EXCLUSIVE: European Parliament deputies have tabled over 470 amendments to the European Commission’s proposed Creative Europe programme following the draft report by Italian MEP Silvia Costa (Screen Daily, Oct 2).

The members of the Committee on Culture & Education have clearly been burning the midnight oil in recent weeks in order to respond to the call from committee chair Doris Pack for additional amendments to the Commission’s original text.

The amendments stretching over 218 pages include one from Germany’s Lothar Bisky and his French colleague Marie-Christine Vergiat, who propose a new name – the Creative & Cultural Europe Framework Programme – instead of Creative Europe.

German and French Green MEPs Helga Trüpel and Malika Benarab-Attou suggest that, “to be effective, the Programme shall take account of the specific nature of the different sectors, their different target groups and their particular needs through tailor-made approaches within independent programmes.“

Jean-Michel Cavada of France’s Nouveau Centre, however, proposes a new paragraph setting out the new MEDIA Programme’s specific objectives in more detail than in the Commission’s original text, while other committee members argue, among other things, that the Programme’s priorities should include “indirect support“ for audiovisual works co-produced; keeping “to an absolute minimum“ obstacles to licensing, including cross border licensing, in order to allow the emergence of new business models with a view to ensuring completion of the digital single market; and support for audiovisual operators “to develop European audiovisual works with enhanced cross-border circulation potential, including digital games as stand-alone audiovisual works.“

Meanwhile, Emma McClarkin of the UK Conservative Party argues for the deletion of the proposed Guarantee Facility from the regulation text, justifying her amendment by stating that “it is not clear why a new sector specific instrument is required. The Commission proposal does not provide enough detail as to the exact nature of the financial instrument. “

In addition, she submits an amendment reducing the financial envelope for Creative Europe from the EC’s proposal of €1.8bn to €1.15bn.

However, fellow committee members Bisky and Vergiat speak of “at least“ €1.8bn and add: “Should the financial envelope for implementing this Programme fall short of this figure, any cuts shall primarily be made in the area of cross-sectoral measures.“

The future structure and organisation of Creative Europe’s network of information centres also preoccupied the MEPs, with the conclusion that “the programme should allow Member States to organise the Desks according to their own national circumstances and not impose a single model,“ although Marek Mygalski of Poland’s PjN Party suggests that the Creative Europe Desks’ network “should be incorporated into the European Parliament’s information office network in order to keep programme administration costs down.“

Germany’s Helga Trüpel, on the other hand, subscribes to the idea that “the present structure of Culture Contact Points and MEDIA Desks shall be maintained in their tasks, while the cooperation between them shall be reinforced in order to build up an efficient network.“

These amendments will be discussed at the EP committee’s next sitting in Brussels on 18 December.

Concerns about ERASMUS

This latest chapter in the Creative Europe saga comes as filmmakers Pedro Almodovar and Detlev Buck and actors Daniel Brühl (Good Bye, Lenin!) and Larry Lamb (EastEnders) joined more than 100 European personalities from the worlds of education, art, literature, economics, philosophy and sport last week in signing an open letter to EU Heads of State and Government in support of the threatened ERASMUS student exchange programme.

There are serious concerns that student places on the scheme, as well as grants, may have to be severely reduced due to the current wrangling over the 2012 and 2013 EU budgets.