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Major reports by Germann Avocats as law and policy advisers

2010: Study on the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of 2005 for the European Parliament (tender procedure IP/B/CULT/IC/2009-057). See: www.diversitystudy.eu

2008: Study on the Economic and Cultural Impact, Notably on Co-productions, of Territorialisation Clauses of State Aid Schemes for Films and Audiovisual Productions for the European Commission. See section “Archive” at www.diversitystudy.eu


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

Germann Avocats and its multidisciplinary research team successfully completed a study for the European Parliament's Committee on 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. It focuses on fields in which the European Union is expected to provide leadership or coordination. It shall give assistance and long-term guidance to the European Union on implementing the UNESCO Convention. For this purpose, it carries out a detailed analysis of 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.

The short version of this Study can be downloaded from the Section "Main Study" at:


The long version of this Study together with the French and German translations of its short version and the high level discussants' contributions will be released on this website at the end of June 2010.

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 to protect 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 the quality 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 to submit recommendations for further action (Part Five of the Study).


Germann Avocats has completed its work on a study for the European Commission on state aid for the European film industry as part of a European consortium consisting of Attentional (former name David Graham & Associates) of UK, Rambøll Management of Denmark, and led by UK-based Cambridge Econometrics. The Study on the Economic and Cultural Impact, Notably on Co-productions, of Territorialisation Clauses of State Aid Schemes for Films and Audiovisual Productions has successfully tackled a complex and highly controversial issue, looking at the possible legal, economic and cultural impact of territorial conditions attached to State Please click here for the full report.


Christophe Germann outlines new approaches of competition law to promote cultural diversity at the at the international conference "The UNESCO Convention on cultural diversity: first achievements and legal challenges ahead to implement its objectives in economically disadvantaged countries" at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 18 and 19 June 2008.


Christophe Germann will defend a balanced copyright and trademark system for cultural industries vis-a-vis Professor Joost Smiers in a panel debate on "Copyright: Obstacle or Promoter of Education, Culture and Progress" at the Universal Forum for Cultures in Monterrey, Mexico, on 3 October 2007 (see: www.monterreyforum2007.org).


In June 2007, Christophe Germann gave a lecture on "Governance in the World Trade Organization (WTO)" within the framework of the Master of European Governance and Administration (MEGA). This programme is a German-French government project which is conducted by a consortium that includes the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, the French Ministry for the Public Service and the Reform of the State, the PCPM/University of Potsdam, the Humboldt-University, the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) and the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.


The Union of Film Music Composers UFMC (Switzerland) is guest of the International Pavilion of Film Music 2007 at the 60th International Film Festival of Cannes. Christophe Germann talks at the conference on “Creation, Author Rights and New Media” presented by UFMC and sponsored by the SUISA Foundation for Music, together with Donna Ghelfi, Office of Strategic Use of Intellectual Property for Development (WIPO/OMPI), Creative Industries Division, Carine Jaggi, Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR), NOUVO Magazine (multimedia development), Guillaume Chenevière, President of CERTIMEDIA and former General Manager of TSR, Stéphane Kirscher, composer and Chairman of UFMC, and Bernard Grimaldi, composer and Chairman of FFACE (23 May 2007, 9:30 to 11:30 am, Plage des Goëlands, La Croisette). For further information, see www.ufmc.ch


Christophe Germann discussed the new case "China - Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products - Request for Consultations by the United States" (DS362 and DS363) in his lecture of 23 April 2007 on the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) at the University of Glasgow, Law School.


In December 2006, Christophe Germann gave a presentation on "Promoting Trade Related Cultural Diversity in Exchange of National Treatment for Copyright" at the conference "European Art and Culture Between Free Trade and Cultural Diversity. A Delicate Dialogue?" that was organized by the Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe (CIRCLE) in Helsinki. This conference brought together experts and practitioners in international cultural cooperation and world trade to investigate, analyze and assess the responses and stands taken by governmental, trans-governmental and corporate actors in relation to international conventions and treaties defining the status of the arts and culture in the evolving global economy.


Summary of Dr Christophe Germann's recent presentation "Promoting Trade Related Cultural Diversity against National Treatment for Copyright" at the 2006 – Annual Conference on New Directions in Copyright, Birkbeck, University of London.


Germann Avocats represented the film director Fredi M. Murer (Pardo d'Oro for "Hoehenfeuer" at the International Film Festival of Locarno) and its production company for the widely acclaimed "Vitus" starring Bruno Ganz (www.vitus-film.com). This feature attracted more than 200000 people to the Swiss theatres to date and has been sold to more than 30 countries.


As of 15 December 2006, 35 countries ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This international agreement will therefore enter into force on 18 March 2007. For a critical assessment of this instrument, read Christophe Germann's chapter "Towards a Global Cultural Contract to counter trade related cultural discrimination" in: Nina Obuljen & Joost Smiers (eds.), UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Making it Work, Zagreb 2006.


Christophe Germann’s doctoral thesis "Diversité culturelle et libre-échange à la lumière du cinéma - Réflexions critiques sur le droit naissant de la diversité culturelle sous les angles du droit international de l’UNESCO, de l’OMC, de la concurrence et de la propriété intellectuelle" ("Cultural Diversity and Free Trade in the Light of Cinema") shall be published in August 2007 by Helbing & Lichtenhahn (see summary in French).



Christophe Germann, La diversité humaine à l'appel du minaret, in: Le Courrier, 8 December 2009.

In 2003 - 2004, Christophe Germann headed the legal part of "Avanti". This professional training programme on audiovisual laws and policies for lawyers from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan was funded by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (www.deza.ch).

Interview with Christophe German by Sandra Vinciguerra, "Hollywood pratique une discrimination culturelle à l'échelle planétaire", in : Le Courrier, Geneva, 13 October 2003