The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/23cejc-schiltz/
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Agreement on 2006-2007 MEDIA programme at "Education, Youth and Culture" Council
Jean-Louis Schiltz, Minister Delegate for Communications, chaired the first session of the "Education, Youth and Culture" Council on 23 May which was dedicated to the "audio-visual" component.
Meeting in Brussels, the Council reached an agreement on the strategic policy orientations of MEDIA. MEDIA is a programme that supports audio-visual production.
After the recent successes of European films in Cannes in particular, this programme establishes the basis of Community support for the film industry for the period from 2007 to 2013.
The programme contributes to the training of film professionals and to the development and distribution of European works. Now the financial package must be prepared.
"The agreement today makes it possible for professionals to work and to prepare their projects. European cinema is quality cinema and it must be supported," Jean-Louis Schiltz said after the meeting.
The Council exchanged views on how to deal with the complex issue of inciting hate in programmes from countries outside the European Union in the aftermath of the "Al Manar affair". Al Manar is a channel originating in Lebanon with satellite broadcasts to Europe via the operator known as Eutelsat, located in France. After finding that this channel was broadcasting unacceptable anti-Semitic content, France decided to ban this channel from broadcasting in Europe.
The ministers agreed that it is necessary to act firmly in order to preserve Europe’s fundamental values. They supported the proposals from the Commission and from France to strengthen cooperation between national authorities. The next revision of the Television without Borders directive will be an opportunity to bolster the means of action of Member States. Another idea is to set up a mutual recognition system of banning television programmes with racist content and more particularly anti-Semitic content.
"We must act with the most absolute firmness. We must give ourselves the means to act quickly and effectively against inciting racial hatred," the Minister Delegate for Communications said.
The ministers reached an agreement with the European Parliament on a recommendation for film resources. "I am convinced that this recommendation, and in particular its provisions on the collection, cataloguing, preservation and restoration of film works, will be a valuable tool for the development of the cinema’s cultural and economic dimension," Jean-Louis Schiltz added.