Closer cooperation between the audiovisual industries of the European Union and third countries could become part of a new and separate programme set up by the European Commission.

At the MEDIA Day event in Berlin on Monday, Aviva Silver, head of the MEDIA Programme in Brussels, will be unveiling details of the preparatory action for third countries, which was awarded Euros 2m by the European Parliament.

'It is something we have been trying to do under MEDIA 2007 to encourage the circulation of European films outside of Europe,' Silver said. 'The difference of this action is that we are looking in three different lines of activity on a reciprocal basis for professional training, promotion and exhibition. The aim is to put professionals in touch with each other from Europe and the third countries.'

'We are therefore taking a stocktake of what the Commission is already doing such as the ACP Programme and Euromed Audiovisual II to consider whether it should be looking at setting up a new and separate programme for the European Union and third countries.'

Silver added that a process of 'common reflection' would be launched in Berlin with the European Film Agencies Directors on how they could contribute to the EC's media literacy initiative.