For immediate release

European Music Council applauds the decision to exclude the audio-visual and cultural services from the US/EU free trade negotiations

The European Music Council (EMC), regional group of the International Music Council (IMC), is the umbrella organisation for musical life in Europe. It is a platform for National Music Councils and organisations involved in various fields of music from many European countries; the 76 members have their seat in 29 European countries.


The EMC is a member of the platform on the potential of Cultural and Creative Industries which published a statement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) sent to the European Commission and European Parliament ahead of the consultations on the negotiation mandate. This statement was signed and supported by the EMC.


Quotes from the statement:

“[the platform] feels strongly that cultural and audiovisual services should be explicitly excluded from the European Commission’s negotiating mandate, following the ‘negative list’ approach. Such exclusion would be in line with the Lisbon Treaty’s (Article 167, paragraph 4) requirement that the EU take culture into account in its action to foster intercultural respect and promote diversity. It would be in line with previous trade agreements the EU negotiated with third countries.

The EU is also bound by the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, which is now part of European Law. On the other hand, this Convention has not been ratified by the US. The Convention allows the EU and its member states to design cultural policies which contribute to the development of vibrant and diverse cultural and creative sectors in the EU.“


The EMC welcomes that already in May the European Parliament voted in favour of excluding audio-visual and cultural services from the trade negotiations and strongly supports the Council’s decision to follow this approach. The EMC would like to stress the importance of continuing this commitment to the “cultural exception” in the next phase of the negotiations with the U.S. on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. After all, Europe is a cultural project for which the protection and promotion of cultural diversity is essential.


The European Music Council contributes to a better mutual understanding among peoples and their different cultures and to the right for all musical cultures to coexist. It acknowledges the significant role that music and culture play for the political and societal development of a peaceful and integrative Europe. Therefore it advocates on local, national and European level for an appropriate framework for music, music professionals and access to music. The EMC provides exceptional value to its membership by building knowledge, creating networking opportunities, supporting and enhancing the visibility of initiatives that help sustain people’s participation in music and cultural life.

EMC – European Music Council
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Weberstraße 59a
53113 Bonn
Tel +49 228 96699-64
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