Copyright reform in EC Commissioner Kroes’ digital “to-do” list for 2013/14.

The European Commission’s (EC) proposed Creative Europe programme as a successor to the current MEDIA Programme from 2014 came a step closer with the European Parliament’s (EP) adoption of its draft report on the programme, with 25 MEPs voting for and 2 against.

Speaking ahead of the vote in the EP’s Committee on Culture and Education on Tuesday, Italian MEP and rapporteur Silvia Costa [pictured] said that preparation of the report had been accompanied by a “lively and serious discussion”.

“We have a balanced text which is going to give us a more advanced, integrated framework programme while preserving the unique characteristics of the various sectors and also having a better balance between culture and the audiovisual sectors,” Costa declared.

Meanwhile, the Committee’s chairperson Doris Pack received a mandate from her MEP colleagues to arrange an informal trilogue meeting with representatives of the European Council for Jan 21 to already begin discussions about the proposed Creative Europe and Erasmus For All programmes ahead of a final decision on the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Frameworj (MFF) for 2014-2020.

The vote on the Creative Europe programme was then followed by Polish MEP Piotr Borys’ presentation of his draft report on the implementation of the EC’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

Borys explained that the AVMSD is “an internal market instrument that combines the right to provide audiovisual services with the right to freedom of expression and information and the protection of important public interest objectives”, and noted that “the Directive has been implemented to different degrees in the Member States.”

He pointed out that the monitoring of the promotion of European works was unsatisfactory and that, while all of the Member States met the minimum quota set by the Directive of 10% for independent productions, “the levels attained in the different Member States varied”.

In addressing future challenges, Borys concluded that “the dynamic acceleration of technological changes is having a huge impact on the audiovisual services market. The internet and television are converging, which means that operators are increasingly offering elements of second generation networks and the internet in modern television receivers. The line between linear and non-linear services is becoming less clear for consumers.”

“Connected TV brings with it both major opportunities and significant challenges, but we must remember to ensure that the key objectives set out in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive are achieved,” he argued.

The future of the European media industry was also on the agenda of the European Commission yesterday (Dec 18) when EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes presented her digital “to-do” list for the next two years (2013-2014) building on the original Digital Agenda for Europe, including the review of copyright legislation in the new digital economy.

Describing herself “in fighting spirit”, Kroes said that she was presenting her “to-do” list “just like a housewife”: “For some it is a wake-up call, for others, it is just a confirmation, and others, just a dream.”

In her speech, she expressed pleasure in seeing the Irish government appointing Sir David Puttnam as the Irish Digital Champion: “What an incredible start for the Irish Presidency. Just imagine what he can achieve with a bit of publicity in the next years. That is a huge endorsement of the Digital Agenda and what we can do together.”