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Transatlantic partnership/cultural exception

Published on June 17, 2013
Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade

Paris, June 17, 2013

The Minister of Foreign Trade, Mme Nicole Bricq, took part in the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) in Luxembourg on 14 June 2013. At the end of the meeting, France secured the exclusion of audiovisual services from the negotiation mandate for the partnership agreement between the United States and the European Union.

During the meeting, the member states were due to decide on a draft negotiation mandate with a view to a free trade agreement between Europe and the United States. President François Hollande indicated very early on that France was in favour of the agreement provided that the audiovisual sector was excluded from the negotiation mandate. The cultural exception principle is in fact a constituent part of the European project and protects our artistic creation’s diversity and vitality.

Following 12 hours of negotiation, the Council managed to reach a consensus which meets the conditions set by France, namely the exclusion of audiovisual services. The Commission now has a firm, clear mandate for embarking on negotiations with the United States.

For Mme Nicole Bricq, “by excluding audiovisual services from the negotiation mandate, Europe has shown it listens to creative individuals, artists and, more broadly, the peoples of Europe, who, through the voice of the Parliament, have broadly given their support to the cultural exception. As for France, by sticking firmly to her position, she has shown she will always stand alongside those who create, innovate and forge the European identity.

“The negotiation that is beginning looks set to be lengthy, because it concerns an agreement that will give structure to half of world trade and define the reference standards for international trade. Throughout this process, France will ensure the interests of her companies are taken into account and respected.”./.

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