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14/07/2014 | Europe 2020 , 10.00 a.m. - 12 noon| Rue Belliard 99-101, B-1040 Brussels - Room JDE 70
​Jean-François Istasse
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is drafting an opinion on European Commission's communication "European film in the digital era. Bridging cultural diversity and competitiveness", COM(2014) 272 final.

Rapporteur Mr Jean-François ISTASSE (BE/PSE – EDUC)

The new European film strategy launched by the European Commission last May seeks to address the existing problems and imbalances in this sector by highlighting the need to make the most of new methods of distribution to enhance cultural diversity and competitiveness.

The figures speak for themselves in this sector: European films represent nearly two thirds of releases in the EU but account for only one third of ticket sales. While the number of films produced in Europe increased from around 1100 in 2008 to 1300 in 2012, most European films are shown only in the country where they were made and are rarely distributed across borders (see Another challenge is posed by the digital revolution, while at the same time also offering more possibilities and flexibility for distribution and having a fundamental impact on audience behaviour.

Commission's call for a stimulating environment for the European film industry is accompanied by concrete proposals to mobilise those involved at all levels: in the sector itself and in the Member States, from the local to the national level.

The CoR has already emphasised in its opinion "European cinema in the digital era" (CdR 293/2010 fin) the need to consider both the economic and the cultural role of cinema. The cinema sector is an industry that is of major importance for development, competitiveness and employment. It plays a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting local and regional cultural identity and diversity.

The CoR also underlined that the transition to digital offers new opportunities to connect different regions in Europe as they exchange audiovisual works and explore new ways of creating links and exchanging content. This transition may provide an opportunity to attract new audiences, take advantage of alternative content, provide new services and give more visibility to content from various regions.

The rapporteur on the opinion, Mr Jean-François ISTASSE (BE/PSE), Councillor of the Verviers Town Council, would be happy to meet with representatives of local and regional associations and other stakeholders for a consultation and an exchange of views on the relevant topic of this opinion. For this purpose, please find on the right some preliminary questions to guide the debate on 14 July.
The consultation will take place on:
Monday 14 July 2014 between 10.00 a.m. and 12 noon
in the Committee of the Regions building
(Rue Belliard 99-101, B-1040 Brussels)
Room JDE 70
The rapporteur would be very keen to hear your views during the meeting. After a short introduction by the rapporteur, stakeholders will be invited to exchange views with the rapporteur.
In addition, if you have any position papers relevant to the subject, you are welcome to send them to us by e-mail using the addresses below.
The meeting will be held in French with simultaneous interpreting, allowing you to speak in English as well. Please note that the rapporteur's mother tongue is French.
You can already register to participate in this debate to shape the rapporteur's views. For practical reasons, you are kindly asked to register your participation before 1.00 p.m. on Friday, 11 July 2014 via the following link.

For more information, please contact our team:
• For the EDUC Commission secretariat: Mr Doru-Iulian Hobjila, Tel: +32 2 282 2064
• For stakeholder relations: Mr Peter Verlinden, Tel: +32 2 282 2170

Contact Person: Mr Doru-Iulian Hobjila
Organizer: EDUC commission
Phone - Mobile: +32 2 282 2064 -