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Post-Brexit consequences for EU audiovisual sector rules

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Published on Friday, 09 November 2018

A study co-authored by Uni.lu professor Mark Cole about the future of the EU audiovisual sector’s regulatory framework after Brexit was presented to the European Parliament’s CULT Committee on 8 November.

Commissioned by the CULT Committee, the study was carried out by Prof. Cole, Dr Jörg Ukrow and Christina Etteldorf under the aegis of the Institute of Media Law (EMR) of which Prof. Cole is also Director for Academic Affairs.

With the UK a major player in the European audiovisual sector and cultural industry, for example as a producer of film and television content, this area is of particular importance in the ongoing Brexit negotiations as it touches on copyright law, the digital single market and numerous other legal issues.

A big factor in any post-Brexit model would be considerations around the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), one of Prof. Cole’s focus research areas. This cornerstone of EU media law would no longer be applicable to the UK following its anticipated exit from the EU in 2019. Other variables include possible continued membership of the UK in the European Economic Area (EEA), interpretation and application of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), considerations for an EU-UK specific free trade agreement, the significance of the UK being signatory to the Council of Europe’s Convention on Transfrontier Television, and additional areas of EU media law.

“As has become apparent in other areas of the Brexit negotiations, our study shows how complex the UK’s relationship with the EU and its audiovisual sector is. What we have tried to do is imagine the consequences of the different scenarios for Brexit for currently applicable conventions, agreements and EU laws,” commented Prof. Cole. “Our report to CULT should help parliament members to take into consideration the most important aspects for the audiovisual sector when accompanying the negotiations. The goal is to ensure that the interests of both parties are respected as best as possible.”

The report was presented at a hearing on 8 November in Brussels, available on-demand at the European Parliament’s media centre (segment starts at the 09:40:11 mark). The full study is available online.