Launch of UNESCO Global Report “Re|Shaping Cultural Policies” at European Parliament

UNESCO's first Global Report on the implementation and impact of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was launched at the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education in Brussels on 21st June, 2016.

Re|Shaping Cultural Policies was presented to the Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, Silvia Costa, Members of the European Parliament and other EU officials by UNESCO's Assistant Director General for Culture, Francesco Bandarin, and the Secretary of the 2005 Convention, Danielle Cliche.

The Global Report, written with contributions from international experts, analyzes global trends and challenges in four main areas of intervention covered by the Convention:  sustainable systems of governance for culture; trade and flows of cultural goods and services, as well as mobility of artists and cultural professionals; culture in sustainable development frameworks; and human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Report also looks at contemporary challenges of artistic freedom. It calls for better and continued support for artists where freedom of expression is at stake, and for improved representation of women in creative industries.

Public service media and digital technologies are recognized in the Report as important drivers of the diversity of cultural expressions. Though its Europe 2020 Strategy, EU has been a frontrunner in promoting a digital single market to foster innovation, economic growth and progress. To address the massive changes in the cultural landscape, new draft operational guidelines on digital issues will also be presented and discussed by the Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention at its next session (12-15 December 2016).

To date, 143 countries and the European Union have ratified the 2005 Convention.

New research released in the Report shows that the 2005 Convention has had a strong impact on the trade policy of the EU, helping to achieve the goal of a more balanced flow of cultural goods and services around the world. In particular, the EU has concluded seven trade agreements (with Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Canada, Republic of Korea, CARIFORUM States, Central America) since 2005, with explicit references to the 2005 Convention. Among them, three - with CARIFORUM States (2008), the Republic of Korea (2010), and several States of Central America (2012) - have included Protocols for Cultural Cooperation, which serve to recognize the distinctive nature of cultural goods and services, and provide for the attribution of Preferential Treatment clauses for the developing world.

The launch of the Report in Brussels follows the EU's recent announcement of its new Strategy for international cultural relations, which highlights the importance of the 2005 Convention in driving economic and social progress in the developing world: “As a Party to the 2005 Convention, the EU is committed to promoting the diversity of cultural expressions as part of its international cultural relations”, it is stated.

“Thanks to EU funding over the past few years, we have supported a dozen developing countries in their efforts to design and implement new policies for the cultural and creative sectors”, says Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO's Assistant Director General for Culture.  “Parliamentarians have a crucial role to play to uphold and promote the objectives of the Convention, in particular to promote systems of governance of culture that are based on fundamental freedoms. With their support, and in close cooperation with civil society actors, we can deepen policy dialogues around the role of culture to advance the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development”, he added.

The Global Report was produced with the financial support of the Swedish Government, through the Swedish Development Agency for International Cooperation (Sida), within the framework of the project “Enhancing Fundamental Freedoms through the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions’’.

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