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IRIS 2010-2:1/8

Czech Republic

MoU between Regulatory Bodies

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Jan Fučík

Ministry of Culture, Prague

A Memorandum of Understanding on mutual co-operation and exchange of information between the Czech Council for Radio and TV Broadcasting, the Hungarian National Radio and TV Commission, the Polish National Broadcasting Council, the Romanian National Audiovisual Council, the Serbian Republic Broadcasting Agency and the Slovak Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission was signed on 10 December 2009 in Prague.

Each signatory shall prepare a brief summary of the relevant legislation in the respective country for the regulation of the content of and advertising in TV and radio broadcasts. The purpose of these summaries is inter alia to identify material differences between the applicable rules in the countries participating in the MoU. If requested by one of the signatories, these differences may be discussed with a view to improving the mutual understanding in the spirit of Recital 66 of the Preamble and Article 23b of the AVMSD.

The agreed co-operation also concerns the handling of complaints against TV or radio programmes with cross-border relevance. If, for instance, a signatory receives a complaint against a TV programme broadcast by a company licensed by another signatory, it may forward the complaint to the signatory from the country having the jurisdiction for consideration. The signatory of the country in charge will then deal with the complaint in accordance with its procedures. In addition, a signatory may forward the result of its monitoring report on the contents of foreign broadcasts to the signatory of the responsible country for consideration. The signatories will send complaints they receive against programme services to the signatory of the responsible country as soon as possible. The signatory of the country having jurisdiction should send a copy of the response to such a complaint in English to the other signatory concerned.

Each signatory shall designate relevant experts in order to facilitate the exchange of information and the consultation process in the spirit of the AVMSD.

The signatories shall give advice to each other about the legislation relevant to the regulation of TV programme services under their jurisdiction. This advice shall include how such laws and regulations are interpreted in the respective countries in the light of their culture, heritage and local distinctions.

The signatories agree to organise at least one annual meeting to discuss the most important issues arising from this agreement. They shall inform each other about major conferences and forums to be held in their countries concerning the audiovisual field. This co-operation may be extended to regulators from other countries that express their interest.

References
Memorandum of Understanding on mutual co-operation and exchange of information between the Czech Council for Radio and TV Broadcasting, the Hungarian National Radio and TV Commission, the Polish National Broadcasting Council, the Romanian National Audiovisual Council, the Serbian Republic Broadcasting Agency and the Slovak Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission, signed on 10 December 2009 EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12175