News Detail

01.09.2014

FIA Attends Seminar on TTIP and Culture in Copenhagen

This seminar, organised by the Nordic Artists’ Councils, was a useful opportunity for organisations from the cultural sector to reflect on the state of play and possible future implications for the sector of the ongoing TTIP negotiations.

There has been a lack of clarity around the precise scope of what is included in the TTIP as regards the cultural sector (which is part of a greater overall problem of lack of transparency surrounding the TTIP negotiations). The European Parliament resolution of 23 May 2013 on EU trade and investment negotiations with the United States of America  called for the full exclusion of cultural and audiovisual services, with a clear recommendation in this direction in its paragraph 11:  “ Considers it essential for the EU and its Member States to maintain the possibility of preserving and developing their cultural and audiovisual policies, and to do so in the context of their existing laws, standards and agreements; calls, therefore, for the exclusion of cultural and audiovisual services, including those provided online, to be clearly stated in the negotiating mandate;”. However, it is in fact only audiovisual services that have been explicitly excluded from the mandate, with other cultural services, including the performing arts for example, falling within its scope, according to the GATS framework. While much public debate tends to equate the exclusion of audiovisual services from the negotiating mandate with a broad “cultural exception”, this is not an accurate representation.

Discussion at the seminar focused on a number of key challenges for the cultural sector in the context of the TTIP negotiations. It touched upon themes including the need for ensuring a comprehensive and future-proof exclusion of AV services, despite the resistance of strong digital players; the possible impact on copyright regimes of the TTIP; the need for activism and vigilance in defence of cultural diversity and national cultural policy and subsidy schemes; the possible dangers of the ISDS mechanism for the sector; and the need for alliance-building generally.

You can download the programme of the seminar below. A detailed meeting report is available on request from the FIA Secretariat. 

TTIP and Culture Conference Programme