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Changes to protocols on cultural cooperation

The Commission responded to concerns, stressing that inter-service consultations had taken place and that certainly in the negotiation of the Korea protocol stakeholders were consulted (European Commission, 2010f: 15). An analysis of the development of the EU-Korea protocol on cultural cooperation (Pauwels and Loisen, 2010) indicates that the Commission made changes to the protocol's contents and negotiating procedures as a consequence of stakeholder critiques.

First, whereas CARIFORUM countries should be committed to the Convention, for Korea, ratification of the Convention is necessary for the protocol to enter into force. Second, a Committee for Cultural Cooperation is established for the protocol with Korea that consists of senior officials with experience and expertise in cultural affairs, and which is independent from the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement's Trade Committee. The latter does not have any competences with regard to the protocol. Third, the arbitration procedures, dispute settlement and sanctions of the protocol on the one hand and the bilateral trade agreement on the other hand, are firmly disconnected. Moreover, members of the dispute settlement body for the protocol are not only lawyers, but also cultural experts. Finally, with regard to the contentious issue of coproductions, stricter financial and artistic criteria have been introduced during the negotiation of the protocol, for EU-Korean co-productions to benefit from quota regulations. In addition, the system of preferential treatment for co-productions will be regularly monitored and evaluated. Should a party (i.e. Korea, the EU or an EU member state) wish to end it, it can do so unilaterally (Pauwels and Loisen, 2010: 188-190).

After these changes were introduced, all EU member states were willing to accept the EU-Korea protocol on cultural cooperation. Since its conclusion, the Commission has elaborated its concept paper on the negotiation of protocols on cultural cooperation for a new round of discussions with the member states. Moreover, the EU and third countries have agreed on two new cultural cooperation frameworks. With respect to the Andean countries Peru and Colombia, an agreement on cultural cooperation was negotiated simultaneously to a trade agreement, but was not annexed to it because of the contentious issue of the coproduction of television programmes (especially as regards Colombia). Because no preferential treatment on co-productions has been included in the cultural cooperation arrangements made, the cultural cooperation agreement is disconnected from the trade agreement altogether. Hence, not a protocol but a stand-alone agreement on cultural cooperation has been the result of negotiations. For Central America, a protocol on cultural cooperation is attached to a cooperation provision on cultural and audiovisual matters laid down in the umbrella EU-Central America association agreement (Loisen and De Ville, 2011: 264-265; Richieri Hanania, 2012: 448). The cultural sector along with France remains vigilant, however, as new trade talks are on the agenda and future policy actions are always somewhat unpredictable.

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