with a wide diversity of content;
- fostering European media talents, including promoting diversity in front of and behind the camera, and by scouting and supporting media startups;
- empowering citizens, including by strengthening media literacy and supporting the creation of independent alternative news aggregation;
- strengthening cooperation among the regulators within the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) to ensure the proper functioning of the EU media market.
The Action Plan goes hand in hand with the European Democracy Action Plan, which aims at strengthening media freedom and pluralism across Europe, with a focus on the protection of journalists. The Action plan is also fully aligned with the Commission’s upcoming proposals on the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, which aim to modernise the legal framework applicable to digital services in the EU.
The Commission says that as time is of the essence for the EU media sector, most of the actions outlined in the Action Plan will be launched in the first months of 2021. Consultations with stakeholders will be carried out to best implement the actions on the ground. To read the Commission’s announcement in full and for a link to the Commission’s Communication and other relevant documents, click here.