Cultural diversity and trade negotiations

 


The French Coalition for cultural diversity objects to audiovisual services being used as a trade-off in commercial negotiations.

The French coalition for cultural diversity expressed its concerns with regards to the advancing negotiations between the European Union and Korea on a free trade agreement and its attached cultural cooperation protocol. Eager to finalize this commercial agreement at the earliest, DG Trade basically has offered the Koreans a protocol similar to the one concluded with the Caribbean countries, even though the Korean audiovisual industry is far from being one of a developing country.  Yet, ignoring the repeated appeals of professionals, no impact study has been conducted on the subject. This allows culture and audiovisual to become bargaining chips in a global trade negotiation, and this is unacceptable.

Culture enjoys a specific statute now recognised by UNESCO and it cannot be allowed that it is dealt with within the frame of general trade agreements. It is essential that discussions regarding the cultural cooperation protocol be totally disconnected from general trade negotiations and be only offered to countries which have ratified the Convention.

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