Statement by José Manuel Barroso on "Cultural Exception"
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 24 June 2013, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, answered a journalist question on "Cultural exception" during the joint press briefing he hold with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Governor of California and Founding Chair of the "R20 Regions of Climate Action", at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in FRENCH) saying that he thinks that today Michel Barnier already answered these comments. He doesn't want to be involved in any personal controversy but he would like to say that, first of all, what he said concerning the cultural exception has been misunderstood. He has always said that cultural exception is sacred to me; there must not be any bargain on culture, there is specificity to culture; they have European rules and they don't want to change it, in terms of quotas or in terms of subsidies possibilities for cultural goods. Anyone who knows him knows that he is passionate about safeguarding cultural diversity. There has been an absurd polemic about it like if the Commission or he were against cultural diversity; this is absolutely untrue. Cultural diversity is established by the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission has negotiated on behalf of the Member States the UNESCO agreement. An artificial polemic has been created from false news. Furthermore, it is unfair because the Commission is by far the institution doing the outmost to protect cultural diversity. The 'Media Program' exists thanks to the Commission which supports producers, film makers and film distributors in Europe. He thinks that this polemic is useless.He would also like to say that some of the political leaders should understand that it is not by attacking Europe or by trying to give the Commission the role of scapegoat of its own difficulties that they will sort out these issues. In the past, it has been proved that this is leading nowhere; on the contrary, it is by working together, European institutions and Member States, that they can face globalisation, by trying to design it with their values. He has always shown respect to culture for France and for Europe and what he doesn't like is that some left wing sovereignties deliver the same speech as the far right. When it comes to economic reforms, openness, Europe and its institutions, some of the left wing sovereignties and some of the far right parties have exactly the same speech; too bad for them but Europe and the European Commission won't back down in fighting for its values.