Europe's national film funding agencies - including the UK Film Council, France's CNC and Spain's ICAA - have told the European Commission to keep its hands off local funding regulations.

The national film agencies of the 15 European Union (EU) member states this week issued a joint statement attacking new Commission proposals.

The Commission has issued a discussion paper proposing changes to the guidelines under which countries can assist the film industry.

The biggest single change proposed is to limit public funding to 50% of a local film's production budget. The Commission argues that higher levels of subsidy distort the EU's internal market.

In their statement, the agencies say the subsidies are justified as "no national market in Europe is large enough to sustain the range and quality of works that a vibrant national and European culture should be providing."