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IRIS 2003-1:4/5

Council of the European Union: Approval of Draft Conclusions on TWF Directive

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Tarlach McGonagle

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

At its meeting of 11-12 November 2002, the Council of the European Union approved a number of conclusions concerning the "Television without Frontiers" Directive. These conclusions will be adopted without further discussion at the Council's next session.

The Conclusions stress the importance of drawing on Member States' shared experience regarding, inter alia, statutory legislation and various regulatory types (eg. co- and self-regulation). They also point out the relevance to any discussion of developments in the broadcasting sector of new means of delivering audiovisual content, as exemplified, for instance, by interactive media. In addition, they reaffirm the main guiding objectives of the Directive, which include:

- "to ensure the free movement of television broadcasting services in the Community, on the basis of the country of origin principle

- to promote cultural and linguistic diversity and the strengthening of the European audiovisual industry

- to reinforce the indispensable role of television broadcasting in the democratic, social, and cultural life of society"

The Conclusions were formulated in anticipation of the imminent publication by the European Commission of the fourth report on the implementation of the "Television without Frontiers" Directive in Member States. It is expected that this report will serve as a point of departure for the likely preparation of proposals regarding the Directive and its future.

2461st Council Meeting (Education, Youth and Culture), Brussels, 11/12 November 2002 EN