Culture Ministers meeting in Cannes, in the presence of Michel Rocard, President of the European Parliament's Culture Committee, and of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Education and Culture, declared the following :
"Film and creativity are at the heart of European cultural identities. Europe is rich in talent, ideas, films makers, actors and technicians, which gives it an enormous potential in the field of cinema. Nonwithstanding , European Film remains in a minority, and sometimes marginal position on its own markets. Without the support of the European market, several national film industries could be in danger. An enlarged Europe will bring new momentum to the film industries of twenty-five countries.
Aware of our strengths, but also of the fragile situation of our creative sector, the European Union has put in place an ambitiuous audiovisual policy, the two pillars of which are the Media programme and the "television without frontiers" directive. Further actions should be developped,for example,to promote film and media literacy education in schools.
Europe has also been able to promote its audiovisual sector vis-à-vis trade rules. European countries have committed themselves strongly to promote thier creative industries by putting in place film support funds and mechanisms.
These support measures do not have the purpose of creating dominant positions for national films on national markets. On the contrary, they have helped to encourage and strengthen cooperation in the film sector between Member States by allowing access between systems through a policy of bilateral agreements and the setting up of multilateral funds.
Culture ministers intend to retain their capacity to support film and creativity. This is why they insist on maintaining the rule of the adoption by the common accord of all Member States of decisions relating to cultural and audiovisual services in trade agreements. It is vital that each country be allowed to continue to design and implement its cultural policy. In this respect,Art.151 of the EC treaty is essential and European support actions must be decided by qualified majority".