STRASBOURG, France — The European Parliament told European Union governments Friday to stop ignoring the job-spinning potential of the film industry and agree to a guarantee fund for the industry without further delay.
As EU leaders met in Luxembourg for a special summit to seek concrete strategies to give the bloc’s 18 million unemployed the chance at a job, the assembly said the sector’s “potential for creating skilled jobs should not be disregarded.”
Ahead of a meeting of the 15-nation bloc’s culture ministers in Brussels today, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain were sticking to their reservations about a fund the film sector estimates could create 2 million jobs over 10 years.
The plan needs to be agreed upon unanimously, and a proposal by the Luxembourg EU presidency to scale down the budget for the proposed five-year fund to 30 million Ecus ($33 million) from the original 90 million Ecus ($99 million) has failed to win over dissenters, diplomats said.
France, desperate for a tonic for its struggling film industry, is the most ardent backer of the fund.
Commissioner Emma Bonino, speaking on behalf of the EU executive, told the Parliament that experience in the U.S. underlined the sector’s job-creating potential.
“In the 1990s in the U.S., the audiovisual sector has generated more employment than the pharmaceutical, car and hotel industries together,” she said.