Preferential treatment measures for a more balanced flow of cultural products (EU)
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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).