Lights, camera...negotiations!

Published on 17 June 2013 at 13:40

“Happily there is a green light for free trade,” enthuses Le Monde, now that Barack Obama and European leaders have finally decided to begin talks for a vast bilateral accord at the 17-18 June G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

In the wake of two decades of attempts in vain, the rapprochement on trade between the two shores of the Atlantic “is good news”, announces the Parisian daily, which at the same time warns —

The game is not over yet. It will take a minimum of two years to address a large number of contentious issues: financial regulation, the protection of personal data in the context of the PRISM eavesdropping scandal, GMO crops, growth hormones in beef...

Caution is thus advised, because a breakthrough on any of these cannot be taken for granted. Even France’s hard-fought battle to exclude audiovisual media from negotiations, which was apparently won on 14 June, may not be definitive, remarks Le Monde. The daily continues —

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Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, who is to lead the European negotiation team, insists audiovisual media has only “provisionally” been excluded. He is worried the Obama administration will respond by withdrawing other sectors where Europe was hoping for concessions from the discussions: government contracts, geographical indications on product labels, transport…

For Die Tageszeitung, the decision to exclude audiovisual media nonetheless amounts to a victory. “Filmmaking will continue to be protected. France, which has retained the right to finance film production, can still hold its own against the Hollywood studios,” announces the enthusiastic German daily.

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