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Event to launch the first directory of European films on VOD (“LUMIERE VOD”)

Strasbourg , 

Check against delivery

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

It is a pleasure to welcome you here today for the launch of LUMIERE VOD – the European Film Directory.

And it is a particular pleasure to do so alongside you, Commissioner Gabriel.

This project is a perfect illustration of the close co-operation that exists between the Council of Europe and one of the Observatory’s key members, the European Union:

A co-operation born of our shared values and commitment to a common legal space in Europe.

Over the course of the past 70 years, the Council of Europe has worked to build that legal space.

Our Convention-based system works to protect and promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the basis of greater unity.

And among our range of co-operation activities are the partial agreements that help member states meet our commonly agreed standards.

The European Audiovisual Observatory is one of these, and is a great success.

Since 1992 it has provided information on the audiovisual sector to its 42 members, empowering media professionals and public institutions alike.

It has brought transparency to the industry:

Providing analysis in the trends of cinema, television, video and the internet:

Producing intelligence on the means of financing them;

And giving legal analysis of major developments and ground-breaking cases.

This is in line with our commitment to freedom of expression, freedom of information and our work to support journalists and others where media is under pressure.

It is also in line with our commitment to diversity and intercultural dialogue.

Over the years, Eurimages – another of our successful partial agreements – has done much to promote these aims in relation to the film industry.

Eurimages has financed, and made possible, a large number of important European films.

And we are proud that the renowned director of several of these films, Mr Radu Mihaileanu, is with us today.

LUMIERE VOD is designed with a similar ethos.

It aims to ensure that European films are made accessible to the largest possible number of citizens.

For the first time, professionals will have a clear picture of the availability of European films across more than 200 video-on-demand services in Europe.

Distributors will be able to better identify VOD services that might host their films.

And the VOD services will be able to identify films that they might wish to host.

This is a new and important way of informing and empowering the sector to widen access to European culture.

The industry will benefit; so too will the viewer.

As many of you will know, the need for a Directory of films on VOD was identified in Commissioner Gabriel’s “Digital4Culture” strategy.

Its delivery was entrusted to the Observatory, and was jointly financed by the EU Creative Europe Programme and the Observatory itself.

I have no doubt about that this project will bear fruit.

Over the course of my ten years as Secretary General, the Observatory has achieved great things.

The Mapping of Media Literacy and Actions has provided a valuable tool for the exchange of best practice in the digital age.

Initiatives on gender equality are providing the transparency and impetus to address imbalances between the representation of men and women throughout the industry.

And now, thanks to your expertise, LUMIERE VOD, will open up a diverse range of cultural experiences to a wider-than-ever audience in Europe.

My thanks and congratulations to your Executive Director, Susanne Nikoltchev, and your outstanding team.

I wish you all the best for what will be an exciting future.