The member States of the Council of Europe and the other States party to the European Cultural Convention, signatory hereto,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between
its members in order, in particular, to safeguard and promote the ideals and principles
which form their common heritage;
Considering that freedom of creation and freedom of expression constitute fundamental
elements of these principles;
Considering that the defence of cultural diversity of the various European countries is
one of the aims of the European Cultural Convention;
Considering that cinematographic co-production, an instrument of creation and expression
of cultural diversity on a European scale, should be reinforced;
Determined to develop these principles and recalling the recommendations of the Committee
of Ministers on the cinema and the audiovisual field, and particularly Recommendation No.
R (86) 3 on the promotion of audiovisual production in Europe;
Acknowledging that the creation of the European Fund for the Support of Co-production and
Distribution of Creative Cinematographic and Audiovisual Works, Eurimages, meets the
concern encouraging European cinematographic co-production and that a new driving force
has thus been given to the development of cinematographic co-productions in Europe;
Resolved to achieve this cultural objective thanks to a common effort to increase
production and define the rules which adapt themselves to European multilateral
cinematographic co-productions as a whole;
Considering that the adoption of common rules tends to decrease restrictions and encourage
European co-operation in the field of cinematographic co-production,
Have agreed as follows:
Chapter I General provisions
Article 1 Aim of the Convention
The Parties to this Convention undertake to promote the development of European
cinematographic co-production in accordance with the following provisions.
Article 2 Scope
- This Convention shall govern relations between the Parties in the field of multilateral
co-productions originating in the territory of the Parties.
- This Convention shall apply:
- to co-productions involving at least three co-producers, established in three different
Parties to the Convention; and
- to co-productions involving at least three co-producers established in three different
Parties to the Convention and one or more co-producers who are not established in such
Parties. The total contribution of the co-producers who are not established in the Parties
to the Convention may not, however, exceed 30% of the total cost of the production.
In all cases, this Convention shall only apply on condition that the co-produced work
meets the definition of a European cinematographic work as defined in Article 3, paragraph
- The provisions of bilateral agreements concluded between the Parties to this Convention
shall continue to apply to bilateral co-productions.
In the case of multilateral co-productions, the provisions of this Convention shall
override those of bilateral agreements between Parties to the Convention. The provisions
concerning bilateral co-productions shall remain in force if they do not contravene the
provisions of this Convention.
- In the absence of any agreement governing bilateral co-production relations between two
Parties to this Convention, the Convention shall also apply to bilateral co-productions,
unless a reservation has been made by one of the Parties involved under the terms of
Article 3 Definitions
For the purposes of this Convention:
a. the term "cinematographic work" shall mean a work of any length or medium, in
particular cinematographic works of fiction, cartoons and documentaries, which complies
with the provisions governing the film industry in force in each of the Parties concerned
and is intended to be shown in cinemas;
b. the term "co-producers" shall mean cinematographic production companies or
producers established in the Parties to this Convention and bound by a co-production
c. the term "European cinematographic work" shall mean a cinematographic work
which meets the conditions laid down in Appendix II, which is an integral part of this
d. the term "multilateral co-production" shall mean a cinematographic work
produced by at least three co-producers as defined in Article 2, paragraph 2, above.
Chapter II Rules applicable to co-productions
Article 4 Assimilation to national films
- European cinematographic works made as multilateral co-productions and falling within
the scope of this Convention shall be entitled to the benefits granted to national films
by the legislative and regulatory provisions in force in each of the Parties to this
Convention participating in the co-production concerned.
- The benefits shall be granted to each co-producer by the Party in which the co-producer
is established, under the conditions and limits provided for by the legislative and
regulatory provisions in force in that Party and in accordance with the provisions of this
Article 5 Conditions for obtaining co-production status
- Any co-production of cinematographic works shall be subject to the approval of the
competent authorities of the Parties in which the co-producers are established, after
consultation between the competent authorities and in accordance with the procedures laid
down in Appendix I. This appendix shall form an integral part of this Convention.
- Applications for co-production status shall be submitted for approval to the competent
authorities according to the application procedure laid down in Appendix I. This approval
shall be final except in the case of failure to comply with the initial undertakings
concerning artistic, financial and technical matters.
- Projects of a blatantly pornographic nature or those that advocate violence or openly
offend human dignity cannot be accorded co-production status.
- The benefits provided by co-production status shall be granted to co-producers who are
deemed to possess adequate technical and financial means, and sufficient professional
- Each Contracting State shall designate the competent authorities mentioned in paragraph
2 above by means of a declaration made at the time of signature or when depositing its
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. This declaration may be
modified at any later date.
Article 6 Proportions of contributions from each co-producer
- In the case of multilateral co-production, the minimum contribution may not be less than
10% and the maximum contribution may not exceed 70% of the total production cost of the
cinematographic work. When the minimum contribution is less than 20%, the Party concerned
may take steps to reduce or bar access to national production support schemes.
- When this Convention takes the place of a bilateral agreement between two Parties under
the provisions of Article 2, paragraph 4, the minimum contribution may not be less than
20% and the largest contribution may not exceed 80% of the total production cost of the
Article 7 Rights of co-producers
- The co-production contract must guarantee to each co-producer joint ownership of the
original picture and sound negative. The contract shall include the provision that this
negative shall be kept in a place mutually agreed by the co-producers, and shall guarantee
them free access to it.
- The co-production contract must also guarantee to each co-producer the right to an
internegative or to any other medium of duplication.
Article 8 Technical and artistic participation
- The contribution of each of the co-producers shall include effective technical and
artistic participation. In principle, and in accordance with international obligations
binding the Parties, the contribution of the co-producers relating to creative, technical
and artistic personnel, cast and facilities, must be proportional to their investment.
- Subject to the international obligations binding the Parties and to the demands of the
screenplay, the technical and craft team involved in filming the work must be made up of
nationals of the States which are partners in the co-production, and post-production shall
normally be carried out in those States.
Article 9 Financial co-productions
- Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 8, and subject to the specific conditions and
limits laid down in the laws and regulations in force in the Parties, co-productions may
be granted co-production status under the provisions of this Convention if they meet the
- include one or more minority contributions which may be financial only, in accordance
with the co-production contract, provided that each national share is neither less than
10% nor more than 25% of the production costs;
- include a majority co-producer who makes an effective technical and artistic
contribution and satisfies the conditions for the cinematographic work to be recognised as
a national work in his country;
- help to promote a European identity; and
- are embodied in co-production contracts which include provisions for the distribution of
- Financial co-productions shall only qualify for co-production status once the competent
authorities have given their approval in each individual case, in particular taking into
account the provisions of Article 10 below.
Article 10 General balance
- A general balance must be maintained in the cinematographic relations of the Parties,
with regard both to the total amount invested and the artistic and technical participation
in co-production cinematographic works.
- A Party which, over a reasonable period, observes a deficit in its co-production
relations with one or more other Parties may, with a view to maintaining its cultural
identity, withhold its approval of a subsequent co-production until balanced
cinematographic relations with that or those Parties have been restored.
Article 11 Entry and residence
In accordance with the laws and regulations and international obligations in force,
each Party shall facilitate entry and residence, as well as the granting of work permits
in its territory, of technical and artistic personnel from other Parties participating in
a co-production. Similarly, each Party shall permit the temporary import and re-export of
equipment necessary to the production and distribution of cinematographic works falling
within the scope of this Convention.
Article 12 Credits of co-producing countries
- Co-producing countries shall be credited in co-produced cinematographic works.
- The names of these countries shall be clearly mentioned in the credit titles, in all
publicity and promotion material and when the cinematographic works are being shown.
Article 13 Export
When a co-produced cinematographic work is exported to a country where imports of
cinematographic works are subject to quotas, and one of the co-producing Parties does not
have the right of free entry for his cinematographic works to the importing country:
- the cinematographic work shall normally be added to the quota of the country which has
the majority participation;
- in the case of a cinematographic work which comprises an equal participation from
different countries, the cinematographic work shall be added to the quota of the country
which has the best opportunities for exporting to the importing country;
- when the provisions of sub-paragraphs a and b above cannot be applied, the
cinematographic work shall be entered in the quota of the Party which provides the
Article 14 Languages
When according co-production status, the competent authority of a Party may demand from
the co-producer established therein a final version of the cinematographic work in one of
the languages of that Party.
Article 15 Festivals
Unless the co-producers decide otherwise, co-produced cinematographic works shall be
shown at international festivals by the Party where the majority co-producer is
established, or, in the case of equal financial participation, by the Party which provides
Chapter III Final provisions
Article 16 Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval
- This Convention shall be open for signature by the member States of the Council of
Europe and the other States party to the European Cultural Convention which may express
their consent to be bound by:
- signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval; or
- signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification,
acceptance or approval.
- Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the
Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Article 17 Entry into force
- The Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the
expiration of a period of three months after the date on which five States, including at
least four member States of the Council of Europe, have expressed their consent to be
bound by the Convention in accordance with the provisions of Article 16.
- In respect of any signatory State which subsequently expresses its consent to be bound
by it, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the
expiration of a period of three months after the date of signature or of the deposit of
the instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
Article 18 Accession of non-member States
- After the entry into force of this Convention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council
of Europe may invite any European State not a member of the Council of Europe as well as
the European Economic Community to accede to this Convention, by a decision taken by the
majority provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute of the Council of Europe, and by the
unanimous vote of the representatives of the Contracting States entitled to sit on the
Committee of Ministers.
- In respect of any acceding State or of the European Economic Community, in the event of
its accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month
following the expiration of a period of three months after the date of deposit of the
instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Article 19 Territorial clause
- Any State may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specify the territory or territories to
which this Convention shall apply.
- Any Party may, at any later date, by a declaration addressed to the Secretary General of
the Council of Europe, extend the application of this Convention to any other territory
specified in the declaration. In respect of such territory, the Convention shall enter
into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three
months after the date of receipt of such declaration by the Secretary General.
- Any declaration made under the two preceding paragraphs may, in respect of any territory
specified in such declaration, be withdrawn by a notification addressed to the Secretary
General. The withdrawal shall become effective on the first day of the month following the
expiration of a period of three months after the date of receipt of such notification by
the Secretary General.
Article 20 Reservations
- Any State may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that Article 2, paragraph 4, does
not apply to its bilateral co-production relations with one or more Parties. Moreover, it
may reserve the right to fix a maximum participation share different from that laid down
in Article 9, paragraph 1.a. No other reservation may be made.
- Any Party which has made a reservation under the preceding paragraph may wholly or
partly withdraw it by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the
Council of Europe. The withdrawal shall take effect on the date of receipt of such
notification by the Secretary General.
Article 21 Denunciation
- Any Party may, at any time, denounce this Convention by means of a notification
addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
- Such denunciation shall become effective on the first day of the month following the
expiration of a period of six months after the date of receipt of the notification by the
Article 22 Notifications
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the
Council, as well as any State and the European Economic Community which may accede to this
Convention or may be invited to do so, of:
- any signature;
- the deposit of any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
- any date of entry into force of this Convention in accordance with Articles 17, 18 and
- any declaration made in accordance with Article 5, paragraph 5;
- any denunciation notified in accordance with Article 21;
- any other act, notification or communication relating to this Convention.
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this
Done at Strasbourg, this 2nd day of October 1992, in English and French, both texts being
equally authentic, in a single copy which shall be deposited in the archives of the
Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified
copies to the States mentioned in Article 16, paragraph 1, as well as to any State and to
the European Economic Community which may be invited to accede to this Convention.
Appendix I Application procedure
In order to benefit from the provisions of this Convention, the co-producers
established in the Parties must, two months before shooting commences, submit an
application for co-production status and attach the documents listed below. These
documents must reach the competent authorities in sufficient number for them to be
communicated to the authorities of the other Parties at the latest one month before
a copy of the contract for the purchase of the copyright or any other proof of purchase
of the copyright for the commercial exploitation of the work;
a detailed script;
a list of the technical and artistic contributions from each of the countries involved;
an estimate and a detailed financing plan;
a production schedule of the cinematographic work;
the co-production contract made between the co-producers. This contract must include
clauses providing for the distribution of receipts or territories between the
The application and other documents shall be presented, if possible, in the language of
the competent authorities to which they are submitted.
The competent national authorities shall send each other the application and attached
documentation once they have been received. The competent authority of the Party with the
minority financial participation shall not give its approval until the opinion of the
Party with the majority financial participation has been received.
1. A cinematographic work qualifies as European in the sense of Article 3, paragraph 3, if
it achieves at least 15 points out of a possible total of 19, according to the schedule of
European elements set out below.
2. Having regard to the demands of the screenplay, the competent authorities may, after
consulting together, and if they consider that the work nonetheless reflects a European
identity, grant co-production status to the work with a number of points less than the
normally required 15 points.
|Technical craft group
|Studio or shooting location
a. First, second and third roles are determined by number of days worked.
b. So far as Article 8 is concerned, "artistic" refers to the creative and
performing groups, "technical" refers to the technical and craft group.