Cultural diversity

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Mobilization against the systematic inclusion of cultural cooperation protocols in free trade agreements negotiated by the EC.

The French Coalition for Cultural Diversity has posted on its website the declaration adopted in Paris on May 5 by the European coalitions for cultural diversity. Below are a few excerpts from this declaration, signed by representatives of the coalitions of Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

“Reiterating the European Union’s long-standing position of categorically excluding audiovisual goods and services from international trade agreements, which applies not only to multilateral trade negotiations in WTO but to bilateral trade negotiations as well;

[…]The European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity expressed their strong opposition to the current European Commission strategy to systematically incorporate into bilateral trade negotiations Cultural Cooperation Protocols which include market access measures for audiovisual co-produced works.

[…]After the 2007 Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement and the current negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement with Korea, the European Commission is now planning to incorporate a Cultural Cooperation Protocol into the Economic Agreement to be negotiated with Canada, whereas neither the EU nor Canada need such an agreement to enter into discussions on cultural cooperation, as they both benefit from a most favored nation exemption for cultural cooperation in WTO.

The European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity urge the Commission to stop systematically incorporating cultural cooperation protocols into international trade agreements and to launch a long-term strategic reflection on the EU International Cultural Cooperation Policy in the framework of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, involving member states and civil society.”

The full text of this declaration is available in English on the Coalition website.

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