A coalition of entertainment and media groups is calling on the European Union to foster creativity and innovation as it revamps its 10-year economic plan.

BRUSSELS -- A coalition of entertainment and media groups is calling on the European Union to foster creativity and innovation as it revamps its 10-year economic plan.

An industry coalition that includes the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has petitioned the European Commission to ensure that proposed changes help cut red tape, fight piracy, boost legal online services and improve technological interoperability. Others involved in the coalition include international body the Motion Picture Assn., the Assn. of Commercial Television in Europe and the European advertising and publishing lobbying groups.

The groups have written to European policymakers regarding the so-called Lisbon Agenda, which aims to make the EU the world's most dynamic economy by 2010.

EC president José Manuel Barroso Feb. 2 called on the EU to focus on more realistic tasks. He suggested new measures to encourage investment, tighten anti-trust laws and boost spending on research and development.

However, the coalition warned that the Commission's planned focus on new technologies could lead to the neglect of the creative sectors. "The European entertainment and media market is forecast to rise around 5.4% in the next few years to reach a value of €351 billion ($456 billion) by 2008," the coalition said in its letter to Brussels. "If Europe is going to rise to the challenge of becoming the world's leading knowledge-based economy by the year 2010, it must create the conditions to allow its creative and media businesses to develop further."

EMI Group chief Eric Nicoli, who is also the music industry's representative to Britain's Creative Industries IP Forum, says Europe's economic focus should be on protecting intellectual property, which generates 5.3% of Europe's gross domestic product.

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