On the occasion of the Franco-German Council of Ministers, held in Metz on 7 April 2016, Audrey Azoulay, Minister of Culture and Communication, signed with Heiko Maas, Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection of the Republic of Germany, in charge of intellectual property issues, a joint statement on copyright in Europe, and with Monika Grütters, Minister Delegate of the Federal Government of the Republic of Germany for Culture and Media, a joint declaration on culture and media.

Joint declaration on copyright in Europe

Audrey Azoulay and Heiko Maas have confirmed their common position on the copyright reform initiated by the European Commission, reaffirming the crucial role of copyright in supporting innovation, creativity and the promotion of cultural diversity.

The declaration set out the main principles that should guide European debates on the subject, including:

-              taking into account the role of digital platforms and intermediaries;

-              the viability of the rules on exceptions and private copying;

-              respect for the principle of subsidiarity.


The two ministers also stressed the importance of the principle of territoriality of rights for the viability of the creative sectors, in particular audiovisual and film.

Joint statement on culture and media

Audrey Azoulay and Monika Grütters reaffirmed France’s and Germany’s commitment to the protection and promotion of cultural diversity, as well as their desire to bring this goal together on the European stage.

It is this vision that should guide the implementation of a single digital market, whether on audiovisual and film issues, on the occasion of the reform of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, or to make it possible to transpose the Directive from the reduced VAT rate to e-books and the online press.


During their bilateral talks, the two ministers also recalled their shared commitment to maintaining the cultural exception in trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In addition to the exclusion of audiovisual services, they pointed to the need to take into account the objective of promoting and protecting cultural diversity. 

They also welcomed the a number of Franco-German initiatives at European level, notably concerning the creation of an instrument against the illicit trafficking of cultural property, on which they expressed their determination to develop concrete solutions quickly.