The European Commission (EC) on Thursday launched a new film strategy, seeking to address the challenges by enhancing cultural diversity and competitiveness in digital era, the official statement said. The strategy, namely Communication on European film in the digital era, suggests that public funding should focus more on expanding the audience for European films and increasing support for development, promotion and international distribution. European films represent nearly two thirds of releases in the European Union but account for only one third of ticket sales, according to the statement. While the number of films produced in Europe increased from around 1,100 in 2008 to 1,300 in 2012, most European films are shown only in the country where they were made and are rarely distributed across borders. "Improving the international distribution of European films is crucial, not just economically but also in terms of diversity," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Multilingualism. The strategy will encourage a policy debate to encourage an exchange of ideas between the EC and the film funds, other policy makers and film professionals in the member states.