The EU-Korea Protocol on Cultural Cooperation: Toward Cultural Diversity or Cultural Deficit?

Jan Loisen, Ferdi De Ville


In this article, the new practice of the Commission of the European Union to negotiate protocols on cultural cooperation in parallel with free trade negotiations is analyzed and critically discussed. The focus lies on the protocol agreed upon in 2009 by the European Union and the Republic of Korea. Within the EU, the Commission advocates in favor of this new practice in the framework of implementing the UNESCO Cultural Diversity Convention. However, critical member states and professional organizations claim that the protocol runs counter to the Convention’s spirit. An analysis of the protocol shows that, above all, the historical background and institutional setup of trade-related international cultural policy has cluttered debate on the new practice. The article concludes with a set of policy recommendations.

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