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UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity

The European Community ratified the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity, together with 12 Member States
On 18 December 2006, the Community ratified the Convention, alongside Finland, Austria, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Estonia, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Malta. Bulgaria also joined this ratification.
This joint ratification fulfils the initial objective to be amongst the 30 first ratifications, and will thus allow the entry into force of the Convention on 18 March 2007.

On 19 December 2006, a ceremony took place in Brussels to celebrate this joint ratification, in the presence of the President of the Commission, José Manuel Barroso, Commissioner Jan Figel', UNESCO Director General Koïchiro Matsuura, Ministers of Culture of the Member States and personalities from the cultural world.

The European Community is ready to ratify the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity
Less than seven months after the adoption by the UNESCO General Conference of the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, and on the basis of a Commission proposal, the Council adopted on 18 May 2006 a Decision on the ratification of the Convention by the European Community. This Decision authorises the Community to ratify the Convention as of now. The intention being for the the Community and the Member States to ratify together, the joint deposit of the Community and Member States' respective ratification instruments to UNESCO will take place as soon as feasible, when the Member States finalise their national procedure. The objective is that the latter ratifications count amongst the 30 first allowing the entry into force of the Convention.

Council Decision on the conclusion of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
ES - CS - DA - DE - ET - EL - EN - FR - IT - LV - LT - HU - MT - NL - PL - PT - SK - SL - FI - SV (format pdf)

Adoption of a proposal for the EC ratification of the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity
Two months after the adoption of the Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions by the UNESCO General Conference, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Council decision for the ratification of the Convention by the European Community. The purpose of the present proposal, which follows the approach taken in the negotiations in Paris , is to authorise the approval of the UNESCO Convention by the European Community. The text is open to ratification since the day of its adoption (30 ratifications are necessary so that the Convention enters into force).

Adoption of a UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity
On 20 October 2005 the Unesco General Conference adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which was negotiated jointly by the European Commission, on behalf of the Community, and the Council Presidency, on behalf of the Member States. The Convention is the first of its kind in international relations, as it enshrines a consensus that the international community has never before reached on a variety of guiding principles and concepts related to cultural diversity. This text forms the basis of a new pillar of world governance in cultural matters.

Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity
Following the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and its supporting Action Plan in UNESCO in November 2001, and the objective of "(…) taking forward consideration of the opportunity of an international legal instrument on cultural diversity", UNESCO's General Conference of October 2003 unanimously invited the Director General to submit to the next session of the General Conference, in October 2005, the first draft of a convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions.

The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and the supporting Action Plan, adopted unanimously by UNESCO in November 2001, met with the European Community and its Member States' approval.
The latter broadly endorsed the values and principles enshrined in these texts, which were adopted by most of the international community. The first item under the Action Plan mentions the objective of "(…) taking forward notably consideration of the opportunity of an international legal instrument on cultural diversity."

The process in UNESCO and the involvement of the European Community in the negotiations

Last update: 07-02-2007