European film councils this week called on the European Commission to adopt a more ambitious vision for the European film industry and to include it in the new EU constitution currently being considered by member states.

At a meeting of European culture ministers in Greece, the 16 state-funded film councils (see below) also called for draft proposals, that make the EU ultimately responsible for defining the scope of key cultural and audiovisual policies - including trade with countries outside the Union - to be scrapped in favour of an approach that allows individual states a greater degree of control over their cultural and film policies.

At the informal summit, film councils called for this so-called 'unanimty' clause - first proposed by European culture commissioner Viviane Redding in May - to be included in the new constitution being prepared by former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing.

At a related event attended by some of Europe's leading film executives and directors - including Eurimages' president Jacques Toubon, Europa Cinemas Claude-Eric Poiroux, Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick, EFA's director Nick Powell and Dusan Makavejev, FERA's vice president Janusz Kijowski, BFI's Richard Paterson, and film directors including Theo Angelopoulos, Krzysztof Zanussi, Andrzej Zulawski, Zsolt Kezdi-Kovacs and Agnieszca Holland Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos (pictured) put forward a proposition to create a confederation of European Film Centres in order to boost and co-ordinate the production and promotion of film product.

Delegates from former Eastern European countries looking to join the Union, such as Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia adopted a resolution asking the European Commission to increase funding to the Media Plus program to meet the needs of the new member countries.

The European film councils are:

Osterreichisches Filminstitut (Austria)
Centre du Cinema et de l'Audiovisuel de la Communaute francaise (Belgium)
Vlaams Audiovisuel Fonds (Belgium)
Danish Film Institute (Denmark)
Filmforderungsanstalt (Germany)
Greek Film Centre (Greece)
Finnish Film Foundation (Finland)
Centre National de la Cinematographie (France)
Irish Film Board (Ireland)
Ministero per i Beni e le Attivita Culturali - Direzione Generale per il Cinema (Italy)
Film Fund Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
Nederlands Fonds vd Film (Netherlands)
Instituto do Cinema Audiovisual e Multimedia (Portugal)
Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Aduiovisuales (Spain)
Swedish Film Institute (Sweden)
UK Film Council