Netflix, Amazon may soon be forced to stream more European shows in EU

Netflix hyped The Meyerowitz Stories during last year’s Cannes film fest in France.

Matthias Nareyek / Techhnews

Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services will have to show more European-produced movies and shows on the continent if a new law passes.

The on-demand video streaming services operating in Europe will have to give at least 30 percent of their content space to European productions under the legislation, according to Variety.

“We just need the final vote, but it’s a mere formality,” Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department that regulates communications networks, told Variety over the weekend at the Venice Film Festival. The vote will take place in December.

The European Commission’s original proposal in 2016 stated that streaming services must dedicate 20 percent of their European catalog to local shows and movies. Many European Union countries already have quotas regarding content made in Europe, but there wasn’t a unified EU law on the matter.

With the proposal, EU member states could demand financial contributions from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to produce European movies and shows, either by direct investment or putting money into national funds.

“A fairer environment for all players in audiovisual sector is much needed,” Mariya Gabriel, a member of the European Commission who focuses on Digital Economy and Society, said in a statement in April. “Our cultural sector will have a more prominent place in on-demand catalogues — a significant and positive change for European creators and authors.”

Netflix and Amazon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Correction, Nov. 7 at 2:33 p.m. PT: The vote to approve the proposal is expected to take place in December. 

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