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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Ambassador Mattei to EF on CoE AudioVisual body 2018 Presidency: Culture = Key for Cohesion+

French Ambassador Mattei to EF on CoE AudioVisual body 2018 Presidency: Culture = Key for Cohesion+

Pisac ACM
11. 01. 2018.

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- French Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Jean-Baptiste Mattei, speaking to "Eurofora" on the occasion of the take-over of the PanEuropean (47 Member States-strong, Russia included) Organisation's AudioVisual Experts' Presidency by France for the Year 2018, agreed that, in addition to the fact that "the Human Right for Freedom of Expression includes the Access to Culture", as he stressed, "Culture" offers also that "Common Base of our Imaginary", with which "each one must be able to identify himself", for the "Cohesion" of those "fellow European Citizens" to whom French President Macron recently Appealed in order to "design a Great Project" and "ReVive a European Ambition", for a more Sovereign, more Democratic, and Better Europe for our People, as he said in his New Year Address, practically Joining German Chancellor Angie Merkel's parallel call for "Us, Europeans", to "Hold Together as a Community", that she named as "the Crucial Issue of the coming years", (Comp. : ....).

 

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- In this regard too, European AudioVisual Observatory's (EAVO) capacity to offer "Reliable and Trustworthy Experts"' insight, to Economy, Political Decision-makers, and the Public at large, is particularly Useful, Ambassador Mattei noted earlier.

+ But, in order to Help Build such an "Imaginary", obviously, a Stronger "European Production" of original "AudioVisual" Works is needed, admitted the New Director on Economy in CoE's AudioVisual Observatory, Gilles Fontaine, speaking afterwards to "Eurofora", on the occasion of that same event Today in Strasbourg.

 

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- However, while it's expected that the current Worldwide Trend towards Distribution of AudioVisual Works mainly by Internet Service Providers, through Modern Digital Technologies, would Accentuate Further on 2018, it's also a Fact that, until now, Most of them are USA Companies, and it remains a Question Mark whether they will Invest in European Audiovisual Production, and/or if New European Internet Service Providers will Emerge, or not, in sufficient number, strength and quality, as Fontaine observed.

 

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>>> Meanwhile, the incoming 2018 French Presidency of the EAVO has Decided to Focus, this Year, mainly on the Topical Issue of "Internet Platforms providing Videos", as announced officially Today the Competent Representative of France in that CoE's Body's Executive Council, Elizabeth Le Hot, deputy Director on Cultural Economy's development at the Ministry of Culture. Inter alia, a relevant International Colloquy will be organized in Paris, on June 2018, at the prestigious Museum of Quai Branly/"Jacques Chirac", she added, (reminding the Historic, Long-Time former French Prime Minister and President of the Republic, with whom "Eurofora"s co-Founder has cooperated during many Years in the Past, both at Elysée Palace, and in EU Summits in Brussels, as well as in Berlin, Germany, etc, then via "TCWeekly"+).


++ Nevertheless, independently of all that, and in Addition, the Year 2018 is also due to be impacted, even in the European AudioVisual sector, by "BREXIT" Negotiations in view of UK's planned Departure from the EU after March 2019, Because "the UK is very Deeply Involved in Europe's Audio-Visual realities", as EAVO's Executive Director, Susanne Nikoltchev from Germany, told "Eurofora".

 

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- Nikoltchev, (who holds also a important Experience as former Head of EAVO's Legal section in Strasbourg), made clear that this is Not Limited only to the, already Important, Fact that Many EU Radio-TV Companies use to have Established Offices in the UK also in order to Transmit AudioVisual products to several Other EU Member Countries, (as Fontaine had observed earlier). Indeed, BREXIT's possible Effects to the European AudioVisual sector can be much More Wider than that, and concern also Manifold Other AV-related Issues, CEO Nikoltchev stressed, believing that EU's Chief BREXIT Negotiator, Michel Barnier's staff should, normally, be Aware of that, for the needs of the 2nd Phase Talks about UK's Future Relations with the EU.

 

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EAVO's CEO Nikoltchev + Strasbourg D.Mayor for Europe/World Rafik-Elmrini (Eurofora)
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After Poland, which has just passed over its 2017 EAVO's Presidency to France for 2018, it is Italy which is due to take over Next Year, on 2019 : A series of Three Countries with a Traditionally Strong Role on European Production of AudioVisual works, which might Help give a much needed Boost to this, both "Classic", but also Fully ReNovated and Modernized Sector of Economy, (which is in the process of being more and more Spectacularly Transformed by Digital Web-related Technologies) with manifold big Socio-Political Stakes, (Comp., f.ex.: ...).

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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