Should British TV Shows Still Be Considered ‘European’ on Streaming Platforms?

The ongoing debate within the European Union (EU) regarding the classification of British TV shows on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ not only raises questions about content but also has implications for British actors and their careers. This discussion centres on whether British TV shows should retain their “European” status on these platforms or not. We’ll explore this debate and its potential effects on British actors.

The 30% Quota

To begin, let’s remember that streaming platforms operating in Europe are required to have at least 30% of their content originating from European sources. This rule encompasses content from EU member states and the UK. However, since Brexit, France has been advocating for the exclusion of British productions from this calculation, arguing that the UK should no longer be considered part of the European content pool.

Impact on British Actors

The debate over the classification of British TV shows has a direct bearing on British actors. British performers have long had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of European co-productions and projects. These collaborations have enriched their careers, allowing them to work with diverse international talent and gain exposure to broader audiences.

France’s Perspective

France’s argument for reclassifying British shows is primarily driven by the desire to promote content from EU member states. While this push aims to bolster European cultural unity, it could potentially limit opportunities for British actors to participate in EU-funded projects and collaborate with European partners. Fewer British shows being considered “European” may result in reduced involvement of British actors in EU productions.

Germany’s Stance

Germany, on the other hand, opposes France’s proposal. German MEP Sabine Verheyen emphasizes the importance of continuing collaboration with the UK in various fields, including the arts and entertainment. This stance aligns with the interests of British actors, as it encourages ongoing partnerships and opportunities in European projects.


British actors have made significant contributions to European talent pools. They have played key roles in various European productions, helping to create a diverse and vibrant cultural tapestry within the EU. The potential exclusion of British shows from the European category may disrupt this fruitful exchange of talent and creative ideas.

The EU’s debate about whether British TV shows should retain their “European” status on streaming platforms is not just a matter of content; it directly affects British actors and their careers. While France advocates for promoting EU content, Germany argues for continued collaboration with the UK. The decision made when the EU updates its rules next year will significantly impact British actors’ opportunities to participate in European projects and collaborate with their European counterparts. The outcome of this debate has the potential to shape the future of British actors’ involvement in the European entertainment industry.

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