In reply to a question from Euro-deputy Kader Arif, relaying the concerns of the cultural sector regarding the integration of cultural and audiovisual services in the EU / Canada trade agreement, Commissioner Karel de Gucht, in charge of Trade, disclaims there is any risk for the diversity of cultural expressions.
According to him “ these concerns are based on inaccurate, and therefore misleading, assumptions”.
He stresses the European Commission’s commitment for “the implementation of its principles [of the UNESCO’s 2005 Convention] and provisions ,with the objective of fostering the diversity of cultural expression both within the EU and abroad”.
He makes it clear that “in the context of the on-going negotiation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
- the Commission’s sole question to Canada relating to cultural industries thus far has been to clarify the scope of their broad cultural reservation, so that the Commission has a clear understanding as to which services would be covered.”
- “subsidies are explicitly excluded from the scope of the Commission’s commitments relating to services and investment”.
- “the EU has not requested Canada to make a commitment on publishing services.” services”.
As to the question of cultural cooperation protocols annexed to trade agreements, the Commissioner pointed out that “this document will be presented and discussed with the European Parliament in the very near future” and that “it will be discussed with civil society”.
Read the question and answer on the site of the European Parliament
the letter sent to M. Barroso
the answer received from M. Barroso’s cabinet