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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
Sexy clip lifts EU YouTube debut
By Stephen Mulvey
EU reporter, BBC News

Scene from EU lovemaking video

When the EU opened its own channel on YouTube, no-one could have predicted it would get upwards of 20,000 hits a day.

But while videos on the CAP and road safety are barely getting touched, a clip of sex scenes from European cinema has become a runaway success.

Titled Film Lovers Will Love This!, it shows men and women having sex in different ways and places, and ends with the words, "Let's come together".

Supporters say it celebrates European cinema, but others term it "soft porn".

British Conservative MEP Chris Heaton-Harris told BBC News the European Commission was wasting taxpayers' money.

"They do have an image problem but I think cobbling together 44 seconds of soft porn on the internet is not a brilliant way of solving it," he added.


Godfrey Bloom, a UK Independence Party MEP, described the video as tawdry and tacky, adding: "It is like watching an elderly relative trying to be cool, very embarrassing."

A Polish MEP from the conservative League of Polish Families has accused the commission of using "immoral methods" to promote itself.

We believe in freedom of expression and artistic creativity
Martin Selmayr, spokesman for Media Commissioner Viviane Reding
European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr said there had been a flood of complaints from Poland about an intimate scene between two men - but refused to accept there was anything controversial about the film.

Fuming at what he called "quasi-religious bashing of the very important cultural diversity we have in the European Union", he said the lovemaking clips were excerpts from award-winning films, and that the commission was proud of the EU's rich cinematic heritage.

"The European Union is not a bible belt, we believe in freedom of expression and artistic creativity," he added.

The sex-scene video is one of four made for screening in European cinemas to advertise an EU fund that helps distributes successful films made in one EU state to others.

'Slap and tickle'

All four have been available on the European Commission's website and YouTube since February, and until Friday one of the other films, with much less sex in it, was the most popular.

It is very important for the Commission to use all the means at its disposal when it comes to communicating with European citizens
Commission Vice-President Margot Wallstrom
It is only since the launch of the EU's own YouTube channel, EUtube, that the Let's Come Together video has outshone the others.

Labour MEP Gary Titley said: "European films are about more than a quick slap and a tickle. It is bonkers that this clip gets so much attention."

At the launch of the channel on Friday, Commission Vice-President Margot Wallstrom said: "It is very important for the Commission to use all the means at its disposal when it comes to communicating with European citizens."

None of the e-mailers to the EUtube site has objected about sexual content.

The main complaint has been that few of the films are yet available in languages other than English, but the orgasmic cries of Film Lovers Will Love This! need no translation.

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