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IRIS 2003-1:Extra

Belgium

Amendment to the Decree on the Status of RTBF

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Marianne Sottet

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

Radio-Télévision belge de la Communauté française (the public Belgian Broadcasting Corporation of the French Community - RTBF) was set up in 1997. Its remit and status, code of ethics, funding, representation and type of programming were laid down in the decree of 14 July 1997.

On 19 December 2002, a number of important elements of the statute were amended by a new decree, which introduced the provisions necessary to implement the "Magellan 2003-2007" restructuring plan for modernising and breathing new life into RTBF. The aim of the plan was to improve the administration of RTBF and restore its finances through property and investment planning.

The most important changes concerned staff restructuring, such as enabling people to take early retirement and increasing the number of fixed-term contracts (Article 29 of the consolidated decree of 1997).

The procedure for the appointment of the chief administrator, directors general, directors, editors and duty editor was revised and their appointment for a six-year term by the government or the supervisory board following an open call for applications and the assessment of applications by experts was introduced (Articles 17, 17 bis and 17 ter).

Regional production centres lost their independence and became specialised production facilities (Article 18).

The negotiation of new agency agreements was to continue to be conducted with the government (Article 9(3 bis)). The government also specified the professional qualities to be fulfilled by the director general (Article 11, § 2 bis).

Furthermore, the existing committee with equal representation was filled for the first time by holding elections (Article 19(5)).

The 1997 decree was subsequently amended several times but the progress brought about by the 2002 decree remained unchanged (see IRIS 2003-4/11 and IRIS 2007-9/7).

References
Décret du 19 décembre 2002 modifiant le décret du 14 juillet 1997 portant statut de la RTBF, publié au Moniteur belge du 28 décembre 2002 FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12941
 
  Decree of 19 December 2002 amending the decree of 14 July 1997 on the status of the RTBF, published in the Moniteur belge (official gazette) of 28 December 2002    
Version coordonnée du décret statutaire de la RTBF, intégrant les modifications jusqu'à 2009 dans le texte de 1997 FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12942
 
  Consolidated version of the decree on the status of the RTBF (incorporating the 2002 amendments into the 1997 text)