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PR(02)19: The EFTA Surveillance Authority declared film support schemes in Norway compatible with the EEA agreement


The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided yesterday not to raise objections to support measures to film production companies in Norway.

The Norwegian Government notified a new aid scheme in support of film production companies which will be administered by the Norwegian Film Fund along with other film production related support measures, which were approved by the Authority in February 2002. The new support measures pursue two main objectives: (1) to contribute towards the production companies’ project development, both with respect to a focused search for projects and the creative work on individual projects (“project development aid”) and (2) to develop the companies’ in-house skills as well as to improve the film production companies’ access to financing. The aim of this aid measure is to increase the companies’ cost-efficiency, provide them with a strong financial base, and thus enable the company to improve the earning potential for each film.

In accordance with established practice, the Authority assessed the notified “project development grant” under the EEA State aid provisions, taking into account the EC Commission practice as regards film support measures in the EC Member States. On the other hand, the “business development loans” was assessed in the light of the Authority's Guidelines on State aid to small and medium-sized enterprises, since this kind of aid is not linked to a specific film production but aims at developing small and medium-sized enterprises which are engaged in film production.

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

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