In a press release dated June 27, 2012, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity states that it has reviewed the European Parliament resolution on European Union trade negotiations with Japan, which was adopted at a plenary session on June 13, 2012. The European Parliament asks the Council “not to authorize the opening of trade negotiations until Parliament has stated its position on the proposed negotiating mandate, on the basis of a report by the committee responsible.”
The French Coalition believes that this decision is a reminder that the crucial issues underlying trade negotiations must not give way to haste. The Coalition therefore asks European deputies to use this additional period of time to take a close look at the sectors included in these negotiations and urges the Council to explicitly exclude culture and the audiovisual sector from negotiations over the agreement between the EU and Japan.
According to the French Coalition, “as we have already seen with the cultural cooperation protocol annexed to the EU-Korea free trade agreement and with the agreement with Canada (currently underway), it is essential to exclude culture and the audiovisual sector from trade discussions to avoid any risk of liberalization or any challenge to the principles of cultural diversity.”
With the European Union negotiating a growing number of bilateral trade agreements, the French Coalition is calling on European deputies to show greater vigilance in defining the mandate of the European Commission in its negotiations with Japan and in all future negotiations, particularly with the United States.
Lastly, the French Coalition expresses its disappointment that the European Commission has not yet honored its commitment made before the European Parliament in April and September 2011 to create a European cultural strategy to defend and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.
To consult the press release in question, please visit the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
To read the European Parliament resolution on EU trade negotiations with Japan, please consult the European Parliament website.