What
EU trade and political agreements with third countries
Where
European Union
When
2017
Who
European Commission
EU Member States
Trade partner countries
Find out more about this innovative practice

The ratification in 2006 by the European Union of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions has given impetus to the full integration of culture in EU’s external relations, leading the EU to look for the best ways to implement the Convention with its partners, including within enlarged political dialogues and trade negotiations.

Three EU trade agreements – with CARIFORUM (the 15 Caribbean Community states and the Dominican Republic), with Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) and with the Republic of Korea – include a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation with explicit reference to the Convention. These Protocols have a broadly similar aim: the granting of preferential treatment to all parties, including regarding the mobility of cultural professionals and the negotiation of coproduction agreements. For instance, the EU-Korea Protocol on Cultural Cooperation sets a framework within which the two parties shall cooperate to facilitate exchanges of cultural activities, goods and services, including in the audiovisual sector, and to improve the conditions governing such exchanges.

Several other trade and economic partnerships and political agreements concluded by the EU include references to the Convention and/or its main goals with the aim of safeguarding the diversity of cultural expressions, notably in the audiovisual field. Four of these new agreements were signed or entered into force between 2012 and 2016: with the SADC EPA states (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), with Colombia and Peru, with Georgia and with Moldova. There are also explicit references to the Convention in the EU-China Declaration on Cultural Cooperation, the Vietnam Framework Agreement, the Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and the Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Through the inclusion of Protocols on Cultural Cooperation in trade agreements and the promotion of the objectives and principles of the Convention in other international and regional forums, treaties and agreements, the EU supports equitable access, openness and balance in the flow of cultural goods and services and facilitates the mobility of cultural professionals (Goal 3 of the Convention). Therefore, the EU also contributes to implement SDG 10, by implementing the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in trade agreements related to culture (Target 10.a).

Key objectives of the measure:
The ratification by the European Union of the 2005 UNESCO convention has given impetus to culture in EU external relations, leading the EU to look for the best way to implement the Convention with its partners, including in political dialogues and trade negotiations. An excellent paper recently prepared for UNESCO by Véronique Guèvremont and Ivana Otasevic comprehensively describes the main aims and scope of recent EU trade agreements in relation to culture (DCE/16/10.IGC/INF.3, available here: http://en.unesco.org/creativity/sites/creativity/files/sessions/10igc_inf3_etude_articles_16_et_21_en.pdf). Three EU trade agreements – with CARIFORUM (the 15 Caribbean Community states and the Dominican Republic), with Central America, and with the Republic of Korea – include a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation, with explicit reference to the Convention. The Protocols on Cultural Cooperation have broadly similar aims, and each allows the granting of preferential treatment to all Parties – including on the mobility of artists, the negotiation of co-production agreements and - in the case of Korea and CARIFORUM - preferential trade access for audiovisual works. Several more free trade, economic partnership and political agreements concluded by the EU include references to the Convention and/or clauses which aim to safeguard the diversity of cultural expressions, including in the audio-visual field. The UNESCO paper describes 10 such EU agreements, of which four were signed or entered into force during the period covered by this report: with the SADC EPA states (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), with Colombia and Peru, with Georgia and with Moldova.  There are also explicit references to the Convention in the EU-China Declaration on Cultural Cooperation, Vietnam Framework Agreement, the Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and the Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, all adopted between 2012 and 2016.
Scope of the measure:
International
Nature of the measure:
financial, institutional
Main feature of the measure:
The EU-Korea Protocol on Cultural Cooperation: sets a framework within which the two Parties shall cooperate to facilitate exchange in cultural activities, goods and services, including in the audio-visual sector, and to improve the conditions governing such exchanges. There have been regular meetings of the Cultural Cooperation Committee with Korea: in 2013 in Brussels, in 2014 in Seoul and in 2016 in Brussels. EU-CARIFORUM Cultural Cooperation Protocol: There has been limited promotion and use of the Protocol during the reporting period. EU-Central America Cultural Cooperation Protocol: The Protocol will enter into force after all ratifications of the EU-Central America Association Agreement are completed on both sides. For more details on the features of these three Protocols and the provisions of many of the other EU agreements with third countries in relation to culture and the Convention, please see the UNESCO paper referred to previously.
Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
Through the Protocols on Cultural Cooperation the EU implements the 2005 Convention and is able to build specific cooperation frameworks for the audiovisual sector and other cultural services with third countries.
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:
No direct financing or specific funding programmes in period 2013-16 but indirect costs incurred (staff time, travel).
SDGs
Goals of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain
Multi-domain
Cultural Value Chain
Creation
Production
Distribution
Participation