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Coronavirus and the European film industry

30-04-2020

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the shutdown of some 70 000 cinemas in China, nearly 2 500 in the US and over 9 000 in the EU, the joy sparked by the success of the film industry in 2019 has quickly given way to anxiety. Shootings, premieres, spring festivals and entertainment events have faced near-total cancellation or postponement due to the pandemic, thus inflicting an estimated loss of US$5 billion on the global box office; this amount could skyrocket to between ...

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the shutdown of some 70 000 cinemas in China, nearly 2 500 in the US and over 9 000 in the EU, the joy sparked by the success of the film industry in 2019 has quickly given way to anxiety. Shootings, premieres, spring festivals and entertainment events have faced near-total cancellation or postponement due to the pandemic, thus inflicting an estimated loss of US$5 billion on the global box office; this amount could skyrocket to between US$15 billion and US$17 billion, if cinemas do not reopen by the end of May 2020. The EU film sector is essentially made up of small companies employing creative and technical freelancers, which makes it particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. The domino effect of the lockdown has triggered the immediate freeze of hundreds of projects in the shooting phase, disrupted cash flows and pushed production companies to the brink of bankruptcy. To limit and/or mitigate the economic damage caused by coronavirus, governments and national film and audiovisual funds across the EU have been quick in setting up both general blanket measures (such as solidarity funds and short-term unemployment schemes) and/or specific industry-related funds and grants (helping arthouse cinema and providing financial relief to producers and distributors). For its part, the EU has acted promptly to limit the spread of the virus and help EU countries to withstand its social and economic impact. In addition to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the CRII+, both approved by the European Parliament and the Council in record time, the Commission has set up a Temporary Framework allowing EU countries to derogate from State aid rules, and proposed a European instrument for temporary support (SURE) to help protect jobs and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, various film festivals have gone digital and a number of streaming companies have started offering free options to all those confined to their homes by the lockdown. Similarly, major studios are also releasing films to home video earlier than what has been the norm thus far. It remains unclear as to how long it will take before audiences go back to cinemas and what unexpected consequences the various mitigation measures in place could have.

Gender equality in sports: (slowly) changing the game

27-02-2020

Even though women's presence and involvement in the Olympic Movement have progressively evolved, girls and women across the world still get fewer opportunities and less investment, training and corporate attention when they play sport. Today, there is still ample room for improvement when it comes to women's participation in sports governance structures.

Even though women's presence and involvement in the Olympic Movement have progressively evolved, girls and women across the world still get fewer opportunities and less investment, training and corporate attention when they play sport. Today, there is still ample room for improvement when it comes to women's participation in sports governance structures.

Teaching: A woman's world

27-02-2020

A report on gender segregation by the European Institute for Gender Equality shows that in all EU countries men dominate certain professional fields, such as engineering and technology. By contrast, a number of jobs are still commonly considered to be for ‘women only’. These include pre-school education, nursing, midwifery, secretarial work, and domestic and personal care related services.

A report on gender segregation by the European Institute for Gender Equality shows that in all EU countries men dominate certain professional fields, such as engineering and technology. By contrast, a number of jobs are still commonly considered to be for ‘women only’. These include pre-school education, nursing, midwifery, secretarial work, and domestic and personal care related services.

Women in films: Still fighting the celluloid ceiling

27-02-2020

Even though the past 50 years have seen a significant advance in women's status in society, their depiction on screen has continued to reflect patriarchal stereotypes. Accordingly, female characters are in general younger than their male counterparts and more likely to be reduced to the role of wife, mother or girlfriend. One way to help guarantee that stories portrayed on the screen are more true to life would be to encourage and support the presence of women in key positions in the film industry ...

Even though the past 50 years have seen a significant advance in women's status in society, their depiction on screen has continued to reflect patriarchal stereotypes. Accordingly, female characters are in general younger than their male counterparts and more likely to be reduced to the role of wife, mother or girlfriend. One way to help guarantee that stories portrayed on the screen are more true to life would be to encourage and support the presence of women in key positions in the film industry.

European Capitals of Culture: In search of the perfect cultural event

28-11-2019

Between 1985 and 2019, 60 cities have held the title of European Capital of Culture – most recently Matera in Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria in 2019. Initiated in 1983, by Greece's then Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the concept took shape two years later as an inter-governmental initiative under the name of the 'European City of Culture'. The success of the event was such that in 1999, the Council of the EU transformed it into a Community action, and created a more transparent rotational system ...

Between 1985 and 2019, 60 cities have held the title of European Capital of Culture – most recently Matera in Italy and Plovdiv in Bulgaria in 2019. Initiated in 1983, by Greece's then Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the concept took shape two years later as an inter-governmental initiative under the name of the 'European City of Culture'. The success of the event was such that in 1999, the Council of the EU transformed it into a Community action, and created a more transparent rotational system for the designation of the titleholder. The selection procedure – last modified in 2014 – places particular focus on the monitoring of proposals, the enhanced European dimension of projects, improved competition between candidate cities, and the redefinition of the selection panel role. As more and more cities enter the European Capitals of Culture race, substantial sums of money are being spent, including on the bidding process. While in the early years of the programme (1985 1994) the average operating budget was around €25 million per city, this amount has more than doubled to reach some €60 million per city for the period 2007-2017. With rising budgets, there is also increased scrutiny of cities, national governments and the EU, as to the wider benefits in terms of the cultural development, social cohesion and city image that most bids promise. This, in turn, has led to more frequent and sophisticated monitoring and evaluation of the whole process, both by the European Commission and by the host cities themselves. The symbolic celebration of European cultural identities is however closely tied to the economic success of the operation. According to experts, over time a number of conflicts and tensions have become apparent due to the multiple and sometimes contradictory objectives of the event, e.g. economic and cultural, to name just two. Additional criticism includes failure to enable local ownership, difficulty in overcoming social divides and exhaustion of local resources. Notwithstanding that, ex-post evaluations of the event show that in general it boosts economic growth and tourism, helps build a sense of community and contributes to urban regeneration.

LUX Prize: Showcasing European cinema

29-10-2019

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize has shone a spotlight on European cinema. Over the past 12 years, the prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers the European film industry faces. Prize-winners have been very successful in the EU and beyond, making the LUX Prize a synonym for quality film-making. The LUX Film Prize focuses on fundamental EU values, such ...

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX Film Prize has shone a spotlight on European cinema. Over the past 12 years, the prize has helped promote over 100 films, supporting the dissemination of European (co-)productions in a bid to overcome the language and distribution barriers the European film industry faces. Prize-winners have been very successful in the EU and beyond, making the LUX Prize a synonym for quality film-making. The LUX Film Prize focuses on fundamental EU values, such as the fight against poverty, the need to combat violence against women, and the integration of vulnerable communities.

Arthouse cinemas in the EU: Showcasing European talent

10-10-2019

The fourth European Arthouse Cinema Day will take place on 13 October 2019 in some 700 cinemas all over the world. The idea is to showcase both the cultural diversity of European productions and the total commitment of the Europa Cinemas network to supporting demanding and original programming.

The fourth European Arthouse Cinema Day will take place on 13 October 2019 in some 700 cinemas all over the world. The idea is to showcase both the cultural diversity of European productions and the total commitment of the Europa Cinemas network to supporting demanding and original programming.

Teachers: Contributing to the EU's future

04-10-2019

Among all the factors that contribute to the school environment, it is considered that teachers have the greatest impact on pupils’ learning outcomes. Their work is celebrated on World Teachers’ Day, every 5 October since 1994. This is an occasion to honour the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and address some outstanding issues, notably how to attract and retain the brightest minds and young talents in the profession. This infographic presents data on teachers in the EU ...

Among all the factors that contribute to the school environment, it is considered that teachers have the greatest impact on pupils’ learning outcomes. Their work is celebrated on World Teachers’ Day, every 5 October since 1994. This is an occasion to honour the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and address some outstanding issues, notably how to attract and retain the brightest minds and young talents in the profession. This infographic presents data on teachers in the EU, looking for instance at the age profile of teachers in different EU Member States, at pupil-teacher ratios, at the split of men and women in teaching jobs, at requirements for continuing professional development and at teachers' salaries in the different Member States.

Teaching careers in the EU: Why boys do not want to be teachers

02-10-2019

Teaching – a profession that dates back through the generations – seems to have lost some of its attractiveness at present. An ageing teacher population, severe teacher shortages, difficulties with retaining younger teachers and a significant gender imbalance in staffing at different levels of education are just some of the serious challenges facing the profession. In the EU, only 7 % of all teachers are under 30 years old, while around 36 % are 50 or older. Also, 72 % of the nearly 6 million people ...

Teaching – a profession that dates back through the generations – seems to have lost some of its attractiveness at present. An ageing teacher population, severe teacher shortages, difficulties with retaining younger teachers and a significant gender imbalance in staffing at different levels of education are just some of the serious challenges facing the profession. In the EU, only 7 % of all teachers are under 30 years old, while around 36 % are 50 or older. Also, 72 % of the nearly 6 million people working as school teachers are women, thus confirming the perception that teaching is a 'woman's world'. An extensive 2014 survey revealed that over a third of teachers in the EU work in schools with a shortage of qualified staff, and nearly half of school directors report a shortage of teachers for special needs pupils. Perhaps more worryingly, 81 % of teachers in the EU feel teaching is not valued in society. For most EU countries, raising the status and attractiveness of the teaching profession is therefore an urgent necessity. Despite the seriousness of the challenge, only 11 EU countries have taken some policy measures to make teaching more attractive. EU education systems offer teachers various arrangements in terms of recruitment, career structure, professional development and support, and remuneration. The average starting salary in lower secondary education in the 2016-2017 period was €27 000, with top salaries peaking at €45 000. However, a strong geographical divide is noticeable, with salaries of school teachers in eastern Europe being substantially lower than those in western Europe. Teachers have access to various mobility schemes through Erasmus, the EU's flagship programme in the area of education. From 2014 to 2020, the programme has offered mobility opportunities to 800 000 education staff, thus confirming its growing impact and popularity. In March 2019, the European Parliament supported the tripling of the programme's budget for 2021-2027, to make it more accessible and inclusive and enable more teachers and students to take part in it. Members of the European Parliament also proposed re-allocating the budget to different parts of the programme, as a way to offer pre-school and early education staff more possibilities to participate in mobility schemes.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Mariya Gabriel – Innovation and Youth

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

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