Cultural Diversity in the Digital Age: EU Competences, Policies and Regulations for Diverse Audiovisual and Online Content
Irion, K. & Valcke, P. (2014, in press). Cultural diversity in the digital age: EU competences, policies and regulations for diverse audiovisual and online content. In E. Psychogiopoulou (Ed.), Cultural Governance and the European Union. Houndmills and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Institute for Information Law Research Paper No. 2014-05
16 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2014
Date Written: November 21, 2014
Cultural diversity is a multifaceted concept that differs from the notion of media pluralism. However, the two concepts share important concerns particularly as regards content production, content distribution and access to content. This chapter considers the EU’s role in contributing to diverse audiovisual and online content and assesses its limits.
Although a signatory of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the ability of the EU to foster cultural diversity in the digital environment is confined on account of its constrained competences in the field of audiovisual media and online content. Notwithstanding, the EU develops a number of substantive policies that benefit the creation and circulation of cultural content either in an explicit or in an implicit manner. Following a value-chain approach, this chapter discusses the complementary role of various EU sectoral regulations towards this aim. The analysis focuses on the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive (Directive 2007/65/EC – 2010/13/EU) and various aspects of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications, particularly in relation to non-discriminatory access to bottlenecks in the distribution infrastructure and online platforms.
The chapter advances the argument that existing EU policies have an important role to play for ensuring the free circulation of, and access to, cultural content. At the same time, aside from the cultural quotas in the above mentioned AVMS Directive, EU activity is less prominent in the field of content production. The analysis concludes by stressing the complexity of promoting cultural diversity in light of both cultural content supply and demand considerations. It also emphasises the importance of emerging policy issues, in particular net neutrality and findability.
Keywords: European Union; Cultural diversity; Competences; Audiovisual content; Online content
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation