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VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 13

									                       SYNTHESIS




Final Evaluation of the
MEDIA Plus and MEDIA
Training Programmes

Synthesis of the Final Report
November 2007
                    Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                      DG INFOSO




Status of the document

This document is a synthesis of the final evaluation report. The views expressed
here are those of the authors. The report does not necessarily reflect the views of
the European Commission, which may not be held responsible for the accuracy of
the information reported.

Neither the Commission of the European Communities, nor anyone acting under
its responsibility may be held liable for the use made of this report.

The evaluation team would like to thank all the participants on the Steering
Committee, as well as all the individuals interviewed, especially the representatives
of the MEDIA Desks and officials at other DGs, for the time they made available to
us.

For further informations, contact: Euréval, 9 rue du Château d’Eau, F- 75010
Paris– (33) 1 53 63 83 90 – Virginie Besrest: besrest@eureval.fr or Thomas
Delahais: delahais@eureval.fr or the experts of the MEDIA consulting group: Alain
Modot: am@mediacg.tv or François Catala: fc@mediacg.tv
                      Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                        DG INFOSO




Context
Since its adoption in 1991 by the
European Parliament and the Council of      MEDIA        Plus       and      MEDIA
                                            Training – key figures:
the MEDIA I Programme, a coherent
policy     of     long-term     financial    9,000 projects, 21% of which are in
intervention has been followed. The aim       development and 67% in distribution;
is to enable the European audiovisual        Annual number of projects: 974 in
industry to benefit from a Europe-wide        2001, 1926 in 2006;
market.     This    policy   was     first
                                             The five Group A countries (Ger, Sp,
implemented through the MEDIA II              Fr, GB, It) receive 2/3 of the funds
programme, followed by MEDIA Plus             allocated;
and MEDIA Training (2001-2006), and
then the MEDIA 2007 programme                Average sum per project: €72K in
                                              2001, €44 K in 2006;
(2007-2013). This document presents
the final evaluation of the MEDIA Plus       Average rate of joint funding: 37% ;
and MEDIA Training programmes.               Rate of joint funding in the other
Apart     from     questions    of    the     Group A countries: 39%.
programme’s effectiveness, impact,
added value and efficiency, the evaluation specifically addresses two topics: the
integration of new Member States owing to the application of positive
discrimination, and the MEDIA Desks’ attainment of the objects that were set
for them.
For this purpose the present evaluation has been based on the analysis of the
preceding ones and on the data bases of the MEDIA programme (Media
Commitments), as well as on specific tools, including a survey on officials at the
MEDIA Desks and focus groups, and interviews with other DGs at the
European Commission. It has also triggered the production of systems of
indicators for the MEDIA Desks and the MEDIA programme.


Robustness of the data presented
In the collection and processing of the data several limits were encountered which need to be
taken into account when reading the main evaluation results. The main limits are as follows:
        availability and exhaustiveness of the data, especially programme data: certain
         indicators could not be measured with precision and have to be treated with
         caution;
        comparability of the data: the differences of definitions and of the methods used by
         the various information sources (MEDIA, European Audiovisual Observatory,
         National Film Agencies, etc.) do not allow for perfect comparability. Most of the
         market data presented here are estimations to be used with caution;
        triangulation of data: as far as possible, the analysis is based on comparisons
         between several sources. Yet this is not always possible. When only one source is
         mobilized, this is systematically mentioned in the report.
                      Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                        DG INFOSO




Main evaluation results

To what extent are the tools used under the MEDIA PLUS
and MEDIA Training programmes and the modalities of their
application the most appropriate ones for meeting the
sector’s needs?
Owing to the sound diagnosis of the challenges during the reflection that
preceded the launching of the programme, the objectives of MEDIA Plus
and MEDIA Training remained relevant, on the whole, throughout
the entire period in question. The main challenges identified
(fragmentation of the market and insufficient presence of European films in
European and international markets) are still relevant in 2007, even if their
order of importance has changed.
On the whole, the main tools of the programme, chosen in relation to the
objectives, are deemed to be well-suited to the needs of professionals in the
sector. Amendments to lines of action during the course of the programme have
moreover contributed towards maintaining their relevance and to ensuring the
conditions of their effectiveness. Dissatisfaction concerns lines of lesser
amplitude (e.g. promotion outside Europe; access to funds; new technologies –
cf. box below) and is found primarily in B and C countries.

The challenge concerning the dissemination and use of NT grew towards the end of the
period and has been found to have implications for the industry at all levels. Yet the related
objective in the programme, centred on the digital dissemination of content, now seems to
be inadequately formulated to cover the entire range of needs. Moreover, findings of the
most recent survey show that the actions undertaken in the field of diffusion of new
technologies are the least suited to the needs of European audiovisual and film professionals.



As regards the lines of selective distribution, video and promotion-festivals, the
gradual evolution of their modalities has contributed towards transforming the
real objective from competitiveness to cultural and linguistic diversity.
Moreover, the ambiguity between the objectives of diversity and
competitiveness, noted in the second interim evaluation, tended to be resolved
towards the end of the programme, without any mechanism in favour of
cultural and linguistic diversity clearly being promoted within the MEDIA
programme.
As far as support measures are concerned, the incompatibility between
administrative and economic rhythms reintroduced the risk of tension for the
beneficiary enterprises. The cost of access to the programme, often high for
SMEs, in particular, remained acceptable to the beneficiaries.


To what extent have the MEDIA PLUS and MEDIA Training
programmes contributed towards strengthening the sector’s
competitiveness and the cross-border circulation of works?
Concerning the strengthening of the sector’s competitiveness and the cross-
border circulation of works, which are the programme’s main objectives, the
following were confirmed:
                  Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                    DG INFOSO




      MEDIA Training contributed meaningfully towards strengthening
       competencies in the European audiovisual sector, especially in B
       countries, but the businesses created remain very fragile;
      MEDIA Development contributed substantially towards adding a
       European dimension to the audiovisual works supported and, owing to
       the scope of the programme, beyond that;
      MEDIA Development favours the extension of investments devoted to
       the development phase of works, at least for the beneficiaries;
      i2i automatically reduces eligible financial costs for the beneficiaries
       but does not facilitate more global access to financing by banks;
      The possibilities of reinvestment generated by several lines of action of
       MEDIA Distribution have a real and substantial effect of strengthening
       competitiveness in the sector, especially by reducing risks and
       enhancing the beneficiaries’ financial capacities;
      MEDIA Distribution supports a large and growing proportion of NNE
       films in circulation in Europe, thus contributing towards that
       circulation;
      MEDIA Promotion contributes towards strengthening contacts between
       professionals in the European audiovisual sector and, most probably,
       towards creating networks as well;
      Actions concerning festivals most probably contribute more towards
       promoting      cultural  diversity  than    towards    strengthening
       competitiveness in the European sector, although this may not be the
       case in the long term.


To what extent have MEDIA PLUS and MEDIA Training
programmes contributed towards sustainably strengthening
firms in the European audiovisual sector?
The following table synthesizes judgements on the effects of the MEDIA
Programme and their sustainability.
                         Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                           DG INFOSO




                                                                               Structuring effect
                                          Type of                              (2nd interim
             Programme                    effect       Effect   Sustainability evaluation)
MEDIA has contributed towards
increasing the competencies of
professionals in the audiovisual                                            
                                          Immaterial
sector
MEDIA has contributed towards
networking between professionals                                          
in the audiovisual sector                 Immaterial
MEDIA has contributed towards
developing the potential of
countries with little visibility in the                                      
international market                      Productive
MEDIA has contributed towards
enhancing the viability of projects in
the European and international                                              
markets                                   Productive
MEDIA has contributed towards
enhancing the promotion of                                                 
European films                            Productive
MEDIA has contributed towards
adjusting production to meet the                                            
demands of international markets          Productive

MEDIA has contributed towards
developing the use of new
technologies in the audiovisual                                
industry                                  Productive                            -1
MEDIA has contributed towards
developing the demand for                                                   
European non-national films               Market
MEDIA has contributed towards a
better cross-border circulation of                                          
works in Europe                           Market
MEDIA has contributed towards a
better cross-border circulation of                                            
works in the rest of the world            Market
MEDIA has contributed towards
increasing private investments in
European foreign films (non-                                                   
national European)                       Market        ()2
  Key:
   significant effect / sustainable effect / structuring effect;
   fairly significant effect / fairly sustainable effect / potentially structuring effect.


 The analysis shows positive and sustainable effects in terms of learning and
 developing competencies:




 1 This topic was not considered as one of the structuring investments of the MEDIA
 programme during the second mid-term evaluation.
 2   Taking re-investments into account.
                   Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                     DG INFOSO




       The development of competencies and the creation of networks are
        sustainable impacts of the MEDIA programme, and are structuring for
        the sector as a whole, not only for the beneficiaries;
       The European audiovisual offer has evolved, especially in terms of
        viability, adaptation of the offer, and optimization of the potential of
        countries with little visibility, through learning about the international
        market during actions financed by MEDIA;
       European cooperation is probably an important means for young
        enterprises to learn.
In countries that have benefited from the programme for a long time, MEDIA
seems to result in increasing private investments through the 'quality label'
effect.
In contrast, certain specific contributions of MEDIA (funding, scope of
international cooperation) depend on the programme and are therefore
particularly fragile. Effects pertaining to the circulation of works in Europe also
depend heavily on MEDIA, in terms of both volume and diversity.
Moreover, in view of the differences observed between the various European
countries, it seems that there is a "threshold effect" in the strengthening of
competitiveness which is limited by the absence of the required conditions (e.g.
size of the national market, presence of capital) but over which MEDIA has
little control.
More generally, by favouring the public's exposure to NNE films via its multiple
lines of action, the MEDIA programme contributes towards the development of
the demand for these works.


To what extent have the MEDIA PLUS and MEDIA Training
programmes really had a value added to beneficiary firms,
compared to other existing programmes?
The way in which the programme is designed favours the complementarity of
interventions in the audiovisual sector, primarily through the absence of
European intervention on the production phase (on which most of the national
intervention is focused).
The value added by the European intervention can be considered mainly in two
ways:
       the value added (subsidiarity) is particularly strong in cases of an
        absence of a national support system, especially in the field of on-going
        education, where serious shortcomings are observed;
       the introduction of the European dimension into all actions helps to
        ensure a real added value to the actions undertaken, irrespective of
        their specific objectives.
The main complementarities are found in the field of development, followed by
film distribution and training. It is nevertheless difficult to talk of synergies,
that is, of additional impacts obtained by combining several mechanisms.
The results of the last survey undertaken show a lack of complementarity in
certain lines or fields of limited scope (e.g. integration of new technologies,
distribution outside Europe and access to funds).
                                                     Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                                                       DG INFOSO




                        To what extent have the human and financial resources
                        allocated been used to attain the objectives assigned to the
                        MEDIA PLUS and MEDIA Training programmes?

                                                                                       Effectiveness (2nd
                                                Resources     (Media                   interim            Sustainability
                                                Desks survey)        Budgets allocated evaluation)        (final evaluation)

Distribution of films for cinema                appropriate3                                            

Training                                        appropriate                                              

Development                                     insufficient                                             

Distribution of works for TV                    insufficient                                               

Distribution of works for video                 -4                                                          

Support for the network of cinemas              appropriate                                                 

Promotion of works in markets                   appropriate                                               

Support for festivals                           appropriate                                                

Access to funds                                 insufficient                                                
                        Key:                cost very high (over €150m over the period) / highly effective /
                                           highly sustainable;
                                            cost high (between €50m and €100m) / effective / sustainable;
                                            low cost (under €40m) / hardly effective / hardly sustainable.


                        The table below synthesizes the contributions of the analysis of the efficiency of
                        the MEDIA programme. The following conclusions can be drawn:
                                  MEDIA Training, the Development axis of the Promotion-Access to the
                                   market line, shows a very good cost/effectiveness/sustainability ratio of
                                   effects within the programme;
                                  The lines comprising Cinema Distribution have a very high cost, due to
                                   the amplitude required if real effects are to be achieved in this sector;
                                  Several lines share common characteristics as regards efficiency
                                   (support for the network of cinemas, video distribution, access to
                                   funds); their cost is low but because of their limited scope they do not
                                   have a real impact on the sector;
                                  Distribution-TV appears to have a particularly high cost compared to
                                   the effects observed; the sector is however so large that a far bigger
                                   budget and probably an amendment to the main lines seems to be
                                   necessary if this line is to have an impact.


                        3   Cinema and video.
                        4   Question not asked alone.
                      Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                        DG INFOSO




To what extent have the mechanisms of positive
discrimination implemented been the most appropriate tool
for facilitating the integration of new participants in the
MEDIA programme?
To set up its mechanisms for integrating NMS, the MEDIA programme
distinguished itself by using the concepts that were already available to it
("countries with a weak capacity…", and linguistic and cultural diversity). The
best access to the programme was thus organized by setting selection criteria
suited to the projects from B countries or including the works of B countries,
and particularly the NMS.
This resulted in an over-representation of projects from B countries and NMS,
compared to the number of applications filed (42% against 39%). MEDIA thus
heavily finances the audiovisual sector of "countries with a weak capacity …"
(between 33% and 40% of the budgets allocated between 2001 and 2005)
relative to their weight in the European audiovisual sector (between 11% and
15% of the market share on European film entries between 2001 and 2005).
Support for distribution accounts for a very large proportion of funds awarded
to professionals from NMS, by comparison with what was observed in A and B
countries. This was at the expense of development, which declined in the last
year of the programme.
As regards the specific effects of the programme in the NMS, the following
conclusions have been drawn:
       The effects of the programme on cross-border circulation of works were
        rapidly perceptible, essentially in terms of the NNE film offer in NMS;
       The effect on the offer in terms of number of films has been detrimental
        to films produced in the United States but has not reduced the number
        of entries (the effects of MEDIA Distribution essentially concern the
        supply, not the demand);
       The effect in terms of competitiveness of support for distribution has
        been limited, due to a lack of reinvestment in NMS.
By contrast, the effects of the MEDIA on the national production of NMS are
hardly perceptible, at least in terms of market data, but the low level of take up
of support for development is cause for concern.

Note: Poland alone enhances the statistics relative to NMS (more than one in five projects
are from Poland), which also reveals a relative concentration of support in a limited number
of countries (primarily the Czech Republic and Hungary), especially on the most structuring
mechanisms (training and development).

As regards the effects of positive discrimination itself, the table appears to be
less clear-cut, apart from the over-representation allowed by the selection
criteria:
       First, the main effects observed on NMS concern distribution, for which
        most of the support is automatic; although mechanisms of positive
        discrimination exist to facilitate reinvestments, in particular, they do
        not appear to be decisive here;
       As incentives, the mechanisms of positive discrimination are not strong
        enough to make the programme appealing to the actors of NMS, and do
                  Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                    DG INFOSO




       not help to reduce the concentration of support on Distribution-
       automatic support; consequently, they do not really contribute towards
       additional effects on the structuring of the sector in these countries;
      In contrast, the criteria of positive discrimination applied to the actors
       of A projects have been far more attractive, owing to competition
       between them to obtain a grant; they have favoured better integration
       of actors in the network, and of works in European distribution
       channels.


To what extent has the organization (design /
implementation) of MEDIA Desks enabled them to attain the
objectives set for them by the programme?
As regards the description of MEDIA Desk activities, a common trunk of
activities around the promotion of the programme and information on it at the
Desks and antennae was observed. To this trunk, certain Desks, essentially in
A countries, added a strong support dimension.
Concerning the effectiveness of the MEDIA Desks in fulfilling their missions,
the effects of these Desks in terms of the programme's reputation among
audiovisual professionals are real, irrespective of the countries considered,
whereas the only real index of effectiveness of support approaches is the
popularity of this service in A countries.
Organizational factors seem to be particularly important in the case of small
Desks: thus, while the system of Desks and antennae appears on the whole to
be effective for better informing and supporting European audiovisual
professionals, due to current conditions of recruitment and responsibility this
effectiveness is in practice closely related to the individuals in charge.
The system currently needs to be improved in two ways:
      The network of Desks functions on bases which are barely formalized;
       as a result its management is fragile and its full potential cannot be
       exploited;
      The absence of a unified monitoring of the performance of the Desks
       and antennae substantially reduces the possibilities of judging the
       effectiveness of each of these agencies.


Main synthetic conclusions of the evaluation

Conclusions relative to the effects and impacts of the MEDIA
programme

Conclusion 1: on the whole the relevance of the programme remained good
over the period, owing to a sound initial diagnosis and renewed modalities.
Those areas in which professionals' satisfaction was not optimal concerned a
very small proportion of the budget as well as needs that were still being
defined (e.g. taking into account the switchover to the digital era).

Conclusion 2: The incompatibilities observed between administrative
rhythms (selection, contractualization, payment) and economic rhythms in the
                     Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                       DG INFOSO




audiovisual sector reintroduce risks and potential tensions for firms. The cost
of access, often heavy for SMEs, nevertheless remains bearable for
beneficiaries.

Conclusion 3: The main mechanisms of MEDIA contribute effectively
towards enhancing competencies (Training), developing the European
dimension of works from the pre-production phase (Development), improving
the competitiveness of the sector (Distribution, mainly, by reducing risks and
strengthening the beneficiaries' financial capacities) and promoting the cross-
border circulation of works (Distribution et Promotion).

Conclusion 4: MEDIA Training, Development and Promotion-Access to the
Market present the best budget/sustainability ratio as regards their effects,
despite management costs which are sometimes high.

Conclusion 5: The immaterial effects of MEDIA (enhancing competencies,
learning about the market, creating networks) are sustainable and structuring
impacts for the sector as a whole.

Conclusion 6: The programme's effects on the financing of works and on
cross-border circulation depend directly on the continuation of European
funding.


Conclusions relative to mechanisms of positive
discrimination and their contribution towards the integration
of New Member States (NMS)

Conclusion 7: Based on the existing mechanisms of support to countries
"with a weak capacity …", MEDIA has been able to rapidly promote the
participation of audiovisual professionals from the NMS in the programme.

Conclusion 8: On the whole, the MEDIA programme enables audiovisual
professionals from countries "with a weak production capacity or a limited
geographic and/or linguistic area" to have access to a proportional share of the
MEDIA financing which exceeds their weight in the European audiovisual
sector5.

Conclusion 9: MEDIA has probably contributed towards a constant increase
in the offer of NNE films observed in the NMS since their entry into the
programme. This is at the expense of the share of US films (which is by far the
greatest) but not of local films.

Conclusion 10: The criteria of positive discrimination in terms of which the
main producing countries form partnerships with the NMS, have really
favoured the best integration of these actors in the networks and of their works
in European distribution channels.




5Although precise figures are not available, we can assume that the same pattern exists for
the NMS.
                   Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                     DG INFOSO




Conclusions relative to the action of the Media Desks

Conclusion 11: The Media Desks are both information centres and help desks.
The predominant positioning varies from one Desk to the next. The older desks
generally favour support.

Conclusion 12: The decentralized mechanisms of MEDIA appears to be an
effective tool to develop knowledge of the programme and to support
audiovisual professionals; their real effectiveness appears to be strongly
dependent on the individuals in charge.

Conclusion 13: When the Desks are trained and motivated, they can have a
significant effect on the sound use of MEDIA in B countries and especially
NMS, primarily through work of an educational nature.

Conclusion 14: The network dimension of the MEDIA Desks has potential,
especially in respect of the sharing of information, the trading of best practices,
or the contribution to cross-border exchange. Due to a lack of structuring of the
network and its tools, the exchanges currently remain bilateral.

Conclusion 15: Without a unified system of performance-measurement at the
Desks and antennae, any attempt to estimate their respective effectiveness is
limited. This is a shortcoming, both for the national and Community
supervisory authorities, and for the Desks themselves.


Main recommendations stemming from the
evaluation

Strategic Recommendation SR 1: Pursue the effort of
adjusting to the market
       Operational Recommendation 1 (OR1): The programme's adaptive
        capacity and modalities of intervention in relation to the needs of the
        sector must be maintained (proposed changes in many lines of action);
       OR2: The programme must be given the means to anticipate changes in
        the sector (sectoral studies, regular and direct contact with audiovisual
        professionals, consultation with experts);
       OR3: The programme must be given a system of monitoring and
        context indicators (proposal for such a system in the appendix to this
        report, moving closer to the EAO, changes to data collection).


SR 2: Strengthening the coherence of the programme and its
modes of intervention
       OR4: It is necessary to clarify the hierarchy of objectives within the
        lines and mechanisms of the programme (changes to the i2i, clear
        displayal of positive discrimination on certain lines, prioritization –
        redeployment);
                 Évaluation finale des programmes MEDIA PLUS et MEDIA Formation
                                                                   DG INFOSO




     OR5: Potential integration of new challenges and new actors has to be
      apprehended on a programme scale (positive discrimination or
      dedicated mechanisms, opening up to new actors).


SR 3: Adjusting the mechanism to the constraints of its users
(potential beneficiaries and managers)
     OR6: The modalities of access to the programme need to be redesigned
      and simplified (more user-friendly files, reassertion of the Media Desks'
      support role, rationalization of information requests and their use);
     OR7: The modalities of intervention have to be aligned with the timing
      of the sector (frequency of calls for proposals, prescribed times or
      notification and payment; more in-depth justification for refusals);
     OR8: The human and organizational resources of MEDIA must be
      focused on supporting beneficiaries and monitoring projects (on-line
      candidatures, appropriate software, etc.).


SR 4: Exploiting the potential of the MEDIA Desk and
antenna network more effectively
     OR9: It is necessary to clarify the missions and to structure the
      activities of the MEDIA Desks (roadmap after 3-5 years, qualified and
      quantified objectives, performance measurement, standardized output
      models);
     OR10: The MEDIA desks and antennae need to be given the tools and
      means required to improve their effectiveness (training, better
      exploitation of the Desks' expertise, improvement of top-down
      communication, optimization of the network's potential by pooling
      knowledge and good practices (especially Extranet)).


SR 5: Revising the objectives and modalities of the
mechanisms for rebalancing the market, in order to enhance
their relevance and effectiveness
     OR11: The efforts made until now in terms of "positive discrimination"
      should be maintained;
     OR12: It is necessary to deepen strategic reflection on the objectives of
      the positive discrimination policy, and on the results to achieve in terms
      of the MEDIA 2007 programme (specializing certain support, possible
      reinvestments in certain cases in national works);
     OR13: For certain lines of action (selective distribution, automatic
      distribution, especially sales agent), it is recommended to revise the
      relevant geographical scale (end of the regional scale, new country
      categories).

								
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