European filmmakers Stijn Coninx, Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Jaco Van Dormael, Jochen Greve, Michel Hazanavicius, Michael Roskam and Jan Theys met with European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, on Monday 6th May in Brussels.
The Commissioner declared that he did not want to jeopardise European cultural policies and tried to explain the benefits of a trade negociation between the European Union and the United States. By doing so, he only increased filmmakers’ concerns.
European filmmakers do not want Europe to give up its sovereignty on audiovisual regulation and now subject any change to European cultural policies for the digital environment to the approval of the United States. This is the reason why, on behalf of the cultural exception, they call for the exclusion of audiovisual services - be they traditional, digital or online - from the negociation. Maintaining existing policies is not enough. This is expressed by the petition which already reached 4500 signatures.
European filmmakers are more mobilised than ever to defend the exclusion of audiovisual services from this trade negociation. They call on Member States to refuse the current drafting of the mandate and have invited Karel De Gucht to continue the dialogue on 20 May at a conference organised during the Cannes Film Festival.