On May 21, 2012, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity issued a press release expressing alarm about the discussions recently held between the European Union (EU) and the United States with a view to concluding a free trade agreement.
The French Coalition fears that the United States will use these negotiations as an opportunity to deregulate audiovisual and cultural services and challenge the policies supporting cultural diversity in Europe.
In concluding his May 11 speech to the American-German Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, European Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht affirmed the need for this transatlantic agreement to be ambitious and include all major economic sectors, which makes the French Coalition all the more concerned.
According to the Coalition, “any renunciation by the European Union to obtain the exclusion of audiovisual and cultural services, whether digital or not, would for Europe be politically inconsistent, culturally disastrous, and industrially hazardous.”
The French Coalition “therefore calls on the President of the [French] Republic, François Hollande, and his government to exercise the utmost vigilance with regard to these transatlantic discussions, which could undermine 20 years of [France’s] struggle for cultural diversity.”
To read the Coalition’s press release, visit the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.