The MEDIA Programme’s unit head Aviva Silver reports having had a “very positive meeting” in Locarno this week with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK) about membership of the Creative Europe framework programme.

Speaking exclusively to Screen during the festival’s Industry Days, Silver said that she had met with Jean-Frédéric Jauslin, BAK director, and senior civil servant Laurent Steiert, who is Switzerland’s representative on the MEDIA Committee, “to talk about how membership of MEDIA 2007 is going and the way we are structuring Creative Europe. Our hope is that Switzerland can become a member of Creative Europe; we have envisaged in the legal basis that the programme will be open to Switzerland so that it can participate in the Culture and MEDIA strands as well as the financial instrument.”

In 2011, Switzerland had transferred over CHF 8.93m to Brussels for participation in the MEDIA Programme and saw MEDIA funding being allocated to such Swiss-based activities as FOCAL, EAVE workshops, and Visions du Réel’s Doc Outlook international market in Nyon.

Silver had first visited Locarno last year and was back for a longer stay for the 65th edition since several of the industry events had been supported by MEDIA, such as the new Step In initiative as well as meetings of Europa Distribution and Europa International and the presentation of the EuroVOD member

“As the Step In meeting demonstrated, people have more time to talk in Locarno,” she explained. “It is a more relaxed atmosphere to find new synergies to help the industry. It’s been really worthwhile.”

Turning to the issue of the European Commission’s plans for Creative Europe, Silver said that the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament (EP) has put back the date of its vote on the proposal: “I think the committee wanted to take account of the progress on the multi-annual financial framework. It will mean that there will be a very late adoption of Creative Europe, which I hope will not cause any problems for the new programme.”

She added that there will be news in the next two weeks  about the company commissioned to prepare a study on access to financing for the creative and cultural sectors, while the successful bidder to author a study on audience building is due to be made public at the beginning of September.

A busy autumn will also see Italian MEP Silvia Costa, the rapporteur of the EP Culture Committee, delivering her report on Creative Europe in October; a response on Commission level in September/October to the consultation responses about the EC’s Cinema Communication; and an event dedicated to film literacy which will be linked to a study on film literacy and film education currently being prepared by the UK’s British Film Institute.