International Trade: Cultural exception: Paris finds some allies

15 May 2013 – La Tribune (Paris)

"Cultural exception: France rallies 13 EU countries," announces French financial daily La Tribune, which reports that French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti has managed to convince 13 of her fellow ministers in other EU states to sign a letter, sent to the European Commission and to the EU's Irish Presidency calling for the film and audiovisual sectors to be excluded from talks on a free-trade agreement with the United States.

The letter was signed by representatives of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. La Tribune continues —

… the minister has pointed out that "the letter from fourteen European States, representing a vast majority of the population of the EU" – with the notable exception of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands – shows the will to retain this "cultural exception", which consists, in the face of "the power of the American audiovisual industry," of excluding all audiovisual services [...] from any commitments to free-trade regulations.

The daily notes that the free-trade agreement with the United States is on the agenda for an up-coming meeting of EU culture ministers to be held on May 17.