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IRIS 2010-2:1/33

Slovenia

Draft Public Broadcaster Amendment Act Published

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Renata Šribar

Faculty for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana and Centre for Media Politics of the Peace Institute, Ljubljana

In November 2009 a draft amendment to the Zakon o Radioteleviziji Slovenija (Radio and Television Act of Slovenia) was put to public discussion.

In the public and expert debates focus has been put on the renewed structure of the Programme Council and its expanded competencies. Numerous professionals and experts, public opinion and the parliamentary opposition are against the proposed modifications, thus, the draft is expected to meet changes.

The existing Programme Council of the public broadcaster Radio and Television Slovenia (RTV Slovenija) consists of 29 members; the criteria for their appointment are stipulated in the Television and Radio Act of 2005 (Article 17 para. 6): two members are appointed by two national minorities, one by the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art, two by the President of the State in accordance with the proposal of the registered religious communities, three are elected directly from among the RTV Slovenija employees, five are proposed by political parties and then appointed by the Parliament and 16 are likewise appointed by the Parliament from the quota of candidates of the audience, universities and non-governmental organisations which are active in the fields of culture and art, science and journalism.

The Programme Council is involved in setting and surveying programming standards in co-operation with the general manager; it appoints and dismisses the general manager and has some other tasks related to audience, finances and programme schemes (Article 16 para. 6).

The proposed Draft of the Slovenian Radio and Television Amendment Act suggests there should be eleven members in the renamed Council (the word ”programme” would be omitted). Their appointment is supposed to follow the amended criteria: three members are appointed by the President, six members are appointed by the Parliament after the Parliamentary body’s proposal is submitted (half of the votes of the body are granted to the opposition), one member is appointed by the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts and one member is appointed by the Slovenian National Council of Culture (Article 16 draft new version).

The proposed modification reduces the possibilities of civil-society actors to be appointed, since the election from among them is to be performed by the Parliamentary body and according to the political orientation. Along with that the competencies of the Council are planned to be prolonged, e.g., the Council might appoint and dismiss members of the administration board, declare a vote of no-confidence and dismiss the executive editors and appoint and dismiss those members of the Supervising Council who are under its competence (Article 19 draft new version).

References
Predlog osnuka Zakona o spremembah in dopolnitvah Zakona o Radioteleviziji Slovenija SL
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12179
 
  Draft of the Slovenian Radio and Television Amendment Act