A press release from the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity notes that members of the European Parliament adopted two resolutions on May 13: “Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries” and “Cultural Dimensions of EU External Actions.” Both texts note the importance of the UNESCO Convention and the commitments given in ratifying the Convention, particularly with regard to the specific status of cultural goods and services in trade negotiations.
In “Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries” the European Parliament acknowledges the dual economic and cultural nature of cultural industries, which sets them apart from other types of industry, and notes that this specificity is recognized and promoted by the European Union on the international stage, with the Parliament having “adopted a policy of maintenance of its cultural cooperation in the WTO and ratified the UNESCO Convention.” The Parliament further stresses:
“the importance of the above-mentioned UNESCO Convention as an essential instrument to guarantee that the ‘cultural exception’ in international trade in goods and services of a cultural and creative nature is maintained within the international framework of the WTO.”
In “Cultural Dimensions of EU External Actions” the European Parliament once again refers to the Convention:
“40. Calls on the EEAS [European External Action Service] to encourage third countries to develop policies on culture and systematically to call on third countries to ratify and implement the UNESCO Convention.
41. Reminds the Member States of the importance of the commitments they have given in ratifying the UNESCO Convention, since the protection of cultural diversity in the world requires an informed and balanced policy in the digital sphere.
42. Calls on the Commission to take proper account of the dual nature of cultural goods and services when negotiating bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and concluding cultural protocols and to grant preferential treatment to developing countries, in accordance with Article 16 of the UNESCO Convention.”
To read both texts in full, you may download them from the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.