Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Audiovisual services excluded from the bargaining mandate for the E.U.–U.S. free trade agreement

In a press release dated June 17, 2013, the European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity hailed the European states’ decision on Friday, June 14 to refuse the inclusion of audiovisual services in the bargaining mandate for the free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States.

The European Coalitions expressed its appreciation to governments, heads of state, national parliaments, and the European parliament for working doggedly to obtain this victory for the cultural exception. They also thanked all media personalities, creators, and artists who came together across the continent to "say no" to a Europe that would abandon cultural support and allow commercial interests to take over its identity.

Annoyed by remarks made by Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade who expressed a willingness to undertake discussions on audiovisual services if the Americans so wished, the European Coalitions urged that he "respect the letter of the mandate conferred on him by the [European] states, who have full democratic legitimacy, which expressly excludes audiovisual services." They also reminded Mr. De Gucht that "should he wish to take part in talks, he must reappear before the European Council of Ministers to seek their unanimous accord, which was effectively refused on June 14." 

The European Coalitions further called on the European Commission "not to overturn this democratic decision, and to accept all its consequences. This means setting aside its suspicions and constant questioning of cultural policies adopted by European Union member states."