Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

The ratification of the UNESCO Convention: a major stake for the Member States of European Union - 2006/09/18

In an article: Diversité culturelle: solos ou concert pour les pays européens ? published by Cineuropa , Chantal Gras asserts that the legal instruments a doption process for the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the diversity of cultural expressions by the States follows its course. In the case of Belgium , « the French Community of Belgium published in August its parliamentary agreement decree to the Belgian Monitor but the other levels of authority implied (Regions) must still adopt it before the federal level may adopt it officially ». She further quotes Henri Benkoski, a Belgian Government expert, who underlines that « the fact that 2 important border countries of USA (which continue its undermining steps through bilateral agreements) should have ratified it as promptly ( Canada and Mexico , NDLR) holds a highly symbolic value».

She also brings our attention that a debate on strategy is under way within the European Union Member States: either let the Member States officially deposit at UNESCO their instruments of ratification the ones after the others in solo, or officially present tohether the 25 ratifications: « For the partisans of the "25 together", it means primarily showing a certain European cohesion and also reaching a truly significant threshold (.) from a political viewpoint with about 80 ratifications. If one should wait to reach all the signatures of the 25 Europeans, the defenders of the "solos" run the risk not to be within the 30 first ones, and therefore not to figure among the first General Assembly, which would be just as symbolically harmful for the exemplary image of a Europe that fought hard for this cultural diversity! To them, the present ratification by twenty or so countries is already positive because what prevails is that it be implemented as soon as possible». She concludes that a strategy will be adopted in this regard during the next European Ministers' Council responsible for the Audiovisual at the end of November.

Cineuropa , le site de référence du cinéma européen