Secretary General's April Digest

In April we greeted 4 new SAA Patrons, participated in the European Parliament’s consultations on the implementation report of the Creative Europe programme and the EU framework on artists’ status, as well as its draft report on the European Media Freedom Act. I went to Prague for the European committee of CISAC, and we continued supporting our members with legal advice and EU level data for their national advocacy for authors’ rights.

We are continuing to welcome new additions to the SAA Board of Patrons. This month, we greeted Barbara Miller (Switzerland), Antonio Hens (Spain), Esmé Lammers (the Netherlands) and László Czető Bernát (Hungary). Their photos and short bios are available on the website. We are proud to have such a distinguished line-up of authors supporting our work! For the World IP Day on 26 April – focused on women, IP and innovation - we shared short interviews with two of the new Patrons: Virginia Yagüe from Spain and Špela Čadež from Slovenia. You can find them and other interviews here.

The European Parliament is working on many files that they want to close before the elections in May 2024. In April, we focused on 3 of them:

  • I participated in a stakeholder meeting organised by the Italian MEP Mr Smeriglio, rapporteur on the Implementation Report of the Creative Europe Programme 2021-2027 that supports the cultural and audiovisual sectors. Mr Smeriglio wanted to hear the views of the cultural and audiovisual organisations on the functioning of the programme in its first 2 years of implementation. He will present a draft report in September. In my intervention, I noted that the audiovisual authors (screenwriters and directors) and their representative organisations might have difficulties in accessing the programme and therefore that not all in the value chain were adequately supported by the programme. In addition, I mentioned that the cultural dimension was not adequately reflected in the Media strand. Culture and audiovisual being considered two different sectors with two different sub-programmes, the industrial dimension was prevailing in the Media programme.
  • My colleague Annica participated in a stakeholder meeting organised by the co-rapporteurs from the Culture committee (Mr Ruiz Devesa, ES) and the Employment committee (Mr Manders, NL) for an upcoming report due to propose an "EU framework for the social and professional situation of artists and workers in the cultural and creative sectors". It was encouraging that fair remuneration and improved working conditions were addressed several times as essential parts of such a framework. The co-rapporteurs will present their draft report at the end of June.
  • The Culture committee is also working on the European Media Freedom Act. Ms Verheyen (DE) presented her draft report with proposals for amendments to the Regulation. Some interesting background analysis was also presented by the Institute for European Media Law. The priority for the SAA is to ensure that this new Regulation will not jeopardise the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive and will not give tools to media operators to question the implementation measures of the Directive that, as allowed by the Directive, provide for stricter or more detailed rules on quotas and financial obligations.

Mid-April I travelled to Prague to participate in the meeting of the CISAC European Committee. CISAC is a multi-repertoire international organisation of collective management organisations dominated by music societies. However, I had the opportunity to present the audiovisual authors’ perspective on the implementation of the Copyright and AVMS Directives and learn about the challenges and work of collective management organisations in the music sector.  

A lot of my time this month was also dedicated to being in touch with our member organisations, supporting their work with legal advice and European level data and information that can help their national advocacy for authors’ rights. The SAA legal advisor, my colleague Evan, is doing a great job in gathering all these data and supporting this activity. Another part of my time was spent on informal ‘behind the scenes’ talks with colleagues of the cultural and creative sectors in Brussels, exchanging information and drafting joint proposals, positions and statements.     

Next month, I will travel to the Cannes Film Festival. If you are planning on going, please do let me know, I would be delighted to meet up!

My 3 reading tips:


Cécile Despringre