MEP Doris Pack calls on all cultural industry representatives to fight for the cultural exception

Doris Pack

"We don't have one single culture in Europe but thousands"

Doris Pack, chair of the Culture and education committee at the European Parliament (CULT), attended May 19 the annual meeting of the Europa Cinemas Network at the Cannes Film Festival. Welcomed at the conference by the 300 European exhibitors, she called on all industry representatives to advocate the cultural exception and to write protest emails to the European Parliament. "We have to act now," she warned. "When the negotiations have already started, it will be too late."

Aurélie Filipetti, French Minister of Culture and Communication, and Ms. Androulla Vassiliou, European commissioner for Culture and education, also present at the meeting, took Ms. Pack's stand.

During the meeting the three of them led the debate on the issue of strategic leadership and support for European cinema. As for the Network members, they expressed their commitment that cinema, the audiovisual industry and culture be excluded from the free trade agreements being negotiated with the United States. Finally, the record 63% market share for European films show that the sector is very much alive (despite an overall attendance slipping by 5%.) and that its diversity needs to be preserved.