Germann Avocats' Study on the Implementation of the
2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and
Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
for the European Parliament


The Geneva based law firm Germann Avocats and its multidisciplinary research team successfully completed a study for the European Parliament's Committeeon Culture and Education (tender procedure IP/B/CULT/IC/2009-057).

This study provides a summary of the state of implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of 2005. Focusing on fields in which the EU is expected to provide leadership or coordination, it is intended to provide ideas and long-term guidance on implementing the Convention. For this purpose, it analyses the obligations set out by this treaty. It assesses various practices in implementing the UNESCO Convention from a legal and practical viewpoint, and identifies challenges and measures to help achieve the objectives of this instrument.

The Research Team presented the Study "Implementing the UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity" to the Members of the European Parliament at a workshop in Brussels on 2 June 2010.

This Study can be downloaded from the Section "Main Study" at

There are two versions of this Study: a shorter version of 80 pages translated into French, German, and Spanish, and a longer English version that contains a more detailed analysis of the topics in the form of study papers. Both versions, as well as the responses to the stakeholders' survey, can be downloaded from this website that also offers an on-line forum where stakeholders can comment on the Study and exchange their opinions. Representatives of concerned civil society organisations can still participate in the survey until 1 December 2010 by replying to the on-line questionnaire under the section "Civil Society Survey".

In the survey of implementation practices of the UNESCO Convention summarised in Part One of the Study, the research team examines traditional and innovative approaches to how cultural diversity can be preserved and promoted in all types of countries irrespective of their level of development. The survey encompasses: (1) developed countries with strong cultural industries such as EU Member States and Canada; (2) economically emerging countries with organised cultural industries such as China or Brazil; and, (3) developing and least developed countries with very little economic means toprotect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions such as Senegal.

The UNESCO Convention is drafted in a programmatic way. As a consequence, the Parties to the Convention have a wide margin of manoeuvre in implementing this instrument. Taking this reality as a starting point, the research team develops and discusses new ideas aimed at improving thequality of this treaty via its implementation process (Part Two of the Study).

The surveys and desk-based research inform the research team's evaluation of how the EU has applied the Convention in foreign relations and its internal policies (Parts Three and Four of the Study). The research team assesses whether the UNESCO Convention had an impact on more recent policy, and provides scenarios of its repercussions in the foreseeable future in order tosubmit recommendations for further action (Part Five of the Study).

The long version of the Study will be published as a book in 2011.

Germann Avocats' previous work for the European Union

In 2008, Germann Avocats contributed to a study for the European Commission on state aid for the European film industry. The Study on the Economic and Cultural Impact, Notably on Co-productions, of Territorialisation Clauses of State Aid Schemes for Films and Audiovisual Productions was conducted by a European consortium, which included Germann Avocats, Attentional (formerly “David Graham& Associates”) of the UK, Rambøll Management of Denmark, and was led by UK-based Cambridge Econometrics. The study successfully tackled a complex and highly controversial issue looking at the possible legal, economic and cultural impact of territorial conditions attached to State Aid.

Germann Avocats provided an analysis of the legal aspects of territorialisation requirements from the perspective of culture and competition policies within the 25 Member States covered by the study. Please find the full report and the detailed findings of its legal part in the country database at: