France’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE) has issued a document entitled “Pour une nouvelle stratégie culturelle extérieure de l’Union européenne” (For a New European Union External Cultural Strategy). According to the MAEE website, “in an age of globalization, digital developments, and the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, France believes the time has come to investigate the treatment reserved for the cultural sector by economic and trade agreements negotiated by the European Union (E.U.), both with third-party countries and as part of WTO multilateral trade agreements.”
MAEE believes “the time is ripe to develop a negotiation strategy that is at once all-encompassing and different, a strategy that will ensure the cultural sector’s autonomy and, more broadly, foster reflection on setting out and ensuring consistency between various negotiations with instruments of cultural cooperation in place with third-party countries, since culture is key to developing the E.U.’s political influence.”
A summary of the document is available in English and French on the MAEE website. The French Coalition for Cultural Diversity was part of the work group that drafted the document.