Euro orgs blast bid to cut aid

13 more groups join EFCA in slamming EU proposals

BRUSSELS — Film, TV and video associations have teamed up to oppose attempts by a European Union executive arm to change the rules governing state aid for films.

The proposals would allow EU governments to insist only that up to 50% of any subsidized film be made in their country, rather than a current 80%.

Already condemned by producers org EFCA, the plans were slammed in a statement released Friday by 13 more orgs representing European film and TV professionals.

Changing the system as Brussels suggests “would have the effect of breaking the film production system, without actually creating any new prospects for activities in the member states,” the orgs said in a statement.

They say that in order to justify changing it, Brussels has to show that the system causes distortions of competition, which officials have so far failed to do. In addition, as Europe’s movie industry tends to organize itself into industrial clusters, the current system, focusing aid in one place, helps to foster the development of dynamic national filmmaking centers. These would be fatally weakened by any alteration in the rules, the orgs said.

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