The European Union, the World Trade Organization and Cultural Diversity

Burri, Mira (2015). The European Union, the World Trade Organization and Cultural Diversity. In: Psychogiopoulou, Evangelia (ed.) Cultural Governance and the European Union. Protecting and Promoting Cultural Diversity in Europe. Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics (pp. 195-209). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

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The chapter maps these trade versus culture developments in the WTO and the positions of the European Union (EU or the Union) and its member states, which were not always coherent. It also looks at the actual results of the trade versus culture contestation – that is, the rules on trade in goods and services in the WTO and how they reflect the need for more policy space in matters of cultural policy, which the EU so ardently pressed for. The chapter further analyses the evolution of both the international trade regulation and the discourse on cultural policy. This discourse has in fact undergone a major transformation in the last two decades, as it has moved from the ‘exception culturelle’ rhetoric, which dominated the Uruguay trade talks, towards a more positive but also more pro-active agenda under the slogan of cultural diversity. The EU has been a major driver of this transformation, which has succeeded in mobilising the international community and ultimately led to the adoption of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The chapter concludes by appraisal of the current state of the debate situating it into the broader picture of contemporary global governance. It asks how the EU could effectively pursue its cultural policy aspirations and endorse its cultural diversity agenda in a world of complexity and rapid technological change, in particular in view of the affordances of digital media.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > Institute of European and International Economic Law

UniBE Contributor:

Burri, Mira


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law




Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics


Palgrave Macmillan




Tihomira Burri

Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2014 08:39

Last Modified:

31 Dec 2017 02:30




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