This article discusses the issue of state aid to the cinema, which constitutes a form of incentive for an industry and of promotion for cultural diversity. Comparing the influence exerted by the concept of cultural diversity on the policy lines adopted by the European Commission in international negotiations about audiovisual media and in the practice of state aid to cinema productions, it analyses the impact on state aid of Article 167(4) of the European Union Treaty and of the UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The author uses the results of a research project studying Commission practice in the field of state aid to cinema productions and of a study of the application of the UN Convention commissioned by the European Parliament. She concludes her analysis with a series of observations about the influence of a hypothetical approach on the part of DG Competition to the policies of member states, including Italy.
Keywords: State aid, Cinema, European Commission, Cultural diversity, 2005 UNESCO Convention, Economic incentives