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PR(00)22: The EFTA Surveillance Authority declared amended film support scheme in Iceland compatible with the EEA Agreement

16.9.2002

By yesterday’s decision, the EFTA Surveillance Authority closed the formal investigation procedure regarding a film support scheme in Iceland and declared the amended film support scheme to be compatible with the functioning of the EEA Agreement.

By decision of 4 June 1999, the EFTA Surveillance Authority decided to initiate a formal investigation procedure regarding the film support scheme under Act No. 43/1999 on the “Temporary Repayment of Costs of films produced in Iceland”. After having discussed the issues of concern in various meetings between the Competition and State Aid Directorate of the Authority and the Icelandic authorities, the Icelandic Government informed the Authority that the Icelandic Parliament adopted amendments to the existing Act No. 43/1999 taking into account the Authority’s concerns regarding the compatibility of the film support scheme with the EEA Agreement.

The Authority is satisfied that the Icelandic film support scheme under the amended Act No. 43/1999 pursues a truly cultural objective, that it complies with the requirement that the aid should not exceed 50% of total production costs and that it does not contain any provision in breach of the freedom to provide services. In particular, it does not limit the aid to film producers established in Iceland and allows that parts of the film production budget may be spent in other EEA countries without losing support, thereby taking into account the common interests of the Contracting Parties of the EEA Agreement. Therefore, the Authority considers the amended Act No. 43/1999 on the “Temporary Reimbursement in Respect of Film Making in Iceland” to be compatible with Article 61 (3)(c) of the EEA Agreement.

For further information please contact Mr. Amund Utne (tel.: 286.18.50) or Mrs. Alexandra Antoniadis (tel.: 286.18.52).

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