Brussels, 20th October 2015,

On the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity, independent music companies urge the EU to take the lead with concrete implementation.

Citizens’ appetite for culture and diversity is huge and IMPALA wants to see this satisfied through the “fair and equitable access” principle.

Earlier this year EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics flagged cultural diversity as an area requiring action, and with its Digital Action Plan, IMPALA has proposed some very practical solutions. They range from brokering a stakeholder chart with targets to increase diversity on Europe’s media, to introducing scoreboards to measure performance in terms of diversity and pluralism.

Part of the solution is also growing Europe’s “missing middle” by designing a new regulatory environment and competition approach, adopting new rules prohibiting unfair trading practices against SMEs, and opposing further concentration in music. The “fair and equitable access” principle will also be key in achieving Europe’s Digital Single Market, which is one of the headline priorities of the EU.

Helen Smith, IMPALA Executive Chair commented: “The ten year anniversary is a great opportunity for the EU to take the lead and we hope our action plan will provide food for thought. IMPALA is also celebrating diversity in the independent sector with a series of events over the next few months in the framework of its own anniversary (IMPALA15), so watch this space…”

More about the UNESCO convention

The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions came was adopted 10 years ago. Its adoption represented a key milestone to promote cultural diversity at national and international level. It highlights the importance of creating favourable cultural policies to promote and protect diversity of cultural expressions. When the EU signed up to the Convention, its basic principles became part of EU law. That includes ensuring fair and equitable access to the means of production, dissemination and distribution of culture.

More about IMPALA

Independent music companies – thousands of medium, small and micro enterprises – are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists. The question of ensuring diversity and availability is vital and a huge resource for Europe economically as well as culturally and socially. Independents produce more than 80% of all new releases, making them by far the largest source of music across all genres and this needs to be reflected in Europe’s media.  The independents also account for more than 80% of the sector’s jobs, most of which are local and cannot be relocated. 

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

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