The European Commission is to hold a public hearing to explore ideas for a global programme to promote the European audiovisual industry.

The programme would involve cooperation, for mutual benefit, with so called 'third countries' outside of the EU and represent a firm commitment in European audiovisual policy to engaging with global partners. The working title for this possible new programme is MEDIA MUNDUS.

The hearing will provide a platform for debate and input on the potential initiatives that such a global programme could undertake. It is open to film and audiovisual industry professionals and bodies from across Europe and the rest of the world.

Discussion and development of the possible programme builds on the recently announced preparatory action from the European Commission's 'MEDIA International' programme.

That scheme will examine cooperation with countries outside the EU, such as the United States and Asia, and focuses on structuring and strengthening relationships and networks between professionals in the film and audiovisual sector.

Both steps point to the Commission's recognition of the need to reflect the globalisation of the audiovisual industry and the opportunities and challenges that presents.

MEP, Ignasi Guardans, member of the European Parliaments Education and Culture Committee welcomed the hearing:

'I will fully support the idea behind the MEDIA MUNDUS Programme. This is not only about what it brings to the European film industry. It is about the EU joining those who believe that audiovisual industry and the creativity it develops are a cornerstone of culture and an essential part of the services economy. And that applies also to our relations with the developing countries, where this perspective is too often forgotten. '

The hearing will be held in Brussels on June 25 (10 a.m - 5.30 p.m) at the Centre de Conference Albert Borschette. To register, visit'form=RegistrationMUNDUS&lang=en

A written public consultation on a possible global programme was announced in May, with submissions closing on 15 June.'form=MEDIAmundus.