And by out, we mean out there, being watched.
The dust is still settling following the agreement of the negotiation mandate for the free trade agreement between the EU and the US. We were particularly pleased to see audiovisual services excluded from the mandate. What was disappointing was to see this portrayed as a victory for France and French cinema. While France was clearly the most vocal country in defending its ability to support its local cultural creators, the victory was one for European cinema. SAA called, along with other European groupings of screenwriters, directors, producers, distributors, broadcasters, cinemas, for audiovisual to be excluded (see here). SAA represents collective management organisations for screenwriters and directors from across Europe – not just French ones. The same applied to the other organisations. Europe’s patchwork of different systems and regulations from country to country has created a sophisticated support mechanism for the creation of audiovisual works, essential to maintain and enhance diversity and circulation. As technology advances, and the internet continues to change the audiovisual landscape, European countries need to be able to adapt their support and regulation systems in a period of rapid evolution. As we have said before, Europe’s diversity is its strength. We should be looking to implement policies that enable European creators to seize the digital opportunities to get our works and our vision of the world out. Now that the mandate is adopted, let’s focus on doing that.