Foreword by Androulla Vassiliou




This year marks the 20th anniversary of the MEDIA Programme and I am proud to say there is cause for celebration. Over the past two decades we have pursued a policy of supporting the audiovisual industry in Europe, and our efforts have paid off. EU funding for the development and distribution of new films and support to producers has strengthened cultural diversity and cooperation in the sector and created many new business opportunities.
The MEDIA Programme has kept pace with rapid change and new challenges in the industry (e.g. the MEDIA Production Guarantee Fund which makes it easier for film producers to access bank loans, the support scheme for Video-on-Demand and the digitisation of cinema theatres). What is more, we have launched the new MEDIA Mundus programme to encourage international cooperation in the training of professionals, the organisation of co-productions and the worldwide circulation of films.
We should not forget the strong commercial value of films and other audiovisual content. The European audiovisual market is worth an estimated EUR 107.4 billion to the economy and provides 1.2 million highly qualified jobs. In fact, the cultural and creative industries as a whole represent 2. 6% of EU GDP and provide jobs for 5.8 million people.
2011 is also the anniversary of MEDIA Salles. The MEDIA Salles European Cinema Yearbook is an important reference book for the European Cinema industry providing statistics on every aspect of cinema distribution across 34 countries, using more than 40 statistical indicators.
In this rapidly changing environment the data made available in the MEDIA Salles’ European Cinema Yearbook provides in valuable information both for the work of the Commission and the different players in the audiovisual sector. I would like to congratulate all those who contributed to this nineteenth edition and to wish it every success.

Androulla Vassiliou
Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth of the European Commission