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Developing Intra-regional Exchanges through the Abolition of Commercial and Tariff Barriers / L’abolition des barrières commerciales et tarifaires dans la région de l’Océan indien

Myth or Reality? / Mythe ou réalité ?

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Edited By Stéphanie Rohlfing-Dijoux

This book is related to the development of intraregional commercial exchanges in the region of the Indian Ocean. This issue is addressed from an economic as well as from a legal point of view. The contributions, in English and French, aim to present an overview of the economic, customs-related, technical, legal and cultural restraints that hinder the creation of a free trading area.

Cet ouvrage est consacré au développement des échanges commerciaux intrarégionaux dans la région de l’Océan Indien. Cette question est examinée sous un angle politique, économique et juridique. Les différentes contributions, en anglais et en français, visent à établir un état des lieux des freins économiques, douaniers, techniques, juridiques et culturels à la création d’un espace de libre échange.

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L’exception culturelle dans les négociations d’un traité de libre-échange (Juliette Bouloy)

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L’exception culturelle dans les négociations d’un traité de libre-échange

Juliette BOULOY

Cultural exception has been supported by some States during the Uruguay Round negotiations. According to this position, goods, services and cultural activities do not only comprise a commercial dimension. In fact, their transcendent dimension comprises a set of identities and values, to which no monetary value can be attached. This would explain why the principles of trade liberalisation are not applied to them. Whilst the expression “cultural exception” is well-known, the legal mechanisms pertaining to cultural exception are less known. Even if “cultural exception” has generally been portrayed as a distinctively French position, other States also support it. Amongst the six Indian Ocean countries which have been discussed during the Summer University, three have applied a form of cultural exception in the framework of the WTO. These countries are France (Reunion), India and the Republic of Seychelles. This paper aims at outlining their different interpretations of the principle of “cultural exception.” Furthermore, the relevance of the link made by proponents of the cultural exception, between the threat of globalisation for culture and the legal mechanisms established to address that threat, will be examined. In fine, this paper challenges the assumptions underlying their actions.

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