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EU Parliament backs calls to defend Euro TV from the US

The European Parliament has called for TV and film services to be left out of upcoming trade negotiations between the EU and the US, backing the stance adopted by Europe’s public broadcasters earlier this week.

In a resolution adopted yesterday, the European Parliament said it was essential for the EU and its member states to “maintain the possibility of preserving and developing their cultural and audiovisual policies, and to do so in the context of their existing laws, standards and agreements.”

As such it called for audiovisual services, including those provided online, to be left out of the negotiating mandate for the trade talks.

“The agreement should not risk prejudicing the Union’s cultural and linguistic diversity, including in the audiovisual and cultural services sector,” the European Parliament said in its motion, which will be finally decided upon by EU member states in mid-June.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomed the move, with Ingrid Deltenre, Director General of the EBU commenting that the “bold call” for a diverse European audiovisual sector “demonstrates that the institution representing the interests of Europeans is committed to supporting and preserving Europe’s multi-cultural identity.”

Earlier this week, the EBU warned that including TV and film services in the upcoming US trade negotiations, noting an imbalance in the import and export of audiovisual content. It said that in 2010 the EU imported €7.5 billion of US content while just €1.8 billion was exported to the States.