Foreword by Viviane Reding




2007 will prove an important year for European audiovisuals.  First and foremost due to an improvement on the market share of European films in the continent’s movie theatres, which crowns efforts to diversify the offer, ambitious policies by exhibitors and support for the cinema by national governments and by the European Union itself. I also note with great pride and satisfaction the new lease of life of film-making in the European Union’s more recent member states, brilliantly exemplified by the Golden Palm at the 60th Cannes Festival, and a new impetus in art-house cinema in Europe.  Moreover, 2007 sees the adoption of new regulations on audiovisual content.  The range of application of the new Directive, which is to replace “Television without frontiers” by the end of 2009, covers video on demand for films and serials, thus deepening the internal market for audiovisual services.  It also foresees support to production from the new platforms across which works are circulated and is an encouraging signal for agreements on co-production between the European Union and the world’s great film-making countries.

This international dimension, or wider opening towards the world in general, is also a new feature of the 2007 MEDIA Programme, with a specific budget devoted to the distribution of European films on the world’s leading cinema markets.  I am deeply convinced of the need for the European Union to promote European films, in all their diversity, on the main world markets and in its relations with the rest of the world.

Online distribution can facilitate this opening towards the world. It must certainly be made full use of, so that European films, both recent ones and those in the catalogues, may become accessible everywhere in Europe.  This is another new feature of MEDIA 2007, with specific support for the creation of film catalogues launching offers of VOD that are both rich in culture and attractive.

At the same time, I follow with interest the discussions taking place in the profession regarding the evolution of film economy, made both necessary and unavoidable by online distribution.  In connection with this, the key figures on European cinema presented in the Yearbook are an extremely useful reference point.  I hope you will read them with interest and with pleasure.


Viviane Reding
Member of the European Commission
Responsible for the Information Society and Media