UNIC welcomes MEP Verheyen's initiative to organise a statement where 54 MEPs - from various political groups - stressed the importance of territorial licensing for cultural diversity in the European audiovisual sector and call on their colleagues to not undermine territorial exclusivity in unrelated European Parliament reports.
The full statement with the list of signatories can be found here.
The text is also available below.
Joint Statement on the importance for territorial licensing for cultural diversity and pluralism in the European audiovisual sector
Territorial and exclusive licensing of rights are essential for the audiovisual sector in order to guarantee its creativity, financing and sustainability, but also to ensure that European consumers have access to culturally diverse content and a pluralistic media.
We are concerned as proponents of a monolithic European culture attempt to undermine the principle of territoriality, often via amendments in unrelated reports, thereby ignoring the allocation of competences amongst committees in the process, with the aim of undermining the foundations of a driver of our cultural and creative sectors and with it European cultural diversity and media pluralism. Proposals that concern the core of the audiovisual sector yet fall beyond the scope of the said reports and/or committee competences.
We call on Rapporteurs, Shadow Rapporteurs, as well as Coordinators to adopt a clear line on this issue to avoid resulting abstentions in Plenary votes. This unfairly penalizes the work of fellow MEPs and is an incredible waste of Parliamentary time. Parliament needs a strong stance against attempts to confiscate the political process to satisfy a partial agenda.
It bears noting that threatening a core principle for reinvestment in this sector in a period of recovery is questionable. To do so on false pretenses of consumer demand and denial of the economics of the sector, is entirely regrettable.
It does not do justice to the workers and industries in this sector that represent millions of direct and indirect jobs. This threatens their ability to thrive and deliver European, national and 2 local works that make and reflect diversity and pluralism in Europe. The news, films, series, documentaries and other works we have all relied on during this period of distress.
Looking now and forward, it also fails to address the known consumer welfare loss that undermining territoriality would lead to. And this argument is clear and unchallenged. 20 MEPs, across party lines, made this case already in 2017 starting from what Europeans want first: European consumers are a myriad of individuals who want different things, have different purchasing power, different cultures and different tastes or priorities. […] European consumers want content services in their first language, packaged and delivered according to local preference, with a reasonable price that is calculated based on local demand and purchasing power. (“Consumer interest in the Digital Market”, published on netopia.eu on 7th December 2017, www.netopia.eu/consumer-interest-in-the-digital-single-market/)
This case remains valid today. The data sources from the Eurobarometer in question continues to support the arguments made in favor of territoriality. What has changed is that these debates were settled under the previous legislature. The Commission's evaluation of the Regulation concluded that the available evidence does not justify a change in its scope. Licensing and legitimate geoblocking practices that underpin the Digital Single Market in Europe continue to be fully justified. We therefore call on fellow MEPs to act decisively on this issue in their treatment of current and present reports. We thank colleagues across party lines for their expressions of support and actions to bolster our creative and cultural sectors.
Joint Statement signed by: Adriana Maldonado López MEP (S&D, ES) Agnès Evren MEP (EPP, FR) Andrzej Halicki MEP (EPP, PL) Anne Sander MEP (EPP, FR) Antonio Tajani MEP (EPP, IT) Axel Voss MEP (EPP, DE) Bernard Guetta MEP (RE, FR) Brice Hortefeux MEP (EPP, FR) César Luena MEP (S&D, ES) Cristina Maestre MEP (S&D, ES) Dace Melbarde (ECR, LV) Daniel Caspary MEP (EPP, DE) Dr. Christian Ehler MEP (EPP, DE) Dr. Markus Pieper (EPP, DE) Francois-Xavier Bellamy MEP (EPP, FR) Frédérique Ries MEP (RE, BE) Geoffroy Didier MEP (EPP, FR) Hannes Heide MEP (S&D, AT) Ibán García del Blanco MEP (S&D, ES) Ilana Cicurel MEP (RE, FR) Inma Rodríguez-Piñero MEP (S&D, ES) Jan Olbrycht MEP (EPP, PL) Javier Zarzalejos Nieto (EPP, ES) Jonás Fernández MEP (S&D, ES) Fabienne Keller (RE, FR) Juan Fernando López-Aguilar MEP (S&D, ES) Andrea Caroppo MEP (EPP, IT) Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (EPP, ES) Laurence Farreng MEP (RE, FR) Marcos Ros Sempere MEP (S&D, ES) Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP (EPP, PT) Maria Walsh MEP (EPP, IRE) Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (RE, FR) Marlene Mortler MEP (EPP, DE) Massimiliano Smeriglio MEP (S&D, IT) Mazaly Aguilar MEP (ECR, ES) Michaela Šojdrová MEP (EPP, CZ) Monika Hohlmeier MEP (EPP, DE) Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé MEP (EPP, FR) Nicola Beer MEP (RE, DE) Pernille Weiss MEP (EPP, DK) Peter Pollák MEP (EPP, SVK) Rainer Wieland (EPP, DE) Ralf Seekatz MEP (EPP, DE) Sabine Verheyen MEP (EPP, DE) Sandra Kalniete MEP (EPP, LV) Stelios Kympouropoulos MEP (EPP, GR) Stéphanie Yon-Courtin MEP (RE, FR) Sunčana Glavak, MEP (EPP, HR) Sven Schulze MEP (EPP, DE) Theodoros Zagorakis MEP (EPP, GR) Tomasz Frankowski MEP (EPP, PL) Željana Zovko MEP (EPP, HR) Fabienne Keller (RE, FR)