European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity recently presented two documents as part of European Commission consultations on the future of trade policy and on the green paper entitled "Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries."
Both documents are available on the Coalition for Cultural Diversity website.
In a document entitled Contribution to the Public Consultation on a Future Trade Policy, the European Coalitions stated that:
"The CEDC has been particularly active in the last three years on bilateral trade negotiations as the European Commission started to systematically introduce Cultural Cooperation Protocols (CCPs) in bilateral trade negotiations. It has raised awareness among the cultural sector about the dangers for cultural diversity of the systematic attachment of CCPs based on the same template to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In fact, CCPs, in particular the one negotiated with Korea, far from implementing the UNESCO Convention, questioned the EU commitment of non-liberalization of the audiovisual services, as well as the specific nature of cultural products and services.
CEDC called on the Commission (both DG TRADE and DG EAC) to develop a specific strategy for CCPs in order to ensure the autonomy of the cultural negotiation and the implementation of an ambitious and coherent European cultural policy. Its main recommendations were integrated into the French proposals for a new EU external cultural strategy elaborated by the French government and a working group of professionals, among them the French Coalition, under the auspices of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry in 2009.
It seems that CEDC's claims have been heard as it appears that the commercial agreements with Central America and the Andean Community concluded in 2010, have taken into account the guidelines provided by the French proposal, in particular the following ones:
- Clearly separate the CCPs from the commercial agreements.
- Deny access to the broadcasting quotas of European audiovisual works.
- Link the entry into force of the CCPs to the ratification of the UNESCO Convention by the partner countries.
If the European Commission is to consider, in the light of the new Lisbon Treaty, a coherent commercial policy addressing the cultural objectives of the European Union, CEDC firmly believes that the recent change of strategy should be imperatively confirmed by an official Commission communication on this new strategy in order to provide guarantees to the sector that the Korean case will not be repeated. Assurance was given to CEDC during a meeting with representatives of European commissioners De Gucht and Vassiliou in May 2010 that such a document would be soon released. However, nothing has happened so far. Consequently, CEDC calls on the Commission to publish its new strategy as soon as possible and to open a specific civil society public consultation process on this issue."