Cultural diversity

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L'avenir de la Politique de réglementation européenne dans le domaine de l'audiovisuel - Communication de la Commission au Conseil, au Parlement européen, au Comité économique et social européen et au Comité des régions - COM(2003) 784 final

Commission des Communautés européennes - Bruxelles, le 15 décembre 2003 - 2003/12/15

This communication emphasizes the effect of changing technology on the development of the audiovisual market. It suggests that digital technologies and convergence will increasingly involve new forms of content, new means of providing it, and new business models to finance it. To this end, regulatory policy in the sector “has to safeguard certain public interests, such as cultural diversity, the right to information, the protection of minors and consumer protection now and in the future.” In addition, it stresses that Community policy in the audiovisual sector “is aimed at promoting the development of the audiovisual sector in the Union, notably through the completion of the internal market for this sector, while supporting paramount objectives of general interest, such as cultural diversity.” With particular regards to its trade policy on audiovisual services, the European Community and its Member States “have not made commitments and have taken exemptions to the Most Favoured Nation clause in the last multilateral trade negotiations Round, known as the ‘Uruguay Round.’ By doing so, the EU benefits from room for manoeuvre in the audiovisual sector, which secures the possibility both to maintain existing national and Community measures in this sector and to further develop national and Community policies and instruments, in response to developments in the sector.” Moreover, the EU must “ensure that the Community and its Member States maintain the possibility to preserve and develop their capacity to define and implement their cultural and audio-visual policies for the purpose of preserving their cultural diversity.” It is in this context that the Commission adopted in August 2003 the communication entitled, “Towards an international instrument on cultural diversity,” in which it “supported the opportunity to develop a new international instrument on cultural diversity in the framework of UNESCO.” In so doing, the European Union claims it is “open to trade and co-operation in audiovisual services, the promotion of exchanges in those services being a necessary component of its cultural diversity objective.” It states that such objectives are pursued through “the development of the cultural and audiovisual dimension of existing partnerships between the EU and third countries.” (Available in English, French and Spanish)