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European Parliament votes in favour of the cultural exception


As reported earlier here at US and EU trade representatives have started preparations for negotiating a new trade agreement between the two parties. This has caused strong concerns from the European Audiovisual sector, as there was a risk of loosing the status of cultural exception. Now the European Parliament has voted on a resolution on this concern.

The European Parliament

The negotiations on free trade between the USA and Europe are scheduled to start in June. On May 23 the European Parliament voted on a resolution whether the European Audiovisual Industry would be exempted from these negotiations. The parliament voted in favour of formally asking European Commissioner Karel De Gucht to keep up the status of cultural exception and not to include the audiovisual sector in the negotiations.

The European Parliament's position is influential, as the parliament must approve the new US-EU free trade agreement. The final decision concerning the mandate to negotiate with US will be on the agenda of the European Council on June 14. Following this mandate, the US and EU negotiations can start.

A strong concern for keeping the cultural exception status has also caused over 5000 European film professionals to react, by signing a petition addressed to members of the European Parliament, asking them to vote for the cultural exception. The signatures were presented to EU Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou this week.

Here you can read more about the US-EU negotiations and the filmmakers’ petition. 

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