EU law could bring more European content to Netflix and Amazon

Into your French art house cinema or Scandinavian crime dramas? A new EU law could see them make more of an appearance on your favourite streaming services.

The European Parliament, Council and Commission have drawn up a preliminary agreement that would require the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to serve at least 30 percent content that originates from European creative teams. 

It is thought the agreement could be passed into legislation for member states as soon as June of this year.

In addition, the proposal would ask for tighter controls surrounding the broadcast of hate speech and content that could incite terrorist activity on video sharing platforms like YouTube and Facebook, as well as requiring platform holders to make better efforts to protect minors from inappropriate content.

'Positive change for European creators'

"A fairer environment for all players in audiovisual sector is much needed," said Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel in a statement. 

"Moreover, our cultural sector will have a more prominent place in on-demand catalogues – a significant and positive change for European creators and authors."

While the agreement still requires formal approval, the EU has had success in other areas of streaming enforcement. It recently awarded consumers the right to access their home territory paid-for streaming services wherever they were travelling across the European Union, regardless of the local library on offer.

Where Britain will sit in any such agreements post-Brexit remains to be seen. But it's interesting to see the EU throwing its weight around regarding what platform holders can and can't do, and whose interests they really serve.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.