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IRIS 2018-6:1/29

Romania

The Law on public service broadcasting back to Parliament

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Eugen Cojocariu

Radio Romania International

The Romanian Senate (the Upper Chamber of the Parliament) passed on 3 April 2018 the Law amending Article 19 the Law no. 41/1994 on the organisation and functioning of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society and the Romanian Television Society, the public broadcasters (see, inter alia, IRIS 2013-5/37, IRIS 2013-10/36, IRIS 2014-1/38, IRIS 2014-2/30, IRIS 2014-4/25, IRIS 2014-6/30, IRIS 2014-7/30, IRIS 2015-6/33, IRIS 2015-8/26, IRIS 2016-5/28, IRIS 2017-3/26, IRIS 2017-8/31, IRIS 2017-10/31, IRIS 2018-1/35 and IRIS 2018-2/30).

The decision of the Senate was final. The Lower Chamber (the Chamber of Deputies) had tacitly passed the draft law on 21 February 2018. The modification was proposed by Eugen Tomac, an MP from the Popular Movement Party of the opposition.

The new version of Article 19 (1) rules that the members of the Board of Administration of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation and the Board of Administration of the Romanian Television Corporation shall be appointed by a vote of the majority of the deputies and senators present at a joint session of the two Chambers. Previously, the members had been appointed by a qualified majority vote (50% + 1) of the total number of deputies and senators of the Romanian Parliament.

The new version of Article 19 (2) a) provides that the joint parliamentary groups of the two Chambers shall submit proposals for ten seats, according to the political configuration and the respective parties’ weight in Parliament. This means that the two Boards of Administration will be composed of 15 members each, instead of 13 members, as at present. Under the existing wording of Law no. 41/1994, Parliament proposes eight members of the Boards of Administration. The remaining five members are designated by the President of Romania (one seat), the Romanian Government (one seat), the parliamentary group of national minorities (one seat), and the employees of the two public broadcasters (two seats). The amendment’s sponsor in Parliament argued that not all the parliamentary groups are now represented on the Boards of Administration, which means that the political configuration of Parliament is not completely refleted in the composition of the Boards of Administration of the public radio and television broadcasters.

References
The Propunere legislativă pentru modificarea art.19 din Legea nr.41/1994 privind organizarea şi funcţionarea Societăţii Române de Radiodifuziune şi Societăţii Române de Televiziune - expunerea de motive RO
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19121
 
  Draft Law on amending the Art. 19 of the Law no. 41/1994 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society and the Romanian Television Society - statement of reasons      
The Propunere legislativă pentru modificarea art.19 din Legea nr.41/1994 privind organizarea şi funcţionarea Societăţii Române de Radiodifuziune şi Societăţii Române de Televiziune - forma adoptată de Camera Deputaţilor RO
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19122
 
  Draft Law on amending the Art. 19 of the Law no. 41/1994 on the organization and functioning of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society and the Romanian Television Society - form adopted by the Chamber of Deputies