Cultural diversity and free trade: the case of the EU-Canada agreement Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2015

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1028-6632

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-2833


  • This article examines the role assigned to culture in general and to cultural industries and diversity in particular by the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Although it pursues further economic liberalization, the arrangement is about much more than trade: its preamble, for instance, contains a reference to the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Nevertheless, the text lacks a general exception clause protecting culture. This paper examines the consolidated CETA text from the perspective of political economy to clarify to what extent this is an opportunity to reconcile rules of free trade with cultural policies aiming to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions, especially when the latter derive from cultural industries in both analogue and digital scenarios.


  • Information Science


  • cultural policy; diversity; digital era; unesco; wto