Preferential treatement measures

Where
European Union
When
2012
Key objectives of the measure:

Against the background of the adoption of the Convention and the Council Conclusions on cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in the external relations (2008), a new instrument the "Protocol on Cultural Cooperation" has been developed to promote the principles of the Convention and its implementation in the context of bilateral trade negotiations. This Protocol is the response to the negotiating directives issued by the Council regarding new regional or bilateral agreements having an economic integration dimension. Such agreements foresee the exclusion of audiovisual services from the scope of their trade provisions, while calling for the treatment of audiovisual and other cultural services in specific cooperation frameworks.

The possibility to negotiate such a Protocol with developed and emerging countries is considered on a case by case basis, based on Articles 12, 16 and 20 of the Convention. If and when such an approach is deemed appropriate, the model text is likewise adapted to the circumstances of each specific negotiation, while reflecting the core principles and definitions of the Convention.

Horizontal provisions cover issues that are important for promoting cooperation in all cultural fields taking into account the particular (dual) character of cultural goods and services, such as exchange of best practices, creation of a relevant Dialogue as well as increase of contacts and facilitation of training opportunities. The question of temporary entry for cultural practitioners is also addressed. Sectoral provisions address the particularities of some specific sectors such as audiovisual cooperation and, where relevant, co-productions as well as cooperation in relation to publications, performing arts and protection of heritage sites. The provisions on audiovisual co-productions are based on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS), and foresee the criteria for coproductions conditioning their coverage by the definition of European works. The criteria are adapted for different partner countries.

Main feature of the measure:

The first initiative of implementation of the Convention undertaken by the EC/EU, even before the ratification of the Convention by the EU and its entry into force, has been related to Article 16 on preferential treatment and led to the conclusion of a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation with the Cariforum countries in 2008 in the context of the Economic Partnership Agreement.This Protocol was the object of extensive analysis in the framework of the experts group on Article 16 of the Convention (report by Edouard Bourcieu), which was set up by the Intergovernmental Committee.

Important adaptations to the Cariforum template were undertaken in the context of the Protocol contained in Appendix to the Free Trade Agreement concluded with South Korea100. Such changes aimed in particular to (i) conditioning entry into force of the Protocol only upon ratification by Korea; (ii) setting coproduction criteria which allow qualifying for the respective "broadcasting quotas" and (iii) ensuring a full institutional separation for the Protocol from the Agreement's Trade Committee general dispute settlement mechanisms. This Protocol is based on strict reciprocity and balance on the basis of Article 12 of the Convention - compared to the Protocol with Cariforum countries which is
asymmetrical in nature. The most recent examples of a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation concern the EU trade agreement with Colombia and Peru101, and the EU-Central America Association Agreement. In the course ofboth negotiations, stand-alone Agreements on Cultural Cooperation have been concluded.