[RO] Audiovisual Rules for European Parliament Elections

IRIS 2009-6:1/28

Mariana Stoican

Journalist, Bucharest

In Decision no. 391 of 26 March 2009 on the rules governing the audiovisual campaign (8 May to 6 June 2009) for the election of members of the European Parliament, the Consiliul Naţional al Audiovizualului (national council for electronic media - CNA) laid down a code of conduct for Romanian broadcasters.

All political parties, political alliances, electoral pacts, organisations representing ethnic minorities and independent candidates involved in the election are categorised in the Decision as competitori electorali (election participants). According to Art. 2, they must be given access to certain broadcast programmes described in the Decision: emisiuni de promovare electorală (programmes in which candidates or representatives of election participants can present their manifestos, activities and candidates - Art. 7(a)), emisiuni de dezbatere (broadcast debates - Art. 7 (b)) and spoturi electorale (electoral advertising spots - Art. 7 (c)).

All private radio and television providers intending to broadcast election programmes were obliged under Art. 4 to notify this to the public and the CNA by 21 April 2009. The programme schedule and airtime tariffs also had to be fixed in accordance with Art. 5(2).

All programme material and advertising spots linked to the European election campaign had to meet the following conditions, set out in Art. 13: they must not incite hatred on the grounds of race, religion, nationality or gender; they must not violate human dignity, image rights or common decency; and they must not contain claims directed at other election participants for which no sufficient proof is given, or risk possible criminal or moral sanctions.

Broadcasters must also keep recordings for the CNA of all programmes relating to the election throughout the campaign and for a further 30 days after the official announcement of the election results (Art. 20).

Possible sanctions for infringements are provided for in Legea audiovizualului nr. 504/2002 (Audiovisual Act) and Legea nr. 33/2007 privind organizarea şi desfăşurarea alegerilor pentru Parlamentul European (European Parliament Elections Act).


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.