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2011

2011 in a nutshell...

  • VAT: The European Commission published a communication on the future of VAT, acknowledging that similar goods and services should be subject to the same VAT rates, and that the challenge of convergence between the online and physical environment should be addressed. (December)
  • Private copying: The European Commission appointed former European Commissioner Antonio Vitorino as the mediator in the dialogue on private copying remuneration. (November)
  • Creative Europe: The European Commission published ‘Creative Europe’, its proposed programme for Europe's cultural and creative sectors for the period 2014-2020. A new fund to guarantee bank loans to cultural and creative operators is part of the proposal. (November)
  • Culture Forum: The European Commission organised the biennial Culture Forum, bringing together stakeholders from all parts of the cultural sector. (September)
  • Copyright term: The EU decided to extend the term of copyright for performers and producers from 50 to 70 years, narrowing the gap with the USA and other territories. (September)
  • Presidency of the EU: Poland took over the EU presidency on 1st July, succeeding Hungary. (July)
  • Digital agenda: The European Commission organised the 1st Digital Assembly to assess progress on the Commission’s Digital Agenda. (June)
  • IPR enforcement: The European Commission held a hearing on the Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. (June)
  • Intellectual property rights: The European Commission launched a new strategy for intellectual property rights, dealing with orphan works, counterfeiting and piracy, collective management of copyright, private copying, consumer awareness online, and a possible copyright code. (May)
  • Cultural and creative industries: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on “unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries”. The resolution calls for the adaptation of competition rules to the cultural sector, for reduced VAT for cultural products on- and off-line, for better access to finance for cultural SMEs and for action to combat copyright infringement. (May)
  • Single Market Act: The EC released its Single Market Act, a work plan to boost the EU’s internal market with policy-targeted measures. The text particularly underlines the importance of ensuring a level playing field for all in the Single Market. It tackles access to finance for SMEs, intellectual property rights, the digital single market and taxation. (April)
  • Cultural and creative industries: The European Commission published its analysis of the responses to the consultation on “unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries”. Issues mentioned include the implementation of the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity in the EU, competition policy, the key role of cultural SMEs and the need to improve SMEs’ access to finance. (March)
  • Presidency of the EU: Hungary took over the EU Presidency, succeeding Belgium. (January)

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