EU film policy: between art and commerce
The establishment of the European internal market has involved the cinematographic sector as a result of its economic nature. However, film, as a cultural medium, does not lend itself easily to the trends towards uniformity, inherent in the process of economic integration. This becomes visible in the relationship between national cinematographic legislation, reflecting cultural values, and the free market philosophy pursued within the European integration process. There seems to be a contradiction between national measures, which seek to correct the workings of the market, and the efforts to establish a European common market for audiovisual goods and services. This situation has been further complicated by the introduction of Article 151 into the EU legal order by the Maastricht Treaty, which recognised protection of cultural values as one of the EU constitutional tasks. However, it happened without calling into question the acquis communautaire on cultural matters. As a result, the audiovisual policy at the EU level is characterised by a contradiction between the economic logic of market integration and the goal of preservation of cultural diversity. The inherent conflict between these two objectives becomes very clear when looking at the development of the European film policy. This policy agenda creates an amalgam of two not easily reconcilable aims: promotion of cultural diversity and establishment of an internal film market. This horizontal tension is exacerbated by the clash between the European competition policy measures affecting the film sector and the national cultural policy considerations, which demonstrates how controversial remains the vertical power sharing within the EU. The aim of this paper is to investigate, on the basis of the European Commission policy documents and practice, these two-level tensions within the framework of the European film policy and draw conclusions for its future sustainability.