Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .




SUPERPOWERS
Walker's World: A 'fudge' for France
by Martin Walker
Paris (UPI) Jun 17, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Diplomacy has a language all its own from demarche for an initiative to bout de papier for a very informal proposal. But one of the most useful is "fudge" -- and it means that some creative language was used to keep the show on the road.

On Friday night, after 12 hours of wrangling in Luxembourg, the European Union delivered a fudge that successfully found a way around a threatened French veto in order to begin formal negotiations with the United States on a highly ambitious free-trade pact.

The French have insisted from the beginning that any such deal cannot include the audio-visual sector since their culture and language deserve protection from the juggernauts of Hollywood. Many other Europeans feel the same way.

The European Parliament passed a -- non-binding -- measure backing the French position. It was the Dutch-German film director Wim Wenders who claimed that giving up Europe's cultural exception would be like "burning our books, closing our museums, sacrificing our first-born, rebuilding the Berlin Wall."

This isn't just a matter of Hollywood movies but it also reflects European concern at America's online dominance. The French complain there is no possibility of having a level playing field for French or European companies in the world of GAFAM -- French slang for new corporate titans Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.

The latest leaks and controversy about the extent to which the U.S. National Security Agency can monitor phone and online communications has given the issue a sharper edge.

Still, despite the French veto threat the free-trade negotiations are going ahead. The European Union has given its commission a formal mandate to open talks with the United States on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the commission claims nothing has been ruled out from the talks and they can negotiate freely with the Americans on anything.

At the same time, the French say they have won their point and that audio-visual affairs are specifically excluded and they point to Paragraph 21 of the mandate.

"We are satisfied but I don't want to call it a victory," French Trade Minister Nicole Bricq said. The cultural exception had been saved, "written clearly in black and white."

Oddly enough, the commission and the French are both right. Paragraph 21 of the negotiating mandate excludes audio-visual matters but a new paragraph opens the way to modifying the mandate. It says the commission "may make recommendations to the council on possible additional negotiating directives on any issue, with the same procedures for adoption, including voting rules, as for this mandate."

The commission, which is Europe's civil service, runs all trade negotiations. But it has to get its mandate from the Council of Ministers, which is the body where Europe's 27 national governments meet.

The fudge that was reached Friday night means that somewhere along the line, when almost everything else about the TTIP has been settled, the cultural exception will clamber out of its coffin like Dracula and lay its icy grip on what could be the most important Euro-American agreement since the founding of NATO more than 60 years ago.

Logic might suggest the Europeans, with their economies flat or shrinking, would leap at the chance of a trade deal that would benefit them to the tune of $150 billion a year or more, boost their automobile exports to the United States by 150 percent and provide Europe and the United States a big, secure market to help them withstand the challenge of China and other emerging economies.

Moreover, it should allow the United States and European Union, which remain by far the world's biggest economic blocks with about half of global output, to continue to set the rules for global trade and investment, in services as well as goods. Most previous free-trade deals have been about goods alone; this one specifically includes services.

London's Center for Economic Policy Research, in an independent analysis, reckoned the European Union's economy could benefit by $160 billion a year -- equivalent to $750 for an average EU household -- and the United States by $125 billion a year.

"The TTIP will be a trade agreement fit for the 21st century -- the increased business will not only benefit multinationals but also small- and medium-sized firms, either through exporting directly or as suppliers to bigger companies," the EU Commission asserts.

European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht said of the fudge: "I can live with this. ... This is not a carve out. ... It will be discussed with the U.S. ... and if need be, we will come back to the council for a mandate on this specific issue."

Sadly, the French fudge makes it easier for the Americans to put reservations on key issues, like financial services, procurement by public bodies (several states in the United States have "buy American" rules) and pharmaceutical standards.

This could weaken the overall TTIP deal, despite the evident benefits to both sides. Still, the talks will begin, the French save face and the real arguments can take place down the road. That's why they call it a fudge.

.


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SUPERPOWERS
Japan fears losing diplomatic buffet battle to China
Tokyo (AFP) June 17, 2013
Belt-tightening in Japan's diplomatic service is cutting the quality of canapes on offer abroad, the foreign ministry has said, leading to fears Tokyo is losing the battle of the buffets to Beijing. Diplomats in Tokyo say China appears to be ramping up its spending on its missions while Japanese diplomats are being forced to scrimp, the ministry said. Allowances for embassy bashes have d ... read more


SUPERPOWERS
Israel fast-tracks Arrow 3 over Iran nuclear fears

US Missile Shield Threatens Balance in Asia-Pacific Region

US to send Patriot missiles, F-16s to Jordan for drill

Russia developing counter-measures for European anti-missile shield

SUPERPOWERS
Raytheon, US Navy deliver 5,000th AIM-9X Sidewinder missile

PAC-3 MSE Missile Flight Tested At White Sands

Putin holds back on Syria missile delivery

Taiwan deploys new powerful rocket system: report

SUPERPOWERS
U.S. mulls countermeasures against threat of enemy UAVs

Raytheon continues Global Hawk ground support

Raytheon to maintain USAF Global Hawk ground elements

France keen to buy 12 US Reaper drones: minister

SUPERPOWERS
Upgrade for French AWACs

Northrop Grumman Delivers Second Hosted Payload for Enhanced Polar System

Lockheed Martin Supports Realtime Battlespace View For USAF Aerial War Games

Mutualink Platform to be Deployed by US DoD during JUICE 2013

SUPERPOWERS
Thales delivers 1,000th Bushmaster to Australia

Cyprus assesses security, safety threats of submerged ammo dumps

Northrop Grumman Begins Sampling New Gallium Nitride Packaged Power Amplifier

Lockheed Martin Delivers Modernized Laser Range Finder For Apache Helicopter

SUPERPOWERS
Israel, Pakistan deny reported arms deals, but ....

Merkel ally resists fresh pressure to resign

Pressures grow on global defense spending: report

India promises to clean up military corruption

SUPERPOWERS
Walker's World: A 'fudge' for France

Japan fears losing diplomatic buffet battle to China

Ban arrives in China for high-level talks: spokesman

Dangers and delights of digital diplomacy

SUPERPOWERS
Polymer structures serve as 'nanoreactors' for nanocrystals with uniform sizes, shapes

Controlling magnetic clouds in graphene

Carbon nanotubes for molecular magnetic resonances

New microfluidic method expands toolbox for nanoparticle manipulation




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement