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IRIS 2012-9:1/7

European Commission

Four Member States are Required to Provide Information on the Implementation of the AVMS Directive

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Catherine Jasserand

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

On 23 July 2012, the European Commission announced that it had written to Portugal, Slovenia, Finland (concerning the region of Ă…land) and the United Kingdom (concerning Gibraltar) to seek information on the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. In 2011, the European Commission had already sent fact-finding letters to twenty-four member states (including Finland and the United Kingdom).

The European Commission is looking for clarifications on the following issues: the country of origin principle and jurisdiction issues; audiovisual commercial communications; the protection of minors; the promotion of European and independent works; the right of reply; basic obligations under the Directives; events of major importance for broadcasting, and cooperation between regulators. The press release does not provide for more details on these different topics.

The national authorities of the four member states must reply to the European Commission within ten weeks. The request made by the European Commission does not mean that the four member states have not correctly implemented the Directive but only indicates that the European Commission is currently seeking more information on the national implementation. In May 2012, the European Commission released a report on the application of the AVMS Directive in which it pointed out areas for improvements (see IRIS 2012-6/5). One country (Poland) has already been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union for incomplete implementation of the Directive (see IRIS 2012-8/6).

Digital Agenda - Commission seeks information from four member states on their implementation of Audiovisual Media Services Directive, press release of 23 July 2012 EN