A Statement by AER, ACT, BIPA, EPC and VPRT to the Convention on Media and Cultural Policy – 2003

2003 – THE MEDIA ORGANISATIONS LISTED BELOW BELIEVE IT’S ESSENTIAL THAT THE EU ACKNOWLEDGES THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION RULES AND THE FREE MOVEMENT OF SERVICES IN A FUNCTIONING INTERNAL MARKET, AS WELL AS RECOGNISING THE IMPORTANCE OF SUBSIDIARITY OF CULTURAL POLICY.

We therefore do not agree with the submission made in the name of the Bureau Européen du Cinéma et Télévision on 13 February. We do not wish to enter into a detailed rebuttal of that submission. But in contrast to theinterest groups signing the letter of 13 February, we believe that proper implementation ofexisting rules in state aid is essential for a competitive internal market. By contrast, other aspects of media policy – such as ownership, and “cultural policy” (in as far as this is relevant to broadcasting) – are more appropriately dealt with at national level. We therefore support the Praesidium text’s decision to respect the primacy of national competence in these areas, both in setting the Union’s objectives (Article 3) and in assigning competence between the Union and the Member States (Articles 11 to 15). We would of course be very happy to expand on our views on this subject, should this be raised in the ongoing work of the Convention. But our main objective in writing to you today is to clarify that the European media sector as a whole seeks neither special treatment nor exemption from EU law.

ACT – Association of Commercial Television in Europe

AER – Association Européenne de Radios

BIPA – British Internet Publishers Alliance

EPC – European Publishers Council

VPRT – Verband Privater Rundfunk und Telekommunikation