cep on Tue, 4 Feb 2003 16:54:01 +0100 (CET)

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Re: [Nettime-nl] ????? Cultuur onderdeel vrijhandelsakkoorden??????

At 16:28 4-2-2003 +0100, Károly Tóth wrote:

>Boris Dittrich, D66 woordvoerder cultuur, vindt de keuze van de
>regering om de sectoren cultuur en audiovisueel deel te laten uitmaken van
>de GATS vrijhandelsaccoorden onbezonnen.

Dacht dat zulks al was erkend als 'the cultural exception" binnen de GAtt 
akkoorden :

         " After heated debates, these concerns were addressed in the 
Uruguay Round’s concluding negotiations, which did not insist on applying 
all the GATT rules to film and audiovisual goods and services. Since then, 
this tacit understanding has been known as the "cultural exception". As a 
doctrine, (it does not have any legal status, nor does it exist as such in 
any agreement or treaty), the ‘cultural exception’ is based on the 
principle that culture is not like any other merchandise because it goes 
beyond the commercial: cultural goods and services convey ideas, values and 
ways of life which reflect a the plural identities of a country and the 
creative diversity of its citizens.

         " A few years later, in 1999, and following the recommendations of 
the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development held 
in Stockholm in 1998, UNESCO brought together a group of experts to discuss 
the issue Culture: A Form Of Merchandise Like No Other? The conclusions of 
this symposium were inspired in the shared understanding that "culture was 
not only a matter for the economy or an economic concept".

en :
         17. How is the "Cultural exception" applied?
         " The notion of cultural exception was "applied" during the GATS 
negotiations: European Member States did not offer to liberalize services 
in certain cultural sub-sectors and included a series of MFN exceptions to 
the agreement, five of them in the audiovisual field.

         " Due to the "sensitive" nature and special characteristics of 
cultural industries, the European Union refused to make an offer of 
liberalization on audiovisual services (films, radio, television…), or on 
services related to libraries, archives or museums. While market access and 
national treatment rules do not affect these services, they apply to other 
sectors for which liberalization commitments were adopted, such as 
publishing, shows and architecture services. Most of WTO member states 
followed this approach; only 14 countries out of the 45 to 50 negotiating 
nations made specific commitments in this sector. Exceptions to MFN rule, 
as explained above, still allow the European Union to develop public 
policies to support the audiovisual sector, such as broadcasting (TV and 
radio) quotas, financial aid (for production and distribution programmes 
like MEDIA), regional co-production agreements (like Eurimages) and the 
Directive "Television without frontiers".

         The doctrine of "cultural exception" was also reflected in the 
decision to maintain Article IV of Part II of the GATT agreement. That 
article relating to Cinematograph Films permits screen quotas to require 
the exhibition of domestically made films for a specified minimum 
proportion of total screen time. The GATT also maintains a general 
exception for measures designed "to protect national treasures of artistic, 
historic or archaeological value" (Article XX.f). All other cultural goods 
– except for developed films and home-recorded videos –are subject to the 
GATT disciplines.  "

Symposium of experts on Culture, the Market and Globalization
Organized in collaboration with the French National Commission for UNESCO 
with the support of the Canadian and French Governments Paris, 14 - 15 June 
1999 -  Conclusions 

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