Germans Concerned About Cultural Impact Of TAFTA
The negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement have caused a great discontent among the German population during the past weeks. The Civil Society is critical of the accord since it could alter not only the economy, but the European way of living at different levels. The German Art Academy and the German Culture Board hosted an event called “Defending the Culture” to examine the problems that could arise from this deal.
The German Culture Board is concerned that the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement will bring an even greater influence of corporations on the society and culture here. During this conference and workshops, participants look into ways of protecting the German culture. The hosts made it clear that the purpose of the event was to clarify the situation rather than opposing the accord. The main difference between the American and Europe approach to culture is that the US sees culture as a commodity. This could mean that the entire public financing for Art in Germany and Europe could be at risk. Europeans would like to preserve their diversity. This is why the German Culture Representatives are demanding a special clause in the agreement which avoids Culture to become a marketable good. The Free Trade Agreement is entering its 5th round out of a total planned 10 meetings. Participants of the Conference and Workshops have criticized the lack of transparency in the agreement due to its “closed door” policy. Only time will tell how this agreement will influence the European culture.