A political agreement on the main elements of revised rules to apply to audiovisual media across Europe has been reached between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission that will likely see SVoD platforms such as Amazon and Netflix face a 30 per cent ‘made in Europe’ quota.
The negotiations will officially conclude in June 2018 when the three bodies will meet to finalise and discuss the last remaining technical details of the proposal. After formal confirmation by the Council and the European Parliament’s plenary vote, the new rules will have to be transposed into national law.
The Commission says the agreement paves the way for a fairer regulatory environment for the entire audiovisual sector, including on-demand services and video sharing platforms. The new rules strengthen the protection of minors and reinforce the battle against hate speech in all audiovisual content. They promote European audiovisual productions and guarantee the independence of audiovisual regulators.
As part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the Commission proposed a revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in May 2016 that included a new approach to online platforms disseminating audiovisual content.
According to Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, the new rules reflect digital progress and recognise that people now watch videos in different ways than before.
“A fairer environment for all players in audiovisual sector is much needed,” stated Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel. “Moreover, our cultural sector will have a more prominent place in on-demand catalogues – a significant and positive change for European creators and authors.”
The revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive will include:
“With this negotiation result with the Member States, we have now finally established a fair, level playing field by adapting some important rules to Internet media services which were formerly only applicable to traditional television,” declared Sabine Verheyen MEP, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the reform of the EU legislation on Audiovisual Media Services.
According to Verheyen, the result is also great news for the European film sector and European cultural diversity, suggesting that the 30 per cent European production requirement will give a boost to European creativity in the audiovisual sector.