This just came in from the Dardenne Brothers:
A delegation of European filmmakers, composed of Lucas Belvaux, Costa Gavras, Daniele Luchetti, Dariusz Jablonski, Radu Mihaileanu, Cristian Mungiu and accompanied by the actress Bérénice Béjo, met with European Commission President José-Manuel Barroso on Tuesday, June 11th in Strasbourg. They told him again the necessity to exclude audiovisual and cinematographic services from the negotiation mandate for the trade agreement between the United States and Europe.
President Barroso persisted in his refusal of such an exclusion. He maintained a lined that guarantees no respect of Cutural exception and greatly jeopardizes the future of cultural policies in Europe.
José-Manuel Barroso does not want to hear the plea of 7,000 Culture professionals, amongst which the most respected European filmmakers.
He remains deaf to the position of the European Parliament, only democratically elected European organ, though it overwhelmingly voted in favour or a total exclusion of cultural services from the mandate.
President Barroso thus validated the arrogant sentiment of Commissioner Karel de Gucht, who so disdainfully dismissed the Parliament’s resolution.
José-Manuel Barroso decided to risk the whole future of creation in Europe, reducing it to a single card in the dangerous poker game that stakes the very identity of European peoples. He therefore challenges the foundations of Europe: those defended through our work, through the history of the people; a history which is the cement of the European identity, and the wealth of our diversity.
The European filmmakers call to the Member states to ditch this perilous project for European culture.
Jean Pierre et Luc Dardenne