COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
RECOMMENDATION No. R (93) 5
OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS TO MEMBER STATES
CONTAINING PRINCIPLES AIMED AT PROMOTING THE
DISTRIBUTION AND BROADCASTING OF AUDIOVISUAL WORKS
ORIGINATING IN COUNTRIES OR REGIONS WITH A LOW AUDIOVISUAL OUTPUT
OR A LIMITED GEOGRAPHIC OR LINGUISTIC COVERAGE
ON THE EUROPEAN TELEVISION MARKETS
(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 13 April 1993,
at the 492nd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage;
Bearing in mind the European Cultural Convention;
Bearing in mind also the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in particular Article 10 thereof which entrenches freedom of expression and freedom of information, regardless of frontiers;
Concerned to ensure that these freedoms can be exercised meaningfully by audiovisual producers in countries and regions with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage, by enabling them to have an effective access to the European television markets for the distribution of their works, in particular high-quality works;
Resolved to create equality of opportunity in the building of a European audiovisual area reflecting the diversity of European cultures, by addressing these specific problems, for the benefit of audiovisual producers operating in countries or regions with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage;
Noting, in this regard, the specific problems encountered by these audiovisual producers in having access to the European television markets as a result of factors such as linguistic transfer costs, lack of awareness on the part of television companies on the European television markets of the quality of their productions, technical standards for the production and broadcasting of audiovisual works, as well as the training needs of audiovisual professionals;
Noting, in particular, the urgency of solving the problems encountered by Central and East European countries;
Resolved to follow up the recommendations of the 3rd European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Cyprus, 9-10 October 1991) in this regard, and recalling its earlier initiatives, in particular Recommendation No. R (86) 3 on the promotion of audiovisual production in Europe;
Recalling also Article 10, paragraph 3, of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television in accordance with which Contracting Parties undertake to look together for the most appropriate instruments and procedures to support the activity and development of European production, particularly in countries with a low audiovisual production capacity or restricted language area;
Noting that concrete initiatives in this regard require joint and concerted actions to be undertaken by governments and professional circles concerned;
Mindful, however, of the importance of ensuring that measures taken by governments in this area do not interfere with the editorial independence of broadcasters in respect of programming matters;
Bearing in mind the initiatives taken in the framework of other international bodies and with a view to supplementing them,
Recommends that the governments of the member States:
i. be guided in the definition of their national policies and approaches in this area, with due respect to their domestic law and obligations under international law, by the principles set out in this Recommendation; and
ii. ensure, by all appropriate means, that these principles are brought to the attention of broadcasters operating in the European television markets, as well as audiovisual producers in countries or regions with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage.
Scope and definitions
The purpose of this Recommendation is to promote the distribution and broadcasting of audiovisual works originating in the smaller European partners on the European television markets.
For the purposes of this Recommendation:
- "smaller European partners" refers to countries or regions in Europe with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage;
- "audiovisual work" refers to any creative work which may be broadcast on television, regardless of its type and its technical production methods.
1. Development of language transfer techniques
Member States should encourage the language transfer of audiovisual works originating in the smaller European partners, so as to facilitate their distribution and broadcasting on the European television markets.
For this purpose, member States should study, in particular, the establishment of fiscal and financial incentives with a view to:
a. reducing, for both broadcaster-purchasers and producer-vendors, the costs relating to language transfer of these works;
b. encouraging professional bodies in the audiovisual sector:
- to develop in a concerted manner, at the European level, research in the area of language transfer;
- to make greater use of the new language transfer techniques which are already available, as well as techniques which may be developed as a result of research in this area;
- to develop training and retraining of staff in the use of new techniques, as well as in script-writing and production techniques for audiovisual works, taking account of the possible future need to guarantee, with a view to their subsequent distribution, the language transfer of such works when they reach the stage of completion;
- to develop information for broadcasters and audiovisual producers in regard to the new techniques which are already available, or which may be developed as a result of research in the area of language transfer.
2. Access to new production and broadcasting technologies
2.1. Member States should take appropriate steps within the competent international bodies so as to create awareness of the problems arising out of the evolution in broadcasting and production techniques and standards for the smaller European partners, as well as awareness of the need to allow them access to these new technologies on an equal footing.
2.2. Member States should, in particular, encourage the adoption of solutions which would enable the smaller European partners:
a. to produce audiovisual works using techniques which are compatible with the new television standards and formats;
b. to continue to exploit their existing audiovisual works to the fullest degree, in particular by means of reformatting or other appropriate techniques, notwithstanding the evolution of broadcasting technologies.
2.3. Member States should also encourage professional circles to develop training and retraining of technical staff in the smaller European partners so as to allow them to adapt to the use of new production and broadcasting technologies.
2.4. Moreover, member States should study the establishment of fiscal and financial incentives so as to encourage and promote the production of audiovisual works using new techniques by producers from the smaller European partners.
3. Development of the distribution of audiovisual works
3.1. Member States should encourage greater co-operation between smaller European partners so as to promote the distribution of their audiovisual works, in particular on the television markets of larger countries.
In this regard, the audiovisual professionals in the smaller European partners should be encouraged to study the creation of systems which would make it possible to bring together the various means necessary for the widest distribution of their works, in particular on the European television markets. Member States should study the establishment of legal structures so as to facilitate such systems.
3.2. In addition, member States should study the establishment, in the framework of their support schemes for the distribution of audiovisual works, of premiums for producers having already successfully distributed audiovisual works in a number of European countries. The grant of such premiums for export could be made subject to their re-investment in a new production.
3.3. Member States should also encourage professional circles to develop training of producers in the smaller European partners in the techniques of marketing, promotion and sales of their audiovisual works.
4. Development of the broadcasting of audiovisual works
4.1. Member States should encourage broadcasters on the larger European television markets to acquire a greater understanding and appreciation of audiovisual works originating in the smaller European partners and invite them to consider the possibility:
a. of reserving programming time, on a regular basis, for quality audiovisual works originating in the smaller European partners;
b. of broadcasting information programmes on audiovisual works so as to create greater awareness of works produced by the smaller European partners;
c. of co-producing audiovisual works with producers and broadcasters in the smaller European partners, so as to promote the broadcasting of audiovisual works reflecting the cultural identity of the latter;
d. of enabling producers and broadcasters from the smaller European partners:
- to benefit from the works co-produced by methods such as the granting of first broadcasting rights on their territory whenever such works are co-produced with broadcasters from the larger European countries sharing the same language and covering the same territory;
- to exploit by other means and on other markets the works which they co-produced.
4.2. Over and above the provisions of principle 4.1, member States should, in order to promote the co-production of audiovisual works with smaller European partners:
a. examine the appropriateness of developing bilateral or multilateral co-production agreements for the television sector;
b. study the establishment of financial and fiscal incentives so as to encourage producers on the larger European markets to co-produce audiovisual works with producers and broadcasters from the smaller European partners.
* * *
1. The balanced development of a European audiovisual area reflecting the cultural diversity of Europe's countries and regions is more necessary than ever, not just for professional audiovisual circles, but also for policy-makers in the sector. The balance could actually, in the long term, be jeopardised by several concomitant factors which have arisen in Europe in recent decades, unless joint, concerted action is taken by the authorities and professional bodies throughout Europe. The growth in the number of television companies in Europe, as well as the extension of programming time by the broadcasters, have led, in recent years, to a far greater demand for programmes for television. In principle, this increase should help to stimulate the production and broadcasting of European audiovisual works, but, paradoxically, it could well work against the audiovisual works produced in Europe, especially those from countries or regions with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage, which actually have to compete with non-European audiovisual productions from their position of weakness stemming from a number of, sometimes simultaneous, factors: lower prices of non-European works, which have already broken even on international markets; smaller European countries' or regions' lack of human and financial resources to represent them in these markets and promote distribution of their works; extra cost involved in gaining access to these markets, particularly that of adapting works for different language areas (language transfer), etc.
2. The smaller European countries or regions not only face this group of factors, but also the impact of new audiovisual production and broadcasting technologies. While the latter help to improve the quality of production and make possible a greater variety of methods of broadcasting works throughout Europe, thus benefiting all the countries and regions of Europe, the smaller European countries or regions are still at a disadvantage in this sphere, facing a range of obstacles in having access to these new technologies similar to those impeding their production of audiovisual works: the high purchase cost of new production and broadcasting equipment, a shortage of staff trained in its use, etc.
3. The combined effects of all these factors create difficulties for the broadcasters and all the more so for the producers of audiovisual works in countries or regions with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage. They could, in the long run, failing joint action by professional audiovisual circles and governments, lead to a multi-speed Europe in which the countries and regions with low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage would slowly become confined to a ghetto. This challenge facing Europe is now growing in size and importance, as the continent gradually moves closer to unity, especially within the framework of the Council of Europe. The problems already referred to, which affect all the smaller European partners, are proving especially acute for the countries of central and eastern Europe.
4. The Council of Europe has already adopted a number of legal instruments intended to guarantee the genuine equality of opportunity that it is keen to promote in regard to the building of a European audiovisual area. Its action in this field, based on the European Cultural Convention and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of expression and information, has led to several recommendations intended to promote the production and distribution of European audiovisual works (Recommendation No. R (86) 3 on the promotion of audiovisual production in Europe, Recommendation No. R (87) 7 on film distribution in Europe). More recently, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 15 March 1989, specifically addressed the question of the production and broadcasting of the audiovisual works of the smaller European countries or regions. Article 10, paragraph 3, of the Convention States that the Parties to the agreement "undertake to look together for the most appropriate instruments and procedures to support, without discrimination between broadcasters, the activity and development of European production, particularly in countries with a low audiovisual capacity or restricted language area".
5. In the light of the interests already referred to, the need was felt, by way of a direct follow-up to this provision, to address a number of recommendations to the governments of the member States of the Council of Europe, setting out guidelines to be followed so as to give full effect to Article 10, paragraph 3, of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television. The guidelines were worked out by a Council of Europe Project Group on Equality of opportunity in the building of a European audiovisual area, on the basis of the conclusions of a series of discussions with professional audiovisual circles. They follow on particularly from a Council of Europe workshop held in Hanasaari (Finland), in October 1990, on the specific problems of production and distribution of audiovisual works encountered in European countries with a low audiovisual output and limited geographic or linguistic coverage.
6. The discussions showed that, to complement the initiatives already taken at the European level to promote the production and broadcasting of European audiovisual works, it was also desirable for the governments of Council of Europe member States to take particular steps in four specific fields in which especially acute problems of access to Europe's television markets arose for the smaller European countries or regions: the development of language transfer techniques, access to new production and broadcasting technologies, and the development of both the distribution and broadcasting of their audiovisual works.
7. The recommendation, drawn up by the above-mentioned project group, is the first international legal instrument specifically concerned with the distribution and broadcasting of the audiovisual works of the smaller European countries' audiovisual works. It specifies the action on a number of points that member States' governments should take in the four fields mentioned. However, as already stated, the development of the distribution and broadcasting of the audiovisual works of the smaller European countries or regions cannot be a matter for States alone. This requires joint, concerted action by both governments and the professional circles concerned, the latter actually being called upon to play a major role in the promotion of the distribution and broadcasting of audiovisual works of the smaller European countries or regions. The provisions of the recommendation are therefore largely based on the adoption of measures to encourage professional circles to take the steps they consider most appropriate. The recommendation is not intended, therefore, to impose solutions on the circles concerned. What is important is that the provisions should be implemented in a manner that respects their freedom, particularly the editorial independence of broadcasters. Furthermore, the application of the principles in the recommendation by member States must be in accordance with their national legislation and their obligations under international law.
Scope and definitions
8. As stated in the introduction, the recommendation is intended to promote the distribution and broadcasting on Europe's television markets of audiovisual works originating in "smaller" European countries or regions. For the purposes of application of the recommendation, the terms "smaller European partners" and "audiovisual work" are defined so as to clarify their meaning.
9. The term "smaller European partners" refers mainly to the European countries with a low audiovisual production capacity, within the meaning of that term in the recommendation. In practice, this covers the vast majority of Council of Europe member States. However, it is impossible to list them accurately, in view of the arbitrary nature of any specified threshold beneath which a state's audiovisual production capacity should be considered low. The term also encompasses those European countries which, while their audiovisual production capacity is larger, face difficulties in promoting the distribution and broadcasting of their audiovisual works on Europe's television markets, particularly because the language spoken there and used in their audiovisual works is not, or not widely, spoken in the rest of Europe, other than by, for example, certain minorities. It also covers the regions of Europe's larger countries which, also because of their specific linguistic identity, have the same problems with the promotion of the distribution and broadcasting of works reflecting that linguistic identity both in the country to which they belong and in other European countries. The term "region", therefore, does not necessarily refer to an administrative division of a state, and should be taken to mean a region in which a language is used.
10. The term "audiovisual work" means any creative work which may be broadcast on television, irrespective of genre or the technical processes used to produce it. This definition, and thus the recommendation, refer both to cinematographic works and those produced specifically for television. Also included are works whose secondary purpose is television screening. They must have a creative element in their content or production, in line with the philosophy underlying all the Council of Europe's activities in the audiovisual sector, the aim of which is to promote the production and broadcasting of creative works. With this reservation, the categories of works mentioned above are within the scope of the recommendation, irrespective of genre. Thus, the assessment of a work's creativity should not lead to the exclusion of a whole category of audiovisual works on the grounds that it is assumed not to have any significant creative element. Nor should the technical processes used to produce the various categories of works referred to above be a criterion, particularly when the creative aspects of these works are to be assessed.
1. Development of language transfer techniques
11. The language used in audiovisual works originating in the smaller European partners, if not widely used in the rest of Europe, is one of the main obstacles to their distribution and broadcasting on European television markets. The linguistic adaptation of such works actually brings higher costs, depending on the techniques used, likely to restrict or possibly prevent their distribution. It also requires the availability of the staff and equipment needed to make quality dubbed or subtitled versions meeting audience and broadcasters' requirements. Thus, there is a need for ongoing training for specialised staff, and access to new language transfer techniques.
12. To encourage language transfer of the audiovisual works of the smaller European partners, the recommendation stipulates, firstly, that member States should consider taking financial or fiscal steps to reduce the costs relating to language transfer of these works (such as preferential equipment depreciation arrangements, reduction of the costs of employing specialist staff). States whose broadcasters acquire the audiovisual works of smaller European partners, as well as the States in which the latter are situated, should all act alike, so as to even out the burden of these financial and fiscal facilities.
13. Moreover, member States should study the means by which to offer financial and fiscal incentives to encourage professional circles themselves to take initiatives in the four complementary areas essential to the development of language transfer techniques. Such initiatives should, in the first place, help to further language transfer research with a view to continued improvement of available techniques. The necessary research should be concerted at European level in order to share out both cost and research findings, as well as to take account of the specific needs and constraints of the smaller European partners right from the research stage.
14. New language transfer techniques have emerged to join the traditional ones of dubbing and subtitling, and these (electronic and computerised subtitling), together with new equipment (character generators, subtitling computers, etc.), facilitate the linguistic adaptation of audiovisual works and the achievement of higher quality. Consideration should be given to the need to help the smaller European partners use these new techniques, through financial or fiscal incentives, in order to make it possible for their audiovisual works to be broadcast more widely. Were this not to be done, there would be a risk of a technological gulf appearing, so allowing audiovisual works from other sources to penetrate the smaller European partners' markets and at the same time making it more difficult for them to broadcast their own works.
15. Successful use of the new language transfer techniques referred to requires staff with the skills to use them (subtitlers and inspector/markers). But it is not just the technical staff who specialise in dubbing and subtitling who are involved in language transfer work. Other highly specialised staff who have had advanced training (translator/editors, dubbing actors) are also required. The smaller European partners also need people with all these skills. As appropriate training facilities do not exist in all European countries, particularly the smallest countries and regions, the governments of member States should encourage technical training exchanges and the provision in the smaller countries and regions of specific training courses in this field. It is also possible to overcome the problems associated with language transfer, at least to some extent, by using scriptwriting and production techniques (double shooting) anticipating the need for translation into other languages. These techniques should also be covered in the training encouraged by member States, for the benefit of the various professional groups concerned (writers, directors, actors), using the same procedures as those already mentioned: exchanges to help members of the profession and the provision of training courses in the smaller European partners. Governments could also set up joint training courses enabling professionals from large and small European countries to learn to work together and pool experience.
16. In taking action to develop training, member States should also foster the distribution of information about the new language transfer technologies by, for example, organising workshops or seminars so as to allow the smaller European partners an opportunity to learn about the progress made in the field.
2. Access to new production and broadcasting technologies
17. As stated in the introduction, access by the smaller European partners to new production and broadcasting technologies will, in future, be a precondition for the distribution and broadcasting of their audiovisual works on Europe's television markets. One particular aspect of this is the gradual introduction of advanced television services in 16:9 format, such as high-definition television, which will give rise to far-reaching changes in the conditions in which audiovisual works are produced and broadcast. As this development takes place, Europe's audiovisual scene will only be able to evolve in a balanced way if access to these new technologies, which will help to improve the quality of both the production and broadcasting of audiovisual works, does not remain the preserve of the larger European partners. Were it to do so, the smaller European partners might gradually be confined to producing audiovisual works of lower technical quality, less attractive to both audiences and broadcasters. Regardless of the technical quality of the works produced by the smaller European partners, the latter's access to Europe's television markets might become more difficult, if not impossible, as the production and broadcasting standards they now use become incompatible with the new ones. Member States ought to take, therefore, a number of complementary measures enabling the smaller European partners to gain access to new production and broadcasting technologies.
18. Basically, this action should involve making sure that the international bodies responsible for defining production and broadcasting standards take account of, and thus anticipate, the problems that the adoption of new standards might bring for the smaller European partners as a result of their smaller human, technical and financial resources. This should lead them to adopt solutions opening up access to the new technologies on an equal footing to the smaller European partners, not only for the production stage, but also for the distribution stage of audiovisual works. It is important that encouragement be given to the adoption of alternative standards and technical solutions in the broadcasting sphere, in order to avoid a situation where there is only one possible method of broadcasting audiovisual works using the new technologies, one to which the smaller European partners have difficulty in gaining access. Account should be taken, in particular, of the fact that the smaller European partners should benefit from solutions which would allow them easier access to satellite technology. In addition, the latter should be able to use conventional terrestrial broadcasting methods to transmit audiovisual works which make use of the new technologies.
19. The allowances made for the difficulties of the smaller European partners should not relate only to their future audiovisual production. It is also important that they should still be able to use works produced previously, regardless of developments in broadcasting techniques. Otherwise, audiences would have very limited access to these works, as television has such an important role as a broadcaster of audiovisual works. For their part, broadcasters would be deprived of a large range of programmes, while the numbers of works they are required to broadcast will still be rising in the years to come. Furthermore, broadcasters and smaller European partners would lose the opportunity to continue to use their stockpile of programmes, which often provides a share of the resources needed to pay their creative staff and invest in new productions. This loss of income would further aggravate the difficulties facing them. However, a large number of existing audiovisual works, produced with an aspect ratio of 4:3, will only be able to be broadcast by advanced television services if they are changed to one of 16:9. This operation will incur financial costs which producers and broadcasters in the smaller European partners might have difficulty in meeting in full. Member States should, therefore, promote the adoption of solutions enabling the cost of ratio changes to be reduced for the smaller European partners. Moreover, the member States could also facilitate the development of other techniques such as the stereophonic mixing of monophonic produced works.
20. At the same time, member States should encourage the development of training and retraining for technical staff in the use of new production and broadcasting technologies. As in the case of language transfer, this encouragement could take the form of opening up to members of the profession in the smaller European partners relevant training courses which already exist in the larger countries of Europe. The governments of member States representing the smaller European partners could also offer financial or fiscal incentives to provide specific training courses. Concerted action by the smaller European partners and larger countries of Europe could also stimulate the development of exchanges and joint training activities. These would make it possible to promote exchanges and co-operation between professionals in different countries of Europe, with the aim, as in the other fields of action covered by the recommendation, of preventing member States' action from resulting in the consigning of the smaller European partners to a ghetto.
21. It is also important that members of the profession in the smaller European partners should be able to take advantage of the skills acquired through the above-mentioned training initiatives to make audiovisual works using the new production technologies. This could be encouraged if, in particular, the member States representing the smaller European partners made financial and fiscal arrangements reducing the extra expenditure incurred on the production of audiovisual works for advanced television services such as those in high-definition. The larger European countries could move towards the same goal, stimulating co-production with the smaller European partners of audiovisual works which make use of the new technologies.
3. Development of the distribution of audiovisual works
22. To complement the measures already mentioned in the recommendation, specific action should also be taken to promote the distribution of the smaller European partners' audiovisual works on the other television markets of Europe, particularly those of the larger countries, and on world markets. The smaller European partners face a number of handicaps, relating specifically to distribution, requiring special measures by member States to consolidate the initiatives already taken at the European level. The handicaps stem from the shortage of staff specialising in the techniques of marketing and selling audiovisual works and also from the inadequacy of the financial and technical resources that the smaller European partners can set aside for the distribution of their audiovisual works. Their insufficient resources tend to exclude the smaller European partners from these markets, depriving them of outlets they need in order to make their audiovisual works pay, bearing in mind the increased production costs. The danger of gradual exclusion, however, would not only be detrimental to the smaller European partners, but might also deprive larger European countries' broadcasters of a source of varied programmes at a time when their need for new programmes is growing steadily. The larger countries' audiences would thus themselves be denied access to works representing other cultures.
23. So as to avoid a gradual partitioning of cultures as a result of the audiovisual works of the smaller European partners being relegated to their national markets, member States should encourage greater co-operation between the smaller European partners in order to promote the distribution of their audiovisual works. The aim of their co-operation should be to pool the increasingly large resources required for successful distribution on international markets through a sharing of the skills and experience acquired by each. To foster such co-operation, member States should, inter alia, consider setting up legal structures to facilitate closer relations, such as joint companies pooling the human, financial and technical resources required to promote audiovisual works on international markets. There could be initial financial or fiscal incentives to set up such companies, which could eventually become self-supporting by obtaining resources through marketing operations. Such joint, concerted activities among the smaller European partners should not prevent joint operations between members of the profession in the smaller and larger countries of Europe. These operations, to which the governments of larger and smaller European countries could give concerted encouragement, would thus supplement the above-mentioned action to stimulate co-operation and the pooling of experience between professionals in the smaller and larger countries. Member States could also help to make it easier for the smaller European partners - and the countries of Europe, in general - to distribute their audiovisual works by becoming Parties to, and applying, the legal instruments prepared under the aegis of the Customs Co-operation Council with a view to facilitating the circulation of such works. Particular reference may be made to the Convention on Temporary Admission of 26 June 1990.
24. This first field of action should also include more direct incentives for the promotion of the distribution of the audiovisual works of the smaller European partners within the framework of member States' national support systems. Bearing in mind the fact that the funds allocated to these systems must remain within certain parameters, and could not be used for every audiovisual work, irrespective of quality or the producers' own efforts, it would be preferable if member States considered offering premiums to be paid, a posteriori, to the producers of audiovisual works who have a successful record of distributing such works in a number of other European countries. Selective action of this kind would enable the producers of audiovisual works in the smaller European partners to be encouraged to make an effort to promote distribution of their works themselves, thus rewarding those making that effort. It would prevent the development of an aid system which might well become permanent but give no real encouragement to professional circles to play their part. Member States could increase the expected impact of this support by specifying that these premiums must be reinvested in the production of another audiovisual work.
25. Lastly, the governments of member States should pay particular attention to developing training in promotional and sales techniques for audiovisual professionals from the smaller European partners. It is important that the smaller partners should not just find it materially possible to gain access to European and international television markets. They should also acquire the skills needed to highlight the merits of and sell their audiovisual works on these markets. The training that governments should be encouraged to provide or develop ought not to confine itself to promotional techniques in the strict sense (preparation and distribution of promotional material, organisation of screenings, pre-sales operations, etc), but should also cover other fields directly connected with selling audiovisual works which are sufficiently complex to need specific training. Training should, in particular, encompass the negotiation and drafting of sales contracts relating to audiovisual works, which require particular knowledge of copyright and neighbouring rights. The aim of this specific training should be to enable the smaller European partners to negotiate, with full knowledge of the facts, the rights relating to the use of their works in the context of the various possible methods of use (terrestrial television, cable, satellite, video). As with the other training activities already mentioned, governments of member States could take joint, concerted action to promote the opening up to the smaller European partners of the training already available in the larger European countries, the provision of specific training courses for the smaller European partners or the organisation of training open to both larger and smaller countries. Clearly, the training problems encountered in this sphere by the European countries and regions with a low audiovisual output or a limited geographic or linguistic coverage often confront producers from the larger countries of Europe, as well. The usually small size of audiovisual production companies in these countries often prevents them from taking on specialised lawyers. Their common difficulties would make the provision of training courses open to both larger and smaller European countries particularly appropriate.
4. Development of the broadcasting of audiovisual works
26. While the purpose of the recommendation is to promote the distribution and broadcasting of the audiovisual works of the smaller European partners on all of Europe's television markets, irrespective of size, it is nevertheless the case that the broadcasters in Europe's larger television markets should make a particular contribution to this effort. Should they fail in this, the smaller European partners' audiovisual works would, despite their opportunity to cross the frontiers of the State that produced them, remain restricted to Europe's more modest-sized markets. Hence, there would only be a limited improvement of the movement within Europe of the audiovisual works of the smaller European partners, possibly leading to a gradual partitioning of the European market at the expense of not just the smaller European partners but also the audiences in larger European countries. The action that governments could take vis-a-vis broadcasters in the larger European television markets, however, could not take the form of direct intervention in their scheduling, bearing in mind the fundamental principle of the editorial independence of broadcasters. The recommendation therefore lays down that governments should invite the broadcasters in Europe's larger television markets to consider a number of complementary possibilities. Member States could still go further, should they deem this possible and expedient, and examine the introduction of incentives to be offered to these broadcasters in the three fields referred to in principle 4.1.
27. Broadcasters in Europe's larger television markets should first be made aware of the advantage of devoting part of their schedules to quality audiovisual works from the smaller European partners. Their attention could particularly be drawn to the variety of audiovisual works produced by the smaller European partners, capable of catering for the variety of tastes of audiences in the larger countries of Europe. Another fact that could be highlighted is the specialisation of some smaller European partners in certain types of quality production, capable of making good any supply shortages in the larger European countries (for example, documentaries and game/variety shows). The showing of audiovisual works produced in the smaller European partners would benefit not just the latter but also the larger European countries' broadcasters. As far as possible, these programmes should be regular features, so that they have a real impact. If they were shown regularly, audiences in the larger countries of Europe would gradually realise how interesting these works are, increasing at one and the same time demand for them and exchanges between larger and smaller European countries.
28. Supplementing this effort to increase awareness, informative programmes about audiovisual works should be broadcast, making the audience more aware of those produced by the smaller European partners. Where broadcasters in the larger European television markets are already showing such programmes, governments should try to encourage them with regard to the benefit of devoting a greater amount of the time available to works produced in the smaller European partners. If they did so, these broadcasters could, in particular, attract a larger part of the audience to these programmes.
29. This specific contribution through scheduling should go hand-in-hand with the development of joint production of audiovisual works by producers and broadcasters from the smaller European partners and broadcasters in the larger European television markets. The latter could be shown the benefit of making such co-productions if all the advantages are made clear: opportunity to draw on the particular skills of the smaller European partners in certain areas of audiovisual production; opportunity to find new financial partners at a time when sources of funding in the larger countries of Europe are tending to dry up in the face of the increased demand for original audiovisual works and the costs of production, and opportunity to gain new outlets for these works.
30. In this context, when producers and broadcasters from the smaller European partners co-produce audiovisual works with broadcasters in the larger European countries sharing the same language and covering the territory of these smaller partners, the former partners should be able to benefit from the co-produced works by methods such as the granting of first broadcasting rights on their territory. If this were not the case, the screening of the works would be meaningless, thus depriving the producers and broadcasters from the smaller European partners of a substantial share of the profit to be gained from such co-productions. Moreover, it would be appropriate to make the larger broadcasters embarking on this kind of co-production aware of the advantage of a balanced sharing of the rights pertaining to the works co-produced with the participating producers or broadcasters from the smaller European partners, especially outside the territory of the State in which the larger broadcasters are based. Sharing exploitation rights in this way would enable the producers and broadcasters in the smaller European partners to turn the co-produced works to better advantage on other markets, particularly those less familiar, or of less interest, to the larger broadcaster concerned. Sharing in this way would maximise opportunities to exploit the co-produced works and be to the advantage of all parties to the co-production.
31. Channels other than the broadcasters based in Europe's larger television markets could also be used to promote the co-production of audiovisual works with the smaller European partners. Europe's larger and smaller countries ought to consider therefore the advantages of concluding bilateral or multilateral inter-state agreements relating to the co-production of works for television. Agreements of this kind, hitherto very few in number, would make available to television works co-produced in pursuance of them the benefit of the support systems open to national television works. This presupposes that support systems of this kind exist in the States wishing to conclude such agreements.
32. In addition to such inter-state action, member States should examine measures to encourage audiovisual producers in the larger European television markets to co-produce works with the producers and broadcasters in the smaller European partners. This would have the same advantages for the larger countries' producers as previously mentioned in respect of the broadcasters in Europe's larger television markets. One way of promoting such co-productions would be the introduction of financial and fiscal incentives by both the larger and smaller European partners themselves.