In the coming weeks, the European Union will set important parameters to transatlantic trade negotiations. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) stresses that the inclusion of audiovisual services in the negotiations would harm the European audiovisual industry and dent European cultural diversity.
“The audiovisual industry should be explicitly excluded from the European Union’s mandate to negotiate a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States,” said Ingrid Deltenre, Director General of the EBU.
The European audiovisual industry plays a significant part in the European economy and cultural landscape. It employs more than one million people directly. Cultural services are estimated to represent 4.5 per cent of the EU’s GDP and employ eight million people. In 2008, the EU film entertainment market (including TV programming) had an estimated worth of €17 billion.
EBU Members — public service media across Europe — are crucial to the European audiovisual sector. They support EU culture and its diversity in a much broader way: not only through TV, radio and multimedia programs, but also by supporting its film industry. PSM are in fact the biggest investors and promoters of the European film industry.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said: “We need the EU to defend the interests of the European audiovisual sector, and to ensure that the mandate given to the European Commission for negotiating on behalf of the EU takes those interests into account. The ability of the EU and Member States to support and stimulate the audiovisual sector needs to be maintained. This is all the more important as the sector is evolving in line with the technological and economic developments of the digital era.”