Brussels, 15 January 2008

'European Border Breakers Awards' — European artists tune in to the future

Commissioner Ján Figel will present awards to 10 musical groups and individual artists in recognition of their success in selling albums and touring outside the country they are based in. The ceremony will take place during a show in Cannes on 27 January 2008 on the opening day of the MIDEM international music fair.
The coastal resort of Cannes, France, hosts the fifth annual European Border Breakers Awards ceremony (EBBA) again this year. The EBBA Awards honour those artists, groups, companies, composers and text writers that succeed in reaching audiences outside their own country.
This year's EBBA winners are:





The Fratellis

Costello Music




Everytime We Touch

Zooland Records


Sunrise Avenue

On The Way To Wonderland

Honest Production, Division of Bonnier Amigo Music Group Finland / EMI Germany






Dolores O’Riordan

Are you Listening?





Extensive/Warner Music


Miguel Angel Muñoz


M6 Interaction



Fools Rush In

ARS Entertainment/Universal Music Belgium



We Are In There, You Are Out Here

Iceberg Records


Hemp Gru




The EBBA Awards are based on statistics provided by the Billboard Information Group, according to the following criteria:

  • Original debut album of artists or groups from an EU Member State;
  • Sales in EU Member states outside the country of production
  • Sales during the last year (between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007)
  • Experience in touring outside the country of origin

The Awards are an initiative of the European Commission — in close partnership with the music industry — and are a celebration of the creative richness and diversity of European contemporary music. The European music industry is represented by EMO, GESAC, ICMP/CIEM, IFPI, IMPALA, SACEM, as well as Billboard Information Group.

The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr Ján Figel' said: "The EBBA Awards underline the importance of creativity and an open attitude towards cultural diversity in a globalizing world. By honouring the award-winning groups and artists alongside their record companies and publishers, the EBBA Awards also clearly show the inter-linked nature of the process of musical creation and how this is a necessary element for cross border success."

Surveys show that music plays a fundamental role in Europeans' life: over 60% of European citizens listen to music every day. Research also shows the challenges artists and groups face when trying to break through outside the country they are based in.

The EBBA events in Cannes will include an informal meeting between the EU's Ministers of Culture and representatives of the European music industry in the margins of the awards ceremony, to discuss the challenges facing the European music industry. This meeting is part of the European policy debate on culture that was boosted by the first-ever EU strategy for culture, adopted in May 2007 (A European agenda for culture in a globalizing world:

The aim is to involve the cultural sector (ranging from individual artists and performers to the creative and cultural industries) more closely in European affairs.

The European Commission will have a stand at MIDEM to promote European music and its diversity. This year, 10 independent national organisations and companies from the EU Member States, which do not have a national stand at MIDEM and have not participated at MIDEM before, will be offered a free registration at the MIDEM trade fair and a place at the Commission’s stand.

The European Commission also supports the mobility of artists and their work, for example through the Culture Programme 2007-2013

Information on the Culture Programme 2007-2013 and the opportunities it offers to support European cultural cooperation will also be available for music industry professionals present at the MIDEM.

Abd Al Malik, one of the Ambassadors of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, will also present an award and perform during the show.

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