Harmonisation of media policy on the European level started in October 1989 with the Directive on Transfrontier Television (TwF) which was revised in 1997, forming the legal basis for commercial television in Europe. The European Convention on Transfrontier Television which was first adopted by the Council of Europe in May 1989 also contains provisions on broadcasting which apply across Europe as a whole.
Audiovisual Media Services Directive
The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS-D) updates the TwF Directive and now also covers non-linear services. Transposition into German media law was completed with the 13th amendment to the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty which entered into force on 01 April 2010. The debate during transposition focused on the definition of what is broadcasting, the introduction of product placement and the provisions on short news reporting.
Detailed information on the changes implemented through the AVMS Directive can be found under: ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/reg/avms/index_en.htm
Activities of the media authorities on European media policy
The European Affairs Commissioner of the Directors' Conference of the Media Authorities (DLM) coordinates the activities of the authorities at the European level. He keeps track of all legislative activities regarding the media in Europe and develops positions for the authorities on current developments in the broadcasting sector.
In addition, the Commissioner promotes the exchange of views and opinions on media policy and media law with the institutions of the European Union (EU) and other regulatory bodies at EU level. The DLM is a member of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) and regularly participates in the twice-yearly "Tripartite" meetings of the British (Ofcom), French (CSA) and German (DLM) media authorities.
ERGA - The European Regulators Group for Audivisual Media Services
Dr. Tobias Schmid, the present European Affairs Commissioner of the Media Authorities is member and german representative in the ERGA.
The European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) brings together heads or high level representatives of national independent regulatory bodies in the field of audiovisual services, to advise the Commission on the implementation of the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).
While ERGA has been originally established in 2014 by a decision of the European Commission, the Group is in the meantime contained directly in the AVMS Directive. Its objectives are:
- to advise and assist the Commission in its work, to ensure a consistent implementation of the AVMSD as well as in any other matters related to audiovisual media services within the Commission's competence.
- to facilitate cooperation between the regulatory bodies in the EU, as provided for in the directive regulating audiovisual media services.
- to allow for an exchange of experience and good practices.
More information on ERGA, including its Work Programme, reports, position papers and meeting results can be found at www.erga-online.eu.
EPRA – European Platform of Regulatory Authorities
EPRA was set up in 1995 in response to the need for increased co-operation between European regulatory authorities. Encompassing 55 regulatory authorities from 47 countries, its core purpose is the exchange of information, cases and best practices between broadcasting regulators in Europe.
Currently, the Media Authorities are member to the Board of EPRA, represented by Peter Matzneller, Consultant Legal and European Affairs.