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IRIS 2012-5:1/25

Greece

Restructuring the Greek Public Service Provider ERT

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Amanda Papaioannou

Alivizatos, Kiousopoulou and Partn. Law Office, Athens

On 26 March 2012, the Minister of State, Pantelis Kapsis, presented before the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency of the Greek Parliament a bill on restructuring the Greek Public Service Provider, ERT. This initiative of the Minister of State does not aim at the official voting of the bill, since another parliamentary procedure is required to this end, but aspires instead to provoke discussion about the role of public radio and television in Greece and to prepare the way for the next government to take the final decisions.

The bill was composed by an independent committee consisting of experts in various disciplines. The committee was initially formed on 11 October 2011 by the then Minister of State, Elias Mosialos (see IRIS 2011-10/23), while its mandate got renewed by P. Kapsis, Mr. Mosialos’ successor to the ministerial post.

The main goal of the bill is to guarantee a truly independent public service provider that would function for the public benefit, without any interventions by the government and political parties, and to remodel the administrative structure of ERT in order to make it more flexible and effective. Necessarily, the pertinent legislation of EU law, such as the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (Directive 2010/13/EU), was also taken into account.

The most important provision of the bill is the one establishing a new administrative body, the so-called Supervisory Body of ERT, which formulates the company’s long-term strategy and sets its long-term objects. The members of the new body are selected through a transparent process, in which bodies that specialize in and have great experience of selecting personnel are involved. The Supervisory Body selects the members of the Administrative Board and the Managing Director, who sets the short-term objects of the company and is responsible for its day-to-day operation. Furthermore, the bill provides for the establishment of a Mediator and of an Ethics Committee that are dealing with complaints made by the viewers and, in general, with any issue of ethics that may arise.

References
Δημόσια ραδιοτηλεόραση – Αναδιοργάνωση ΕΡΤ-Α.Ε. (26.3.2012)
  Draft bill to restructure the Greek Public Service Provider ERT, 26 March 2012