European Federation of Journalists

Joint Declaration of trade unions and employers’ organisations of the EU Audiovisual Sector on Brexit

The Signatories in the Audiovisual Sector express their grave concern about the potential threat to the Audiovisual industry posed by Brexit. We call on the negotiators on both sides to ensure that the interests of the Audiovisual industry across the EU and the UK be protected in the current negotiations and in particular to give special consideration to the potentially very severe damage for their business operators and workers if the future framework for the cooperation between the EU and the UK Audiovisual sector are not adapted. More specifically:
  1. There are fears that, in the film and sector, important co-production agreements which allow international film producers to work together to create a film, benefitting from state protections and tax benefits from multiple countries at the same time, could be compromised. Being outside of that framework, or the uncertainty of having to rejoin it, could be damaging for both the UK and EU film and audiovisual industries. Existing co-production agreements must be protected, and the UK should must remain a party to the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production to protect the UK/EU Film industries.
  2. As jobs become increasingly international and co-productions flourish, workers in the audiovisual industry have become dependent on the freedom to work for short periods and at short notice within Europe, without burdensome visa requirements or restrictions. Performers and creative workers of all kinds thus risk serious damage to their careers if their ability to work freely in the UK/EU is curtailed. This in turn will have a huge impact on the health of these industries which are of such financial and cultural importance to the UK and EU. Smooth professional mobility for workers across the EU and UK is essential in the increasingly internationalised labour market that services the audiovisual sector. Negotiators on both sides must ensure that audiovisual industry workers are able to work across the EU and the UK post Brexit with minimum administrative burdens.
  3. The signatories also believe it is vital to continue to ensure quality working conditions and a level playing field in the sector across the EU /UK also following Brexit. For a sustainable sector, it is vital that workers’ rights to rest and holiday pay be guaranteed in the UK in the future. Any future agreement between the EU and UK must include a commitment not to fall behind the EU on improvements to employment rights, particularly any improvements that are made to the rights of atypical workers, who make up a major part of the sectoral workforce.
  4. We urge continued cooperation with the EU Intellectual Property Office to ensure rights are enforced across Europe. Any future agreement between the EU and the UK must strengthen copyright infringement enforcement online and support the widest circulation to each market for audiovisual works in full respect of the principle of territoriality and safeguarding the revenues of all concerned rightsholders.

The Signatories in the Audiovisual sector urge careful consideration of these sectoral needs in the course of negotiation to secure the most efficient conditions to promote quality and sustainability of Audiovisual production across the UK/EU in the future. They are pre-requisite for securing both revenues for the entire film and audiovisual ecosystem as well as performers’ and other creative workers’ agility in their careers.

CEPI – European Coordination of Independent Producers

EBU – European Broadcasting Union

EFJ – European Federation of Journalists

EURO-MEI – UNI Europa, media, entertainment and arts sector

FIA – International Federation of Actors

FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations

FIM – International Federation of Musicians

Photo Credit: