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Highlights - 11/06/2013
Open letter from European Cinemas on EU-USA trade negotiations
On 14 June the Council of Ministers will decide on the European Commission’s negotiation mandate concerning a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
We strongly call upon Ministers and Heads of State to specifically exclude audiovisual services from the negotiation mandate. It is essential to not accept Trade Commissioner De Gucht’s approach of identifying certain “red lines” that are to guide the Commission in the negotiation process with a view to safeguard European culture. In reality, this approach would include culture and cinema in the negotiation process and be to their detriment.
Our right to decide how we wish to celebrate European culture, cinema and creativity cannot become a negotiating token in the free trade talks. Otherwise we put at severe risk Europe’s much-treasured cultural diversity and our long-term creative competitiveness. This is especially so with regard to the challenge of promoting European cinema on digital platforms, a fast-evolving domain that is already today dominated by major US companies. The European Commission’s recent statements on this specific issue have been much too vague and misleading, and underline the clear request of Europe’s cultural and creative industries to exclude culture and audiovisual services from the Commission’s negotiation mandate.
In our view there is no alternative: European leaders have to stand firm and defend the Cultural Exception!
President, Union Internationale des Cinémas/ International Union of Cinemas
Dr. Detlef Rossmann
President, Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d’Art et d’Essai
Nico Simon, President Europa Cinemas