EAO mapping report on the nationality of audiovisual works

posted on 22 July, 2020   (public)

Report highlights the need for a pan-European database and improved cooperation between NRAs and film agencies

In July 2020, the European Audiovisual Observatory  (EAO) published a mapping report of the legal frameworks and current practices in the European Union to define the nationality of audiovisual works at the request of the European Commission.

Knowing when such a work is to be considered ‘national’ or ‘European’ according to relevant legislation is paramount for producers, public film funds, regulators and service providers. With the revised AVMSD and the extension of share obligations to VOD services, the assessment of the nationality of European audiovisual works is becoming even more crucial. This is the second mapping published by the EAO dealing with European works: the first mapping exercise, which took place in 2018-2019, described the initiatives and rules designed to promote European works in the 31 countries that are members of the EFADs (EU-28, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).

The present report covers all EU-27 members and the UK. Jean-François Furnémont, founding partner of Wagner-Hatfield, is the contributing author of this publication produced in collaboration with national experts. Media regulatory authorities have been cross-checking the factsheets.


The objectives of the mapping were to: 

  • compare the different concepts of the nationality of audiovisual works, including cinematographic works;
  • understand the purposes for which the nationality of works should be assessed;
  • identify the relevant sources of information on the nationality of AV works;
  • help determine the needs of the actors in the sector (producers, distributors, audiovisual services) and of the institutions concerned (film funds, regulators) regarding the assessment of the nationality of AV works. Ultimately, this  report provides an assessment of the feasibility and key characteristics of a tool providing data on the nationality of AV works.

Key findings of the report:

Common emerging trends:

  • European works definitions are aligned with AVMSD: definitions are more or less the same, with a varying degree of inclusion of all four categories (audiovisual works, cinematographic works, domestic works and European works).
  • Categories included in the scope of AV works are aligned with AVMSD: as a rule, the national practices follow the provisions of the AVMSD, even though there are some exceptions that make reference to placing more emphasis on national productions.

Difficulties faced by the industry and national bodies:

  • The assessment can be difficult in practice: assessing the eligible nationality of European works can prove difficult due to massive amounts of data and no fully reliable source of information on these works. There is a real need being voiced by the various industries for a pan-European database providing reliable and harmonized information on the nationality of audiovisual works in Europe.
  • Institutional cooperation could be improved: cooperation between national regulatory authorities (in the vast majority of cases in charge of applying the rules) and film agencies does exist sometimes, formally or informally, but remains rather weak.

The conclusions of the mapping report will be presented on the occasion of a public conference organised by the European Audiovisual Observatory that is scheduled to take place (online) on 15 October 2020 from 10:00 to 12:00. Save that date!


Source: European Audiovisual Observatory