Some of Europe’s most powerful film companies have formed an informal lobbying group designed to give them a louder voice in the development of the European Commission’s film and TV policy.

The idea for a kind of European version of the U.S.’ Motion Picture Assn. came from Polygram, which has organized the first three meetings of the group through its Brussels office under the chairmanship of Stewart Till, president of Polygram Filmed Entertainment Intl.

The other members to date are Spain’s Sogepaq, Bertelsmann from Germany, Italy’s RCS, U.K.’s Rank, and France’s Chargeurs and Canal Plus.

The group was created in response to a feeling that the European debate had tended to polarize around the views of Europe’s independent producers and the Hollywood majors, but did not take into account the position of Europe’s biggest commercial players.

“We felt that there wasn’t an organization in Europe that represented the major companies involved in production and distribution across several territories,” Till explained.

He said there is no immediate intention to create a formal MPA-style body with its own staff, but that there will be regular informal meetings to explore common positions on European audiovisual policy.

The group may discuss non-political ways to boost the European film industry, such as joint marketing initiatives.

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