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23.09.2005

EuroFIA Meeting in Prague

The last EuroFIA meeting took place in Prague, Czech Republic, on 23-25 September 2005. The meeting was attended by FIA affiliates’ representatives from all EU countries, as well as candidate countries. The debate focused on EU developments and on a few specific activities of the group.

The outcome of the latest consultation launched by DG Information Society on the revision of the Television Without Frontiers Directive was largely debated, with a special focus on the “Liverpool conference on the audiovisual industry”. The group expressed its concern for the future of cultural diversity in Europe and for a likely attempt to weaken the promotion of European works and independent production. EuroFIA recommended the extension of clear ad hoc obligations to all new audiovisual non-linear services. It also called for a status quo of existing advertising rules.

EuroFIA welcomed the adoption of the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee’s report on the directive on “Services in the Internal Market” and called for a clear exemption of the entire cultural sector from the scope of the directive. The group also called for this report to be approved by the Internal Market Committee, which is the main EP body in charge with this matter.

The group discussed recent developments related to intellectual property: from the spread of Peer-to-Peer file-exchange systems and performers’ IP rights to the European Commission’s initiative on the cross-border collective management of copyright; from the ongoing WIPO negotiation on a possible future treaty for broadcasting organisations to the future of the WIPO audiovisual treaty.

EuroFIA also reviewed the work undertaken by the group on the status of the artists and gender equality – i.e. the promotion of women’s image in the media. A working group was defining the key components of the social status, permeating the different models currently existing in the EU member States, with a view to promoting its implementation at European level. The group was also keen on safeguarding the trade unions’ capacity to organise and represent all their members regardless of their status, including self-employed performers.

Encouraged by the EU gender equality policy and the Lisbon agenda, EuroFIA is establishing priorities to increase not only the quantity but also the quality of European works – namely by changing stereotypes, fighting the shortage of employment for ageing actresses, encouraging training and career transition opportunities for female performers.

Finally, EuroFIA welcomed the adoption of the Convention on cultural diversity by UNESCO, despite the strong opposition from some countries. This Convention is the result of five years of sustained negotiations and vigorous efforts from several Coalitions for Cultural Diversity around the world, in which a number of EuroFIA members have been actively involved. The next EuroFIA meeting shall take place on May 26 and 27, 2006, in Zurich, Switzerland.