Insights Council of the EU adopts conclusions on the recovery and transformation of Europe’s media


The Council has approved conclusions to support the recovery and transformation of the European media sector.

The Council says that the audiovisual industry and the news media sector are important economic actors with an annual turnover of €193 billion, according to European Commission estimates. Both sectors have suffered during the COVID-19 crisis. Advertising revenue dropped by over 20% and Europe’s cinemas incurred massive losses. Accordingly, Member States are invited to take advantage of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is the EU’s post-crisis financial instrument, and to invest in the acceleration of the digital transformation and green transition of the news media and audiovisual sectors.

Graça Fonseca, Portuguese Minister of Culture, said that the role of news media and the audiovisual industry in providing accurate information and entertainment is “of great importance for Europe’s democratic debate and cultural diversity”. However, the media and the audiovisual sector face “enormous challenges”, such as changes to people’s viewing habits and the loss of advertising revenue. Further, COVID-19 has put additional pressure on both sectors. The Culture Minister said that the conclusions adopted set out “clear steps to help them recover fast and emerge stronger from the crisis”.

Ministers also called for efforts to make sure that the audiovisual industry can more easily reach European and international markets and audiences. In order to boost the circulation of European content within Europe and internationally, cooperation on production and distribution needs to be facilitated. Supporting cross-border collaboration between audiovisual market actors is also key.

The conclusions respond to the Action Plan presented by the Commission on 3 December 2020. Its ten actions focus on three areas of activity to help the media sector recover and transform and to empower European citizens and companies. To read the Council’s press release in full and for a link to the conclusions, click here.