Europe’s commercial broadcasters call for robust media policy
November 27, 2019
By Colin Mann
The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) – which represents the interests of leading commercial broadcasters across Europe – has welcomed the outcome of the vote in the European Parliament which approved the new Commissioners, presented to plenary by Commission President-elect von der Leyen. “We wish President von der Leyen and the entire College of Commissioners a successful term with an action plan that will deliver against the expectations of European citizens and industry,” says ACT.
“Broadcasters will look to European Commission initiatives, and notably the much talked about Digital Services Act and Action Plan for AV, to foster an environment for media that strengthens the unique characteristics of our sector,” it declares.
According to ACT, Europe has a wonderfully diverse and creative media ecosystem that drives its cultural diversity, media pluralism and leadership in international markets. It says that as such, any Digital Services Act (DSA) should rectify the regulatory gaps that have developed in the digital space and as a priority, reinforce active platforms’ liability regime.
“Citizens and businesses expect equality of treatment under the law with bold measures that will create a healthy and competitive online space,” it states. “This means accountability and responsibility to keep services safe and legal. The DSA should, as a priority, reinforce active platforms’ liability regime. This must be to a far higher standard than the ‘duty of care’ accorded to players who carry out mere technical and passive activities or a so-called ‘Good Samaritan’ approach that would fall short of serving the European interest and reignite the polarised copyright debate.”
ACT concurs with leading policy-makers on the fact that regulating online platforms has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech or state censorship. This is merely about ensuring that the rules and principles agreed by the Union over the past decades are aptly reflected online. The challenge for the European Commission will be to see how best this can be achieved given the specificities of this environment. The ACT and its members will be there to work with the Commission to achieve such a result.
Commercial Broadcasters have set out in the ACT’s Blueprint for media policy 2019-2024 the guiding thoughts for what European policy-makers need to focus on if they wish to maintain media plurality, quality news and cultural diversity in Europe. This Blueprint was officially presented to Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager on November 18th to commemorate ACT’s 30 Years in Europe.
The call for action focuses on Robust, Responsible and Reliable policies that support the great contribution broadcasters make to life in Europe.
- We call for a Robust Media policy, which delivers an industrial vision that is more ambitious and joined up with a competition framework that allows us to compete.
- We call for Responsible online platform policies with a set of ex ante and ex post measures to deliver a digital environment that rewards rights and allows for innovation. That means online platforms need to deliver on access to data, transparency & quality.
- We call for Reliable rights & commercial freedoms that we can count on. Ensure the EU’s policies uphold the drivers of our businesses – territoriality & contractual freedom – and more is done to tackle piracy and protect content so that the creative ecosystem is not irremediably damaged.
ACT will continue to engage with European policy-makers to ensure the principles in this Blueprint help foster a political discussion and the creation of impactful public policies.