Strasbourg, September 2003

DH-MM(2003)007

(English only)

 

An overview of the rules governing broadcasting regulatory authorities in Europe

______

Media Division
Directorate General of Human Rights
Council of Europe

______

BROADCASTING REGULATORY AUTHORITIES - OVERVIEW

______

Name of the authority

National Council of Radio and Television - Këshilli Kombëtar i Radios dhe Televizionit

Whom is it accountable to?

It presents an annual report before the parliamentary standing committee on the means of public information and before the People's Assembly in plenary session.
If for two years in a row the People's Assembly does not approve the annual report about the activity of NCRT by 2/3 of the votes, then the Council is dissolved.

Composition:

Number of members

7

Term (years)

5

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes (The duration of the term of the first elected chairman and deputy chairman was six years, in order to ensure better continuity of the functioning of the NCRT in the terms to follow.)

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The President of the Republic proposes the candidacy of one member, the other six are proposed by the parliamentary standing committee on means of public information in equal representation between the parliamentary majority and the opposition

Who appoints the members?

The People’s Assembly

Incompatibilities

Members of the Council are not allowed to: be members of political parties and associations, members of parliament or of the government, nor declare publicly or act in their interest; be members of anonymous companies related to the mass media or represent commercial interests that run contrary to their function; have financial interests that are related to radio-television broadcasting through ownership, employment, or commercial relations; protect the interests of a company or firm producing audio-visual materials, press publications, advertisements or telecommunications.
The obligations foreseen in the last 2 points continue to be in force for one year after the completion of their term. Employees of the administration of the Council shall not be members of managing boards of public and private broadcasting networks, shall not be licensed for radio-television broadcasting, shall not protect the interests of a subject that has been granted a licence, or exercise functions for the subject's service.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Only if a member is punished by a court with a final decision for the commission of a crime; he becomes unable to perform his duty because of illness; he is absent from more than 1/3 of the meetings of the Council in a year; it is verified that he does not fulfil the obligations of article 14 (incompatibilities)

Who can dismiss them?

The organ that elected them.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders then frequencies available?

NS (a list of those criteria has been published by the NCRT)

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Meetings of the National Council of Radio and Television may be held only when no less than four members are present, and decisions are valid when taken by a relative majority of the votes of those who are present.  

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

It issues decisions in implementation of the law and may suggest changes in legislation in the field of electronic means of mass communication.

Financing

The financiial budget of the National Council of Radio-Television is covered by the State. The funding sources of the NCRT are: income from payments for receiving and renewing licenses (licensing fees); income from annual licence fees (taxes on radio-television broadcast licences, provided in the fiscal laws); 5% of the annual income tax of licensed subjects; income from processing licence applications; income from fees for the services of radio-television transmissions, provided in the fiscal laws; the initial fund – a grant accorded by the Council of Ministers for the initiation of the activity of the NCRT; financing from the State budget; donations.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Y

Y

-


    ARMENIA 

Based on the law: on Television and Radio Broadcasting adopted on 09.10.2000.

    General information

Name of the authority

The National Commission of TV and Radio

Whom is it accountable to?

It presents a statement about the previous year’s activities to the National Assembly.

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The President of the Republic

Incompatibilities

Leaders of political parties, directors of public or private television and radio broadcasting companies, persons who have a contractual relationship with broadcasting companies, including the employees of public and private television and radio companies. The members of the National Commission cannot be members of the executive body of political parties. They cannot use their position in favour of any political party or non-governmental organisations. 
The President and Vice-President of the National Commission cannot be engaged in another paid work, except for pedagogical, scientific, and creative work. The President and the members of the National Commission cannot be licensed for / or be a shareholder of any television and radio company.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Only if resignation, if he/she is elected or appointed to other state position, has been absent from work for more then three months without justification, is sentenced by a verdict of a court, lost Armenian citizenship, in case of death.

Who can dismiss them?

By decree of the President of the Republic

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Commission

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

During the selection of an entity for licensing, the National Commission considers: the prevalence of local programmes, the prevalence of national programmes, the technical and financial possibilities of the applicant, the professional level of the staff.

Procedure

Licenses for broadcasting through cable networks are granted without competition.
Licenses for the air broadcasting of TV-Radio programmes are granted in a public competition (tender). The decision is taken during a session of the Commission to which the applicant is invited.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The Session is valid if the President of the Commission or the Deputy President, authorised by the President, chairs it. More than two-third of the members shall be present at the session. The decisions are passed by the majority of the total number of the members of the Commission.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

NS

Financing

From the State budget. It is indicated in the budget in a separate item.

    Law enforcerment competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

N

Y

-


    AUSTRIA 

    Based on the law: Federal Act on the establishment of an "Austrian Communications Authority" ("KommAustria") and a Federal Communications Board.

    NOTE: the KommAustria has regulatory and supervising powers over private broadcasters

    General information

Name of the authority

KommAustria

Whom is it accountable to?

Directly subordinate to the Federal Chancellor, its annual report is submitted by the Chancellor to the National Assembly.

Composition:

Number of members

DG and staff, but there is also an Advisory Council of 6 members.

Term (years)

The Council members - 6

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

For the appointment of one member, the Federal Government must obtain proposals from the Laender (states of the federation)

Who appoints the members?

For the appointment of the DG, a public tender; members of the Council - The Government.

Incompatibilities

NS

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NS

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

KommAustria

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

For a nationwide licence, the regulatory authority shall give precedence to that applicant who, on the basis of the documents submitted as well as the results of the licensing procedure, appears to ensure best the objectives of the law on private TV, especially who offers altogether the better assurance for a greater diversity of opinions, as well as where one can expect an independent programme offer, taking account of the interests in the coverage area; who can be expected that his programme will comprise a larger share of in-house programme items;  who can provide coverage to a larger part of the population; who can be expected to a larger extent, on the basis of the submitted programme plan, that his programme will feature programme items of relevance to Austria, such as, for example, presentations of the cultural, artistic, political and social life, Austrian sports or other elements communicating the specific characteristic features of Austria.
For non-nationwide licences. If there are several applicants who meet the statutory requirements for a coverage area, the regulatory authority shall give precedence to that applicant who, in addition to the criteria listed in § 7 (above), can be expected to a larger extent, on the basis of the programme plan submitted by him, that the programme will reflect the cultural, artistic, political and social life of the respective coverage area, and that, on the basis of the programme plan submitted by him, the programme contents will be complementary to the television programmes already disseminated in the coverage area.  

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes, to the Federal Communications Board, a collective body comprised of 5 members which is independent under the constituion

Other

Quorum for decision-making

KommAustria is a monocratic authority

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

Yes, in certain specific cases not directly connected with the licences it can issue decrees.

Financing

    The operating costs of the Advisory Council and KommAustria are borne by RTR-GmbH, a limited-liability company with 100% of the shares of the company reserved for the Federal Government. The administration of the federal portfolio is the task of the Federal Chancellor acting in consultation with the Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology. The expenditure of RTR-GmbH in the broadcasting sector is financed by contributions from the licensees.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Y

-


    AZERBAIJAN 

    Based on the law: on TV-Radio Broadcasting of 2002 and the decree of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic on the Establishment of the National TV-Radio Council.

    General information

Name of the authority

National TV – Radio Council

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The President of the Republic

Incompatibilities

Persons who have dual citizenship, assume obligations to other States, working in executive or in court authority system, excluding pedagogical and creative work, being involved into other payable work, religious men, persons whose incapability was determined by court, persons who have been previously convicted of very serious crime.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

When put in an application, withdrawal of Azerbaijan citizenship or acceptance of the citizenship of another State, commit a crime or there is the valid decision of the court, hold post in a state institution.

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Competition shall be held in correspondence with purposes of the law, bearing in mind the creative and financial possibilities of those who apply for a transmission licence. When determining the conditions of competition the interest of the viewers, listeners and the State shall be taken into account. When holding the competition, the following shall be taken into account: the correspondence of the applicant’s data to conditions of competition, the professional, technical and financial possibilities of the applicant for implementing the TV-Radio transmission, and the result of an open hearing and other competitive procedures.

Procedure

Competition

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

NS

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

Yes (“may issue, within its competence, the appropriate normative and legal acts”)

Financing

From the State budget.

    Law enforcement competences

The licences can be suspended and revoked by court decision. The Council has the right to “determine, within its competence, the amount and rules for the payment of fines to be applied to TV and radio broadcasters”

Name of the authority

French Community – Supreme Audiovisual Council (Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel)

Flemish -Vlaams Commissariaat voor de Media

Whom is it accountable to?

   

Composition:

 

Number of members

The Bureau: 4 members (Chairman, 3 Vice-Chairmen)

Chairman and 2 vice-Chairmen (+3 deputies)

Collège d'autorisation et de contrôle: 4 members of the Bureau + 6 members

Collège d'avis: 4 members of the Bureau +30 members (+deputies)

Term (years)

Members of the Bureau – 5, others - 4

6

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

No

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

-

Who appoints the members?

The government nominates the Chairman and 3 Vice-Chairmen. As regards the other 6 members of the Collège d'autorisation et de contrôle, 3 are designated by the Council of the French Community and 3 by the government. Members of the Collège d'avis are designated by the government

The Flemish government

Incompatibilities

Membership in the Collège d'avis is incompatible with the function of member of the executive or legislative powers at the European, federal, community or regional level; with the membership in an organisation that does not respect the principles of democracy as defined in the European Convention of Human Rights, the law of 30 July 1981 on the repression of certain acts inspired by racism and xenophobia and the law of 23 March 1995 on the repression of the negation, minimisation, justification or approval of the genocide committed by the national-socialist regime during the second world war or any other form of genocide.
Membership in the Collège d’autorisation et de contrôle is subject to a wider range of incompatibilities covering not only those which apply to the members of the Collège d'avis but also to additional incompatibilities such as the position of Governor of a province, mayor of a city, or functions which may create a conflict of interest because of a position exercised in a broadcasting organisation or the holding of interests in a company or organisation which exercise an activity competing with that of companies or organisations of the audiovisual sector.
Except for the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen, the same person may not be a member of more than one College.

A member of the Commissariaat may not exercise a political mandate nor have any ties with the media sector, an establishment or a company.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Only if incompatibilities declared by the plenary assembly after a hearing of the interested member, if Article 404 of the penal code may be applied, if they fail to respect their obligations as defined in the Media Law.

 

Who can dismiss them?

The Chairman and Vice-Chairmen are revocable by the Council of the French Community on the proposal of the Government. The members of the collège d'autorisation et de contrôle may be revoked by the Council of the French Community on the proposal of the Government. The members of the other College may be revoked by the Government.
The chairman decides on the automatic resignation of a member after 6 absences at meetings in succession. A member, who is in a situation of incompatibility, has a period of one month to resign from the other function. Otherwise, he/she is dismissed, a month and one day after the date on which the Council has declared the incompatibility.

The Flemish Government

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Collège d’autorisation et de contrôle of the CSA, except for local televisions and the public service broadcaster «RTBF». Authorisations to operate local television stations are granted by the Government.

The Commissariaat voor de Media

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The Collège d’autorisation et de contrôle takes into account the following elements: (1) the way in which the applicants undertake to meet the obligations concerning the programmes (cultural programmes, programmes in the French language, etc), (2) the relevance of the applicants’ financial plans, (3) the originality and innovatory nature of the application, (4) the importance of the production decentralised in the French community and (5) the experience of the applicant.

 

Procedure

Tender

 

Can the decision be appealed?

The decision of the Collège d’autorisation et de contrôle can be appealed before the Council of State, which is the supreme administrative court. Furthermore, when the CSA decides to impose a fine, a complaint can be launched against this decision before the civil courts. Finally, the Government can appeal the decisions of the Collège d’autorisation et de contrôle concerning the granting of licences if it considers that they are contrary to the legislation.

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

For the deliberations of the Collège d’avis, at least half of the members have to be present. In the case of the collège d'autorisation et de contrôle, they are valid if at least 7 members are present. Voting at the majority of the members who are present. In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have the casting vote. 

 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No

 

Financing

    The resources of the CSA include: (1) an annual grant from the French Community, (2) a specific additional grant, (3) donations and (4) revenues from its own properties

From the budget of the Flemish Community.

    Law enforcement competences

 

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

CSA

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

-

VCM

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y*


    *May order the licensee to publish its decision in newspapers/magazines at his cost; may prohibit the broadcasting of advertisement/ sponsoring for a certain period of time.

    BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA 

    Based on the law: on Communications of Bosnia and Herzegovina of October 2002.

    NOTE: The Agency regulates broadcasting and telecommunications.

    General information

Name of the authority

Communication Regulatory Agency - Regulatorna Agencija za Komunikacije

Whom is it accountable to?

An annual report on its finances and activities is submitted to the Council of Ministers.

Composition:

Number of members

7 (+DG)

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The Council of Ministers

Incompatibilities

Officials in legislative or executive functions at any level of government, or members of political party organs may not be nominated as candidates for membership of the Council of the Agency. Members of the Council of the Agency shall declare any interests in a telecommunications operator or a broadcaster and shall recuse themselves in cases that present a conflict of interest.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Only if illness rendering the member incapable of performing his/her duties; conviction for a crime punishable by imprisonment; a conflict of interest as defined in the Agency’s Code of Ethics, including when a member of his or her household is an owner, shareholder, or member of the boards or supervisory boards or other relevant governing bodies, director or president or other manager of any licensee or associate undertaking of any licensee; resignation; non-performance of duties for members of the Council of the Agency (failure to participate in 3 or more successive meetings); or failure of the Director General to perform his/her duties pursuant to law, internal agency rules or his/her contract of employment; violation of the Agency’s code of ethics.

Who can dismiss them?

The Parliament

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

CRA

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Where the granting of rights of use of frequencies or numbers have to be limited, the Agency shall grant such rights on the basis of selection criteria which must be objective, non-discriminatory, transparent and proportionate. Such selection criteria must give due weight to the achievement of the objectives and regulatory principles of the broadcasting law.

Procedure

 

Can the decision be appealed?

In the case of a negative decision, reasons shall be given for the denial of the licence and there shall be a right to appeal the decision to the Council of the Agency.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

In the event that a consensus cannot be achieved, the Council of the Agency shall reach a simple majority decision, provided that at least four (4) members are present and vote. In the event of a tie, the chairman of the meeting shall have the casting vote. 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

May promulgate rules on broadcasting and telecommunications, and ensure adherence thereto.

Financing

The funding of the Agency shall come from: recurrent technical licence fees for the regulation and supervision of the telecommunications operators and broadcasters; and grants or donations received by the Agency in so far as they are in conformity with general principles of law. The budget has to be approved by the government. The proceeds from fines go to the State budget, not to the Agency.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

N

Y

N

Y

Y*


    *Inspection of licensed facilities; may issue demands for action or cessation, to be complied with within a specified time limit.

    BULGARIA 

    Based on the law: Radio and Television Act of 1998, last amended in 2001

    General information

Name of the authority

Council of Electronic Media

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes, rotation of 3 people every other year

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Usually NGOs, trade unions and political parties

Who elects the members?

5 elected by the Parliament and 4 appointed by the President of the Republic

Incompatibilities

Persons who have been sentenced for offences under public law; sole traders, owners of the capital of commercial corporations, partners, managing directors, managerial agents or members of management and auditing bodies of commercial corporations and cooperatives; persons who have been on the full-time staff or part-time informers of the former State Security.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

The term of office of a member of the Council of Electronic Media shall be terminated prior to the expiry of the said term upon removal of the person from office or in the event of death.
Reasons for the removal of a member:
Acting on a letter of resignation submitted to the Chairperson of the Council of Electronic Media;
Upon permanent actual inability to discharge his/her duties in the course of more than six months;
Upon establishment of incompatibility with the requirements of this Act;
Upon entry into force of a sentence imposing a term of imprisonment for a premeditated offence

Who can dismiss them?

A member of the Council of Electronic Media is removed from office by a decision of the Council of Electronic Media

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

CEM

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

There is a set of criteria and a special procedure developed and published by the CEM

Procedure

Competition.

How transparent is the procedure? Can the decision be appealed?

It is envisaged to be entirely public and according to the acting law. It can be appealed in court

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Qualified majority only for the election of the Chair of CEM and the Managing Board of BNT and BNR.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

In execution of its powers, the Council of Electronic Media shall adopt regulations, decisions and declarations and shall give opinions in the cases provided for by the law.

Financing

    The Council of Electronic Media is financed from the "Radio and television" fund. The fund resources are raised from fees paid by citizens for receiving radio and TV programmes, fees for issuing a licence to a broadcaster and annual licence fees, accumulated bank interests of the fund resources, grants, testaments and other sources stipulated by the law.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

Y

-

    CROATIA 

    Based on the law: on Croatian Radio – Television of 08.02.2001.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Council for Radio and Television

Whom is it accountable to?

Annual activity report to the Croatian State Parliament.

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

5

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The Government

Who appoints the members?

The House of Representatives of the Parliament

Incompatibilities

The members of the Council may not be owners, shareholders or holders of shares, members of Management Boards or Supervisory Boards or members of Administration Boards or other corresponding management bodies, Directors or other managers of business operations of legal persons which are subject to the provisions of this Law, and which relate to Radio and Television.
A Council member may not be a representative in the Croatian State Parliament, an official of executive or judicial authorities, nor an official of a political party represented in Parliament, as determined by special regulations.
Members of the Council may not be employees in, or in a contractual or another relationship, with any legal person or other service which is connected with radio or television.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If it is evaluated that they are incapable of an ordinary performance of the businesses within the framework of the Council or if incompatibilities.

Who can dismiss them?

 

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council for Radio and Television

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

NS (but general requirements are listed)

Procedure

The Council has to solicit bids publicly or launch a public tender procedure.

Can the decision be appealed?

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Majority vote of all members of the Council.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

From the funds of the State budget.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

?

N

Y

N

N

Y

-

    CYPRUS 

    Based on the law: on Radio and Television Stations of 1998 (as amended in 2003).

    General information

Name of the authority

The Cyprus Radio-Television Authority

Whom is it accountable to?

The Authority reports every three years to the council of Ministers and the Parliament on the evolution pluralism and ownership concentrations. The Authorities budget is subject to approval by the Council of ministers and to vote by the Parliament.

Composition:

Number of members

7

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The Council of Ministers

Incompatibilities

If he or she has any direct or indirect interest in any radio-television enterprise or in the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.  

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

In case of death; in case of resignation submitted in writing to the Council of Ministers;   in case of non-suitability which is decided on by the Council of Ministers: as a result of the assumption of an official rank or post in any political party, or due to unbecoming conduct

Who can dismiss them?

The Council of Ministers.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Radio-Television Authority

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The applications evaluated mainly regarding the following: the completeness and quality of the programming (The completeness of the programme does not concern thematic stations or stations with encrypted broadcasts with regard to the part of their programme transmitted in the closed zone); the knowledge, experience, ability and numerical sufficiency of the regular staff, the programme commitment for the development of the sectors of information, education and entertainment and the contribution to all forms of literature and art, as well as the ability of keeping these commitments, the ability and commitment of the applicants to safeguard pluralism in their programmes and broadcasts and for the greatest possible access to them, the journalistic and creative independence of journalists and other executors in the station and the arrangement made for the terms of employment of editors and other employees of the station, the technical efficiency of the station and its economic viability.  

Procedure

All applications are submitted to the Authority. The part relevant to transmitters and other technical issues are examined by the Ministry of Communications and Work. The Authority evaluates the applications both on technical and on other grounds and decides accordingly.

Can the decision be appealed?

All the decisions of the Authority are subject to judicial review

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Four members attending the meeting constitute a quorum. The decisions of the Authority are taken by majority vote. In case of a tie, the person chairing the meeting has a second or casting vote. Four votes needed for the revocation of a license.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

    May issue circulars, directives and recommendations for the observance of the code of jjournalistic ethics with which the stations are obliged to comply. Can draft laws and regulations and submit them for approval to the Council of Ministers and the Parliament.

Financing

The Authority keeps a separate fund in which are deposited: licence fees; fees from the examination, renewal or amendment of licences; any subsidy or other proceeds that may be given to the Authority or be received by it; revenues from administrative fines on stations; all other revenue from the Authority's property;  any government grant. It has its own budget and services.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

May give advice.

    CZECH REPUBLIC 

    Based on the law: on radio and television broadcasting of 17 May 2001.

    General information

Name of the authority

Council for Radio and TV Broadcasting - Rada pro rozhlasové a televizní vysílání

Whom is it accountable to?

House of Deputies.

Composition:

Number of members

13

Term (years)

7

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The House of Deputies

Who appoints the members?

The Prime Minister

Incompatibilities

Membership in the Council is incompatible with the capacity of the President of the Republic, Deputy, Senator, Member of the Government, Judge, Public Prosecutor, Member of the Supreme Audit Office, Member of the Bank Council of the Czech National Bank, with the membership in the Council of the Czech Press Agency, the Council of the Czech Television and of the Czech Radio. Council members shall not exercise functions in political parties or movements and act in their favour. Neither Council members nor persons closely related to them may assume any capacities, including unpaid ones, in any statutory bodies of companies that carry out business in the area of mass media, audiovisual products and advertising, participate in the activities of companies that carry out their activities in the area of mass media or in the area of audiovisual products and advertising, or provide consultancy or other assistance in return for payment to broadcasters or operators of retransmission, neither directly nor through any mediation. If Council members execute any paid employment or activity besides their capacity in the Council, they shall conduct such activity in a way not challenging due discharge of the function of Council member

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

a) If the functions pertaining to the capacity are not duly executed; if the prerequisites for assuming the capacity, as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act, are not fulfilled; if he/she commits such conduct that challenges his/her impartiality, independence or impartiality of the Council.
b) Resignation to the Prime Minister, as of the effective date of the judgment, which deprived the Council member of the eligibility to perform legal acts or which limited his/her eligibility to perform legal acts, as of the effective date of the sentence whereby the Council member was convicted of any of the offences listed in the law, due to death or declaration of death.

Who can dismiss them?

In the first case - The Prime Minister on the basis of a proposal of the House of Deputies, in the second, the term expires by itself.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

In the decision-making process, the Council shall assess the following facts:
level of economic, organisational and technical readiness of the applicant to support the broadcasting, including the results hitherto achieved by the applicant in the area of radio and television broadcasting, if the applicant has developed business in this area,
transparency of ownership relations in the company of the applicant, benefits of programme structure as proposed by the applicant with regard to the existing variety in the offer of programmes of radio or television broadcasting on the territory, which should be covered by radio or television broadcasting; in case of television broadcasting, the amount of European production, production of independent European producers and contemporary production in the programme structure, benefits provided by the applicant for the development of original production, in case of television broadcasting, the readiness of the applicant to provide hidden or open subtitles in a certain percentage of broadcast programme units for persons with impaired hearing, benefits provided by the applicant for the development of culture of ethnic and other minorities.

Procedure

Tender and public hearings of the applicants.

Can the decision be appealed?

The statement contained in the decision of the Council may be appealed in court.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

If not stipulated otherwise by law, the Council has a quorum if an absolute majority of its members is present and if simultaneously the Council Chairperson or one of the Vice-Chairpersons are also present. The Council decides by an absolute majority of votes of its members, except for the decisions on the granting, extension or withdrawal of licences or on registration cancellation. In all aforementioned cases, 9 votes of Council members are required for the decision.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No. (only issuing of Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the Council and Organisational Rules of Council Office; publication of Council resolutions)

Financing

The Council manages its own budget pursuant to specific legal regulation and its activities are covered by a separate chapter of the national budget.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

N

Y

N

Y

-

    DENMARK 

    Based on the law: The Danish Radio and Television Broadcasting Act - ACT No. 1052 of 17 December 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Radio and Television Board

Whom is it accountable to?

The Minister for Culture.

Composition:

Number of members

7

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

 

Who appoints the members?

The Minister of Culture

Incompatibilities

NS

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NS

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Radio and Television Board or Local Radio and Television Boards  for local TV and radios.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

NS

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

NS

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

N

N

Y

N

N

Y

-

    ESTONIA 

    Based on the law: Broadcasting Act of 1994, last amended in 2000.

    NOTE: The Council only supervises public radio and TV. It has no powers over private broadcasters.

    General information

Name of the authority

Estonian Broadcasting Council

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

5 years for experts, for political appointees – as long as the term of their governing body.

Can they be re-elected?

NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The Riigikogu Cultural Affairs Committee

Who appoints the members?

The Riigikogu (Parliament) appoints five members of the Broadcasting Council from among the members of the Riigikogu on the basis of the principle of political balance. The Riigikogu appoints four members of the Broadcasting Council from among recognised specialists in the fields related to public broadcasting functions.

Incompatibilities

A member of the Broadcasting Council shall not be: in an employment relationship with any broadcaster; a partner, shareholder or member in any broadcaster; a sole proprietor in the meaning of a broadcaster; a member of a body of a private broadcaster; a member of the Government of the Republic.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

The term shall terminate prematurely if he/she resigns from office, is removed by the Riigikogu, a judgment of conviction enters into force with regard to him/her, or he/she dies.
A member of the Broadcasting Council shall resign from office at his/her own request or shall be removed, if he/she no longer meets the requirements provided for in this Act or is permanently unable to perform his/her duties.

Who can dismiss them?

The Riigikogu shall make a decision concerning the resignation or removal of a member of the Broadcasting Council on the proposal of the Riigikogu Cultural Affairs Committee.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Ministry of Culture

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

NS, but there is a list of reasons for refusing a licence.

Procedure

Public call for applications.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The Broadcasting Council has a quorum if at least five members, including the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Council, participate in the meeting. Unless otherwise provided, the Broadcasting Council adopts resolutions by a majority of the members of the Council.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No

Financing

The operating expenses of the Broadcasting Council are covered by the State budget.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

 

    FINLAND 

    Based on the law: the Radio Act of 10.15.2001 and the Act on Television and Radio Operations.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority - FICORA

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

NA*

Term (years)

NA

Can they be re-elected?

NA

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NA

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

NA

Who appoints the members?

NA

Incompatibilities

NA

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NA

Who can dismiss them?

NA

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council of State, FICORA for radio

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

If only a proportion of applicants can be granted a radio licence or frequency reservation due to the insufficiency of radio frequencies, the licence or reservation shall be granted to those applicants whose operations best promote the purpose of this Act as laid down in section 1 (promote efficient, appropriate and sufficiently interference-free use of radio frequencies; to safeguard the fair availability of radio frequencies; to create conditions that maximise the unrestricted mobility of radio equipment; to promote efficiency in the public telecommunications market. )

Procedure

NS

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

NA

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

The Authority covers the costs of its operations with the fees it collects. Most of the revenue comes from radio transmitter licence fees, spectrum fees, telecommunications network numbering fees, postal operation supervision fees and Internet domain name fees. The television fees and licence fees for running television or radio operations are passed on to the State Television and Radio Fund.

* FICORA is an administrative body. Therefore, the questions concerning its membership are inapplicable.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

 

Y

           

    FRANCE 

    Based on the law: n° 86-1067 «relative à la liberté de communication» of 30 September 1986, last amended in February 2003.

    General information

Name of the authority

Supreme Audiovisual Council - Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel

Whom is it accountable to?

Annual report to the President, the government and Parliament.

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

No

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

3 candidates designated by the President of the Republic, 3 by the President of the Senate, 3 by the President of the National Assembly

Who appoints the members?

The President of the Republic

Incompatibilities

Incompatible with any elective mandate, public function and any kind of professional activity. The members of the Council may not exercise functions or receive honoraria, except for work performed before the beginning of their membership. They may not have interests in a firm in the audiovisual, film, press, advertisement or telecommunications sector.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If incompatibilities occur, he/she is declared resigned by the Council.

Who can dismiss them?

The Council

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

(for radio licences) Interest of the public, safeguarding pluralism of expression, diversification of broadcasters and avoiding the dominant position of one broadcaster or practices contrary to the principle of free market competition.
Are also taken into account: the experience which the candidate has in the field of communication, his financial possibilities, his possession of interests in press or advertising companies. For programmes providing general or political information, their independence and pluralism of opinions represented, as well as honesty of the information provided. Contribution of locally produced programmes. The Council ensures that enough frequencies are awarded to local and community radios, as well as those run by associations promoting cultural exchange, local development, the protection of the environment or the fight against social exclusion.

Procedure

Public call for applications.

Can the decision be appealed?

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

At least 6 members of the Council have to be present.
Vote by the majority of the members who are present. In the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have the casting vote. 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

From the State budget

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

-

    GEORGIA 

    Based on the law: Georgian Law on Post and Telecommunications of 23 July1999; Law on National Independent Regulatory Authorities of 13 September 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Georgian National Communications Commission

Whom is it accountable to?

Submits a report to the President and the Georgian Parliament in accordance with the rule determined by the Procedure Legislation.

Composition:

Number of members

3

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The President of the Republic

Incompatibilities

The Commissioners shall suspend membership of any political party for the period of his/her activities as a commissioner. It is prohibited to establish any political party or public organisation or a structural unit in the commission or its apparatus.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

The term of the commissioners is terminated in the following cases: he/she resigns by his/her own will; indictment procedures against a commissioner are entered into force; a court recognizes him/her as incapable or missing; he/she has lost citizenship of Georgia; does not fulfil his/her duties during a four-month continuous period; occupies a position or performs activities that create a conflict of interest with his/her position; passes away.

Who can dismiss them?

The President of the Republic

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Commission

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The winner should be determined on the basis of the following criteria: technical, financial, programming, including quantity of local production.

Procedure

Tender

Can the decision be appealed?

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Resolutions and decisions of the Commission are adopted at the Commission’s meetings by a majority vote of commissioners.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

The National Communications Commission is authorised to adopt legal general behaviour rules (normative acts) within the scope of its authority.

Financing

    The expenses of the National Communications Commission are financed from the regulatory fee and other revenue determined in Georgian legislation.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

       

Y

 

Y

 

    GERMANY 

    Broadcasting is regulated by state (Länder) laws which are harmonised by the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting.

    The state media authorities are independent agencies consisting of representatives of socially relevant groups or experts. They issue broadcasting licences (even for nationwide broadcasting, the broadcaster must apply for a licence in one of the states and is then supervised by this state’s authority), supervise the application of audiovisual law, take part in frequency management.

    The sanctions which they may use include: a formal statement there has been an infringement, prohibition of further breaches, fines, the revocation of a licence. In most cases, the authorities are financed by a percent of the licence revenue.

Baden-Wurttemberg

Landesanstalt fur Kommunikation Baden- Wurttemberg

Bavaria

Bayerische Landeszentrale fur neue Medien

Berlin/ Brandenburg

Medienanstalt Berlin Brandenburg

Bremen

Bremische Landesmedienanstalt

Hamburg

Hamburgische Anstalt für neue Medien

Hessen

Hessische Landesanstalt für privaten Rundfunk

Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

Landesrundfunkzentrale Meklemburg - Vorpommern

Lower Saxony

Niedersächsischen Landesmedienanstalt

North Rhine-Westphalia

Landesanstalt fur Medien Nordrhein - Westfalen

Rhineland-Palatinate

Landeszentrale für private Rundfunkveranstalter

Saarland

Landesmedienanstalt Saarland

Saxony

Sachsische Landesanstalt fur Privaten Rundfunk und neue Medien

Saxony-Anhalt

Medienanstalt Sachsen - Anhalt

Schleswig-Holstein

Unabhangige Landesanstalt fur Rundfunk und neue Medien

Thuringia

Thuringer Landesmedienanstalt

    For example:

    Nordrhein-Westfalen: The Media Broadcasting Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into three parts: a Director, the Media Commission and Media Council. The Media Commission is made up of 25 members. Seven are elected by the North Rhine-Westphalian Parliament (Landtag) and 18 are appointed by "groups of particular social relevance" as specified in the NRW Media Law. The term of office of the members is six years. A new (2003) institution ,called the Media Council, consists of 5 members. The authority is entitled to impose fines, and may, in extreme situations, withdraw the broadcaster’s licence.

    GREECE 

    Based on the law: as of 2000.

    NOTE: All decisions of the Council are taken in the form of opinions. They need the approval of the Minister for the Press and the Mass Media. The Minister also checks the conformity of the decisions with the law.

    General information

Name of the authority

The National Council of Radio-Television - Ethniko Symvoulio Radiotileorassis

Whom is it accountable to?

The Parliament. Under the supervision of the Ministry for the Press and the Mass Media.

Composition:

Number of members

7

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Yes, they can serve for two mandates (consecutive or not)

Are the members’ terms staggered?

 

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Parliamentary parties

Who appoints the members?

The chairman and vice-chairman are appointed by the College of Presidents of the Greek Parliament on proposals from the President of the Parliament. The decision of the College requires a qualified majority of four-fifths.

Incompatibilities

Final conviction for criminal offences. During mandate: Holding of office in government, local authorities, army and security services, post in public service and in a political party.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Final sentence by a court for criminal offences. Conviction by a Special Disciplinary Body on charges of disciplinary offences. This Body is composed of judges, attorneys, university professors, etc.

Who can dismiss them?

The Disciplinary Body issues the decision and the Minister for the Press and the Mass Media issues an act confirming the decision.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Minister for the Press and the Mass Media, following the opinion of the RTv Council.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders then frequencies available?

Existing services in operation, number of employees, financial viability, completeness of the schedule of programmes, qualifications and experience of employed, commitment to implement journalistic and professional codes of conduct.

Procedure

Invitation for applications for specific number and type of stations. Applications are examined by the RTv Council and the Ministry for the Press and the Mass media.

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes, before a court. The Minister for the Press and the Mass Media can also take legal action against the Council’s decisions.

Other

 

Quorum for decision-making

Four members: the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman and three members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

Can issue circulars, directives, opinions and recommendations

Financing

Has its own separate budget. (No more details available)

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

N

Y

 

    HUNGARY 

    Based on the law: Act No. 1 of 1996 on Radio and Television Services, last amended in 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

National Radio and Television Commission – Orszagos Radio es Televizio Testulet

Whom is it accountable to?

The Parliament

Composition:

Number of members

Not less than five

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The Chairperson of the Commission is jointly nominated by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. The other members of the Commission are nominated by the Parliamentary factions. Each Parliamentary factions nominates one member. If on the side of the Government or of the Opposition there is only one parliamentary faction, that one faction is entitled to nominate two members.

Who appoints the members?

The Commission is elected by a single majority of all Members of Parliament.

Incompatibilities

    a. The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, a member of the Government, the Mayor of Budapest, a mayor, chairman or deputy chairman of a County Corporation of elected representatives, a Member of Parliament or his employee, a national or regional officer of a political party;
    b. the head, member of the governing body, or manager, or anyone who has a legal status of appointment or employment with a broadcaster, programme distributor, press publisher or press distributor;
    c. a broadcaster, programme distributor, press publisher, press distributor or anyone who has a direct or indirect interest held in such an enterprise;
    d. a member of the Board of Trustees of, or an employee of, the Hungarian Radio Public Foundation, of Hungarian Television Public Foundation or of the Public Television Foundation 'Hungaria'.

A close relative of a person specified under a)-c), may not be a member of the Commission.
A member of the Commission shall not

    a. have a legal status which in effect entitles him/her to an appointment or employment with a broadcaster, programme distributor, press publisher or press distributor;
    b. be the owner of the organ (member, share holder, member of its Commission of Directors or of its Supervisory Committee, manager, or also its auditor) specified in a), including the member of the administering organ of the foundation.

A close relative of a member shall not be the owner of the organ (member, share holder), specified in a) member of its Commission of Directors, Board of Trustees or of its Supervisory Committee, managing director, or its auditor.
A member of the Commission shall not be involved in party political activity, nor shall he/she make a party political statement.
A member of the Commission shall not carry out any gainful trade or profession, except those scientific, educational, literary, artistic and other activities that fall under the protection of copyright law, and he may not accept remuneration from a broadcaster for his scientific, educational, literary, artistic and other activities that fall under the protection of copyright law.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

    a. upon his/her resignation,
    b. upon the establishment of a conflict of interests,
    c. through dismissal (if the Member fails to fulfil his/her duties for an uninterrupted period of three months due to reasons beyond his control.),
    d. through expulsion (if the member fails to fulfil his/her duties due to reasons for which his responsibility can be established, the Member's culpability was established by a Ruling of a Court and the member was given a prison sentence, in force.)
    e. upon losing the appointment,
    f. upon the death of the member,
    g. upon the discontinuation of the nominating Parliamentary faction,
    h. upon the termination of the Commission's appointment (as specified in the law, if a specific voting procedure is inconclusive)

Who can dismiss them?

The termination of the member's office is declared by the Chairperson of the Commission in the cases of Sub-paragraphs b) and f); by the full Commission Session, in the cases of Sub-paragraphs c), d) and e). The termination of the Chairperson's office is jointly declared by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Commission

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

In the absence of an agreement between the bidders (on sharing the frequency), the Commission decides on the selection in accordance with the evaluation criteria published at the time of the invitation to tender. With the exception of national broadcasting, if there is a non-profit oriented broadcaster amongst the competing bidders, the broadcasting licence shall be granted to him if at least two profit-oriented local broadcasts are already available to eighty percent of the residents of the signal area in question, and at least one of them is operated via signal transmission.

Procedure

Public tender

How transparent is the procedure? Can the decision be appealed?

There are public hearings and the tender must be published in the Official Gazette and in national papers. The decision may be appealed.

Other

Quorum and decision taking

Three different types of proceedings with different rules; depending on whether they’re deciding on the attribution of local, regional or national frequencies.

Can they create laws? (delegated regulations)

Yes, upon authorisation by the law.

Financing

The budget of the Board is approved by the Parliament in a separate Act, within the budget stipulated in Section 84, (one to four percent of the maintenance of operation fees shall serve to cover the operating expenses of the Board, based upon the proposal of the Board and as presented by the parliamentary committee with competence in budgetary matters), funded by the resources as defined in the law. (The sources of the Fund: broadcasting fees, tender and application fees, penalty and compensation payable in the event of a breach of the broadcasting contract, fines, maintenance of operation fees, and the budgetary contributions payable by the State on these grounds in the form of a flat-rate contribution and supplementary contributions, as well as voluntary payments.  )

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y*

Y

N

N

Y

N

Y
(terminates the contract with immediate effect)

 


    The written admonition and the non-performance penalty may be combined with the other sanctions
    * May order the broadcaster to abandon the offensive conduct, or establish the violation in a written admonition and call on the broadcaster to bring the violation to an end, and to refrain from such violation in the future.

    ICELAND 

    Based on the law: Broadcasting Act of 17 May 2000.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Broadcast Licensing Committee - útvarpsréttarnefnd

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

7 (+alternates)

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The Legislative Assembly (Althingi)

Incompatibilities

NS

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NS

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Broadcast Licensing Committee

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

NS

Procedure

 

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

NS

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

NS

Financing

    The operating costs of the Broadcast Licensing Committee are borne by the Treasury.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

Y

 

    IRELAND 

    Based on the law: the Radio and Television Act of 1988, the Broadcasting Act of 2001.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI)

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC)

Whom is it accountable to?

   

Composition:

Number of members

7 - 10

7 - 9

Term (years)

Not more than 5 years

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

No

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

   

Who appoints the members?

the Government

Incompatibilities

A person who is, for the time being, entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament shall, while he is so entitled or is such a member, be disqualified from becoming a member of the Commission or from employment in any capacity by the Commission.

A person who is, for the time being, entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament shall, while he or she is so entitled or is such a member, be disqualified from becoming a member of the Commission. A member of the Authority, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland or Teilifý´s na Gaeilge or an officer or servant of any such body shall be disqualified from becoming or being a member of the Commission

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Where a member of the Commission is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann, or nominated as a candidate for election to either House of the Oireachtas or to the European Parliament, or regarded as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy, he shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Commission

Who can dismiss them?

A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the Government for stated reasons, if resolutions are passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas calling for his removal.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The BCI enters into a contract with broadcasters, but the Minister for Communications also plays an important role in the licensing procedure.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The Commission shall have regard to the character of the applicant or, if the applicant is a body corporate, the character of the body and its directors, manager, secretary or other similar officer and its members and the persons entitled to the beneficial ownership of its shares; the adequacy of the expertise and experience and of the financial resources that will be available to each applicant and the extent to which the application accords with good economic principles; the quality, range and type of the programmes proposed to be provided by each applicant or, if there is only one applicant, by that applicant; the quantity, quality, range and type of programmes in the Irish language and the extent of programmes relating to Irish culture proposed to be provided; the extent to which the applicant will create within the proposed sound broadcasting service new opportunities for Irish talent in music, drama and entertainment; the desirability of having a diversity of services in the area specified; catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests; the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue number of sound broadcasting services in respect of which a sound broadcasting contract has been awarded under this Act; the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue amount of the communications media in the area specified; the extent to which the service proposed- serves recognisably local communities and is supported by the various interests in the Community, or serves communities of interest, and any other matters which the Commission considers to be necessary to secure the orderly development of sound broadcasting services. In considering the suitability of any applicant for the award of a sound broadcasting contract to provide a sound broadcasting service in respect of an area which includes a Gaeltacht area, the Commission shall have particular regard to the preservation as a spoken language of the Irish language.

Procedure

Public competition

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

To be determined, but not less than 5

To be determined, but not less than 5

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

The BCI has been given responsibility to draw up Codes & Rules in relation to taste and decency of programme material, in particular in respect of the portrayal of violence and sexual conduct, as well as standards in respect of advertising, teleshopping, sponsorship and other forms of commercial promotion, which when introduced will be applicable to all broadcasters, both public and private.

 

Financing

    A self-financing agency, drawing its income from advertising levies paid by franchised stations. The government may from time to time, after consultation with the Commission, pay to the Commission such an amount that it considers to be reasonable for the purposes of defraying the expenses incurred by the Commission in performing its functions.

    Able for the purposes of defraying the

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

     

Y

   

Y

 

    ITALY 

    Based on the law: n. 249 on the institution of the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni and the regulations for telecommunications and radio and television broadcasting systems, 31 July 1997

    NOTE: The Communications Regulatory Authority is a "convergent" authority. It has a range of functions extending from telecommunications to audiovisual services and publishing.

    General information

Name of the authority

Authority for the protection of communications - Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni

Whom is it accountable to?

The Parliament

Composition:

Number of members

The Authority comprises the following organs: the president, the commission for infrastructures and networks, the commission for services and products and the council. Each commission is a collective body comprised of the president and 4 commissioners. The Council comprises the president and all the commissioners (9 members)

Term (years)

7

Can they be re-elected?

No

Are the members’ terms staggered?

No

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies elect four commissioners each. The president of the Authority - on the proposal of the President of the Council of Ministers in agreement with the Ministry of Communications. The nomination of the president of the Authority is submitted to the competent parliamentary commissions for approval.

Who appoints the members?

The President of the Republic (by decree)

Incompatibilities

The president and the commissioners are subject to the rules on incompatibilities contained in the law n° 481/95.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

 

Who can dismiss them?

The competent parliamentary chamber upon a motion by the council of the authority

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Ministry for Communication

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

1. audience
2. content of the programmes
3. level of employment

Procedure

public competition

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes, before the administrative courts

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The validity of the meetings of each of the collective organs of the Authority requires the presence of the majority of the members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

Yes. The Authority can issue delegated regulations and decisions.

Financing

The costs, estimated at Lit. 52,090,000,000 a year shall be met by:
a) for the amount of Lit. 32,090,000,000, per year the use of resources already allocated to the Commissioner for free trade and competition in broadcasting and publishing;
b) for the amount of Lit. 20 billion through the arrangements set out in article 2, clause 38, letter b) and later clauses, of law November 14th 1995, n. 481.
Fees can be arranged where necessary for the services provided by the Authority as required by law, including the keeping of the register of operators, and would be applied on the basis of criteria that take account of the differential level of costs required for the separate activities.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

 

Y

   

Y

 

    LATVIA 

    Based on the law: Radio and Television law of February 2001.

    General information

Name of the authority

National Broadcasting Council (also called the Radio and Television Council) - Nacionālā radio un televīzijas padome

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Groups of at least 5 MPs among people known to the public

Who appoints the members?

The Parliament (Saeima)

Incompatibilities

May not combine a position on the Council with the duties of a member of the Saeima or a member of the Cabinet. A member of the Council may not hold an elected office or any other offices in the governing body of a political party. The members of the Council are subject to the restrictions and prohibitions pertaining to all State officials as provided in the Law on the Prevention of Corruption. Work on the Council shall be the primary employment for a member of the Council. Other paid employment may be engaged in only with the permission of the Council. No person who has been punished for an intentional crime may be a member of the Council, if he/she has not been rehabilitated or the criminal record has not been extinguished or expunged. Not more than three members of the Council may be from the same political organisation (party).

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

He/she has not attended more than half of the Council meetings within a three-months period without justification;
if incompatibilities or
if he/she has committed an intentional violation of this Law or has allowed negligence to occur and such has caused substantial consequences.

Who can dismiss them?

The Saeima

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Preference shall be given to that participant in the invitation to tender whose general programme concept is oriented towards a wider public demand.

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

The decision may be appealed to a court.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The meeting is valid if more than half of the members participate. The Council shall take decisions by a majority vote of its members except in the case provided for in Section 59, Paragraph 6 of this Law (A decision to dismiss a Director General shall be taken by the National Radio and Television Council by a two-thirds majority vote of the total membership of the Council). In the case of a tie vote, the chairperson of the Council shall have the decisive vote.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

NS

Financing

    The Council is financed from the State budget.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

 

N

N

Y

N

Y

May file a complaint to law enforcement.


    LITHUANIA 

    Based on the law: on the Provision of Information to the Public of 1996, as last amended on 20 June 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission - Lietuvos radijo ir televizijos komisija

Whom is it accountable to?

The Parliament (The Chairman of the Commission presents a report, at least once a year, about the activities of the Commission, at a plenary meeting of the Seimas, and submits a financial statement of the Commission).

Composition:

Number of members

12

Term (years)

For the duration of the term of the institution that elected them or its governing bodies’ authorisation.

Can they be re-elected?

NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

One member appointed by the President, three appointed per recommendation of the Committee for Education, Science and Culture, one member each appointed by:  the Lithuanian Artists’ Union, the Lithuanian Film-Makers’ Union, the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, the Lithuanian Writers’ Union, the Lithuanian Theatre Union, the Lithuanian Journalists’ Union, the Lithuanian Association of Journalists, the Lithuanian Association of Periodical Publishers.

Incompatibilities

A member of the Seimas or the Government, or civil  servants of political (personal) confidence  may not be appointed a member of the Commission. Members of the Commission and their family members may not have shares in broadcasters or operators. Members of the Commission may not have employment relations with broadcasters or operators.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If a member of the Commission resigns or if he/she cannot take part in the work of the Commission or does not attend its meetings for more than 4 months, he/she must be replaced. An institution which appoints a Commission member may terminate his/her powers before the expiry of his/her term of office by its justified decision or on the justified recommendation of the Commission, or in compliance with the member’s request.

Who can dismiss them?

The institution which has appointed him/her.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Commission

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

In issuing licences, priority shall be accorded to broadcasters who assume the responsibility to produce broadcasts of original creativity of a cultural, informational and educational type, to ensure correct and unbiased presentation of information, to respect personal dignity and the right to privacy, to observe the requirements set forth by laws and other legal acts, by which one strives to protect the physical, mental and moral development of minors from a possible negative effect of the mass media, and also for the broadcasters within whose reception zone, other stations are not yet broadcasting.

Procedure

Except for cases specified in the law, public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Meetings of the Commission are regarded as valid if they are attended by at least 2/3 of the members. Decisions are adopted by a simple majority of all the members, except the decisions on issuance, extension, refusal to extend, temporary suspension of validity and revocation of licences, change of the conditions of a licence, allocation of radio frequencies and competition results. The above decisions are adopted by a majority vote of not less than 2/3 of all Commission members.  

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

For the purpose of financing the activities of the Commission, broadcasters (except LRT) receiving earnings (income) from commercial broadcasting must, every month, transfer to the account of the Commission 0.8 % of their earnings from advertising, the subscription licence and other commercial activities. The Commission may also be financed from other sources: funds received for organising competitions, donations, publishing activities, etc.   The Commission draws up an estimate of its expenditure every year.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

     

Y

   

Y

 


    LUXEMBOURG 

    Based on the law: on the electronic media of 27July 1991 (including modifications from 2001), decree on the licensing of television and teletext broadcast of 17.03.1993

    General information

Name of the authority

Independent Broadcasting Commission - Commission Indépendante de la Radiodiffusion (CIR)

Conseil National des Programmes (CNP)

Whom is it accountable to?

-

-

Composition:

Number of members

5

Up to 25

Term (years)

5

5

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

One proposed by the Press Council

 

Who appoints the members?

By decision of the Grand Duke

Organisations of social and cultural life, (cults, political groups, trade unions and associations).

Incompatibilities

NS

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NS

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The CIR as concerns local radio stations and radio stations with a "transmission network" and the Government for all other television and radio licences

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

As concerns local radio stations, the following elements are taken into account: experience, originality of concept, volume of information, cultural and entertainment programmes

Procedure

Public tender, except for cases specified in the law.

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes, before an administrative court

Other

Quorum for decision-making

For a meeting to be valid, at least half of its members have to be present. The decisions are taken by an absolute majority of votes.

For a meeting to be valid, at least half of its members have to be present. The decisions are taken by a majority of votes. In case of a tie, the chairman has the casting vote.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No

Financing

State budget

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

?

       

Y*

-


    * The CNP can suggest to the Minister to revoke a licence

    MALTA 

    Based on the law: Broadcasting Act, Act nr. XII of 1991.

    General information

Name of the authority

Malta Broadcasting Authority

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

5 to 7

Term (years)

Up to 5 years

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The President of the Republic acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after consultation with the leader of the opposition.

Incompatibilities

The function of a member of the authority cannot be held in conjunction with any ministerial or political appointment. No member of the Authority shall regularly take part in broadcasting nor be a shareholder in any broadcasting operator, licensee or contractor, nor may he/she be involved in the management of any broadcasting service.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NS

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Authority

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The Authority shall be guided by the principles of freedom of expression and pluralism, that a diverse system of public and private stations with their own particular character, would be the best system for the realisation of those principles; that private stations shall be allowed to operate in such a way so as to ensure a distribution of programming that appeals to general as well as to specific interests, and in line with a national broadcasting plan for the allocation of frequencies. No situation of monopoly or similar should be allowed. It shall also take into account the possibility of broadcasting by cable or through such other technological methods as may be possible. The criteria for the assessment of applications for licences shall include: economic potential and viability, quality of scheduled programming, and technological and broadcasting plans and projects; that a licensee should be able to fulfil all his obligations under this Act and to secure compliance with all directives of the Authority (…)

Procedure

The Authority may not grant any licence (…) on an exclusive basis, and any provision granting such exclusivity whether contracted or granted before or after the coming into force of this Act shall be deemed to be null and void (...)

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes, to the Court of Appeal

Other

Quorum for decision-making

 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

The revenue of the Authority consists of (i) such sums as Parliament shall each year determine; (ii) 30% or a percentage being not less than 15% and not more than 50% which may by regulation be stipulated by the Prime Minister in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance, of the revenue accruing to the Government from wireless and television licensees after deducting a per centum in respect of expenditure reasonably incurred for the collection thereof; (iii) the revenue accruing to the Authority from broadcasting licences (iv) such sums as may from time to time be payable to the Authority by a broadcasting contractor or cable or other broadcasting operator as provided by law (b) The sum to be paid to the Authority in terms of paragraph shall not be less than two hundred and fifty thousand liri per year, and any sum payable to the Authority in virtue of the said paragraphs shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Fund.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

Y

N

N

N

Y

Y

Y*


    *It can demand a right of reply when privacy has not been respected; when the Government has used its airtime to give misleading information about government policy, it may grant airtime to the opposition.

    MOLDOVA 

    Based on the law: Law Nr. 603-XIII on the audiovisual sector of 1995.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Audio-Visual Coordinating Council – Consiliul Coordonator al Audiovizualului

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

    9

Term (years)

    5

Can they be re-elected?

    NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

    NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

Parliament - 3 members (including one audio-visual specialist); President of the Republic of Moldova - 3 members (including one audio-visual specialist); Government - 3 members (including one specialist in telecommunications).

Incompatibilities

The person has to cease his/her activity in any political party. At the same time, this person is not allowed to perform any activity as a disseminator or producer of audio-visual programmes.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If they violate the audiovisual law or commit illegal actions, which will be confirmed by an enacted verdict.  

Who can dismiss them?

    NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Audio-Visual Coordinating Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The Council guarantees, by its conditions and criteria of issuing the broadcasting frequencies and channels, certain priorities for producers and broadcasters of local audio-visual productions, mainly in the State language. If several audio-visual companies apply for a broadcast licence, the preferential right to obtain one is granted to the former licence holder, depending on the amount that it has invested in the national audio-visual development in the previous period of its activity. If several applicants have equal chances of obtaining the broadcasting licence, the Audio-Visual Coordinating Council is entitled to decide on the division of the frequencies (channels), granting a broadcasting licence to each applicant.

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The meetings of the Audio-Visual Coordinating Council can be held with the presence of at least 7 members. Decisions are taken with two-thirds votes.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

The Audio-Visual Coordinating Council establishes compulsory rules regarding the implementation of the law.  

Financing

    From State budget allocations.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

Y

-

    NETHERLANDS 

    Based on the law: the Media Act of 2001, the Media Decree of 2001.

    General information

Name of the authority

Commissariaat voor de Media

Whom is it accountable to?

Minister of Education, Culture and Science

Composition:

Number of members

3

Term (years)

5

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Minister of Education, Culture and Science

Who appoints the members?

By royal decree

Incompatibilities

A position within a ministry, institution, service or company operating under ministerial responsibility, membership of either house of the States General or of a provincial or municipal executive; board membership of – or a position with – an establishment which qualifies for domestic broadcasting time, a commercial broadcasting establishment, the Company or a publisher of a press product.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Only on the grounds the person is found unfit, having a financial interest in establishments in relation to which the Media Authority exercises statutory powers and having accepted a position or holding a membership which shall be incompatible with the membership of the media Authority.

Who can dismiss them?

By royal decree upon recommendation of the Minister.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

Minister of Education, Culture and Science

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Only as regards commercial radio stations, a combination of criteria including the business plan, the content of the programme and the highest offer is used

Procedure

Public competition

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Decisions of the Media Authority are taken by a majority of votes.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No, the Media Authority can only issue interpretative guidelines.

Financing

The Media Authority is financed out of the broadcasting budget, i.e. the State broadcasting contribution (directly from tax revenues) and the revenues of advertising on public radio and television. Another source of income are the costs that the Media Authority charges the commercial broadcasters to cover the expenses of the supervision. These costs are fixed by the Ministry. The Media Authority is financed by a mixed system of public and private funds. The costs of the Media Authority are defrayed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. The budget and annual accounts of the Media Authority require the Minister's approval.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

Y

N

N

N

N

Y

 

    NORWAY 

    Based on the law: Act No 53 of 13 June 1997 relating to the Supervision of the Acquisition of Newspaper and Broadcasting Enterprises. (The Media Ownership Act), Act no. 127 of 4 December 1992 relating to broadcasting (With subsequent amendments, most recently by Act No. 8 of 31 January 2003, with effect from 31 January 2003).

    NOTE: The Mass Media Authority is an administrative body placed under the Royal Ministry of Cultural and Church Affairs. Its broadcasting division’s responsibilities include processing applications for broadcasting licences for local radio and television, satellite broadcasting, monitoring advertisements and sponsorship in broadcasts, imposing sanctions, etc. The Media Ownership Authority is an independent public authority supervising media ownership for the protection of freedom of expression and media pluralism. The two Authorities are to be merged (together with the Norwegian Board of Film Classification) into one new Media Authority, as of January 2005.

    General information

Name of the authority

Mass Media Authority – Statens medieforvaltning

Media Ownership Authority - Eigarskapstilsynet

Whom is it accountable to?

The Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.

Each year, a report to the ministry.

Composition:

Number of members

NA

NA

Term (years)

NA

NA

Can they be re-elected?

NA

NA

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NA

NA

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

NA

NA

Who appoints the members?

The Director General is appointed by the Cultural Affairs ministry

The Director General is appointed by the Cultural Affairs ministry

Incompatibilities

NA

NA

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NA

NA

Who can dismiss them?

The ministry may dismiss the Director General

The ministry may dismiss the Director General

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

Nationwide broadcasting licences are issued by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. The Media Authority issues licences for local TV and radio stations, while local broadcasting through cable is only required to be registered with the Mass Media Authority.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Not specified in the media regulation. However, the ministry may issue regulations concerning the allocation of licences and the terms and conditions of licences”

Procedure

Natiowide licences are normally issued through tender

 

Can the decision be appealed?

Once a licence has been issued by the ministry, it may be appealed to the Government

A decision by the Media Ownership Authority may be appealed to the Appeals Board for Media Ownership

Other

Quorum for decision-making

NA

NA

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No

 

Financing

NS

NS

    Law enforcement competences

 

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

MOA

N

Y

N

N

N

N

N

Y*.

MMA

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

Y

Y**


    * May have interests sold through the enforcement authorities pursuant to the rules relating to coercive sale
    ** May prohibit the broadcasting of advertisements for a limited period of time.

    POLAND 

    Based on the law: Broadcasting Act of 1992, last amended in 2000.

    General information

Name of the authority

The National Broadcasting Council – Krajowa Rada Radiofonii I Telewizji

Whom is it accountable to?

The Council submits to the Sejm (lower house of the Parliament), the Senate and the President an annual report on its activities. By way of resolutions, the Sejm and the Senate accept or reject the report. In case of a rejection of the report by both, the term of office of all the members of the National Council expires within 14 days. The National Council's term of office shall not expire unless so approved by the President of the Republic

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

No

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

 

Who appoints the members?

4 members appointed by the Sejm, 2 by the Senate and 3 by the President from amongst persons with a distinguished record of knowledge and experience in mass media.

Incompatibilities

During the term of office of members of the National Council, their membership in: political parties, governing bodies of associations, trade unions, employers associations, as well as church or religious organisations, is suspended.
Membership in the Council is incompatible with holding an interest or shares, or with any other involvement, in an entity which is a radio and television broadcaster or producer, as well as with any other earnings-generating activity, save for educational or academic positions or performing creative work.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Solely in cases when the person has resigned, has become permanently unable to discharge his/her duties for reasons of ill health, has been sentenced for a deliberate criminal offence and the sentence is valid and enforceable, has committed a breach of the provisions of the Act and the said breach has been confirmed by the decision of the Tribunal of State.

Who can dismiss them?

The body which is empowered to appoint the member.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Chairman of the National Council for RTV

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The following criteria apply in particular:
the degree of compliance of the proposed programming activities with the tasks of broadcasting enumerated in the law, taking into account the degree of their implementation by other broadcasters in the area covered by the broadcasting licence, the applicant's ability to make the necessary investments and ensure financing of the programme service, the estimated share of programmes produced or commissioned by the broadcaster or produced by the broadcaster jointly with other broadcasters, the planned share of European programmes or of works originally produced in Polish, as well as the broadcaster’s past compliance with media regulations. A licence shall not be awarded if it could result in: a threat to the interests of the national culture, transgression of the standards of public decency conduct and proprieties, danger to national security and defence or violation of state secrets, or achievement, by the applicant, of a dominant position in mass media in the given area.

Procedure

Public call for applications.

Can the decision be appealed?

The National Council’s decision on the issue is final.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

An absolute majority of members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

    The National Council shall issue regulations and adopt resolutions on the basis of the existing legislation and for the purpose of its implementation.

Financing

Costs of operations of the National Council and its Office are borne by the state budget.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

Y

N

N

N

N

Y

-

    PORTUGAL 

    Based on the law: on the AACS nr. 43/98, last amendment in July 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

High Authority for the Mass Media - Alta Autoridade para a Comunicação Social

Whom is it accountable to?

The Assembly of the Republic.

Composition:

Number of members

11

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

Who appoints the members?

The president of the Authority is elected by the Superior Council of the Magistracy, 5 members elected by the Parliament, 3 by journalists, consumer groups and organisations of employers of the media sector, 1 by the government, 1 chosen by the members of the Authority among experts in the scientific and cultural areas.

Incompatibilities

Persons, who do not have full civil and political rights, may not be members of the Authority. The members of the Authority are subject to the same incompatibilities as other persons fulfilling high public functions.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

In case of death, physical impossibility to perform the job, incompatibilities, repeated absence during the sessions, breaking the law on the AACS, confirmed by judicial decision, for specified offences.

Who can dismiss them?

 

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The High Authority for the Mass Media

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The following criteria will be considered, in this order, for the purpose of ranking the applications:
a. The contents of the programmes grid, such as the number of hours dedicated to information;
b. The duration and timetable of the emission;
c. The coverage area ;
d. The number of hours intended for the broadcasting of recent pieces of in-house production or independent works originally created in Portuguese language;
e. The inclusion of programmes accessible to the deaf, for instance by using translation in Portuguese sign language.

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

It draws up compulsory recommendations and generic application directives

Financing

The costs of the functioning of the Authority are covered by its own separate budget, proposed by the Authority and funds for which are listed in the budget of the Assembly of the Republic.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

Y

N

Y

Y

N

Y

 

    ROMANIA 

    Based on the law: Law on Radio and Television Broadcasting no. 504 / of 11 July 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

    National Audiovisual Council - Consiliul National al Audiovizualului

Whom is it accountable to?

    The Parliament.

    Composition:

Number of members

    11

Term (years)

    4

Can they be re-elected?

    NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

    Yes

    Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

    Senate: 3 members, Chamber of Deputies: 3 members, President: 2 members, Government: 3 members

Who appoints the members?

    The Parliament

Incompatibilities

    The position of member of the Council is incompatible with any other public or private office, save didactical ones, provided they do not result in conflicts of interests. The members in the Council may not be members of political parties or other political structures while exercising their mandate. The members of the Council may not directly or indirectly hold shares or social parts in companies with activities in fields where they would be in conflict of interests with the capacity of a member in the Council.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

    In case of incompatibilities, the members’ position becomes vacant and is to be occupied by the deputy on the proposal of the specialised standing committee of the Parliament. The members of the Council may be revoked on the proposal of the specialised commissions of the Parliament in case it is impossible to exercise the functions for a period longer than 6 months; in case of a penal conviction applied by a final court decision.

Who can dismiss them?

    The Council notifies the Parliament in applying this provision.

    Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

    The Council, but a technical certificate, issued by the National Regulatory Authority for Communications, is also needed (it is a condition for taking part in the tender)

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

    NS

Procedure

    Based on a contest, in case of a programme service broadcast by terrestrial radio-electric waves, or based on a decision of the Council, in case of a programme service broadcast by any other telecommunications means.

Can the decision be appealed?

    NS

    Other

Quorum for decision-making

    The Council issues decisions, instructions and recommendations in the presence of at least 8 members and with the vote of at least 6 members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

    The Council is authorised to issue, for the application of the provisions from this Law, regulatory normative decisions in order to discharge its functions as expressly stipulated in this Law and mainly in regard to:
    - the provision of accurate information to the public;
    - the monitoring of the correct expression in the Romanian language and in the languages of national minorities;
    - balance and pluralism;
    - the transmission of official information and communiqués of public authorities regarding calamities, states of necessity or emergency, state of siege or armed conflict;
    - the protection of minors;
    - the defence of human dignity;
    - non-discriminatory policies regarding race, sex, nationality, religion, political beliefs and sexual orientation; the exercise of the right of reply;
    - advertising, including political campaign advertising and tele-shopping and sponsorship;
    - scheduling and broadcasting of shows or programmes regarding political campaigns;
    - the cultural responsibilities of broadcasters;
    e) to draw up instructions and issue recommendations for the development of the activities in the field of audio-visual communication.

Financing

    State budget and extraordinary income.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

Y

N

N

N

Y

Y

-


    RUSSIA 

    Based on the law: on Mass Media of 1991, the 1994 Regulation on Licensing, the Regulation on the System of Broadcasting Competitions by the Decree nr. 698 of 1999, the presidential Decree of 1999 on the Government's management in the field of electronic media and communication

    The Law on Mass Media provided for the creation of a regulatory authority, the Federal Commission on Broadcasting. However, it has never been created because of political controversies.
    The Body that licences and supervises broadcasters is the Ministry of Press, Broadcasting and Mass Communications ("MPTR"). Within the scope of its jurisdiction, the MPTR has the power to monitor the implementation of advertising legislation, to set technical standards for broadcasting equipment and to work out the policy for electromagnetic spectrum management.

Broadcast licensing procedure

Who issues the licences?

The Federal Competitions Commission (FCC), a separate body within the MPTR. The FCC consists of nine members, five of whom represent the executive bodies of the broadcasting and communications' fields (namely the MPTR and the Ministry of Communications), and four are specialists in journalism, law and media fields appointed by the MPTR. When the licence is to be issued for the territory of only one province of the Federation, the panel also includes representatives of the regional legislative and executive bodies, and the Russian President's representative in the region, thus comprising 12 members.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders then frequencies available?

Together with the technical and financial data proving the broadcaster's ability to fulfil his proposal, the FCC in making its decision considers mainly the programme concept, a document in which the broadcaster should describe the range of programmes and include a preliminary schedule. The FCC should apply a set of criteria such as the audience's interest in specific programmes, the necessity of promoting socially-oriented programmes and programmes of primary public importance, the applicant's budget for the equipment, its technical characteristics and the availability of a vacant frequency.

Procedure

A compulsory competition procedure for the award of broadcasting licenses in cities with a population of more than 200,000 inhabitants. Obligation for the licensing body to publish an informational statement on the forthcoming competition in an official publication.

Can the decision be appealed?

 

    SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO 

    Serbia 

    Based on the law: on Broadcasting of July 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Republican Broadcasting Agency

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

    9

Term (years)

    6

Can they be re-elected?

    No

Are the members’ terms staggered?

    Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

    One each: The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; The Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; The Government of the Republic of Serbia; The Executive Council of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; The Rectors of universities in the Republic of Serbia by common agreement; Associations of public media outlets in Serbia, associations of journalists in the Republic of Serbia, professional associations of film and drama artists in the Republic of Serbia and professional associations of composers in the Republic of Serbia by common agreement. Domestic non-governmental organisations and civic organisations primarily focusing on the protection of the freedom of speech, the protection of the rights of national and ethnic minorities and the protection of the rights of the child by common agreement Churches and religious communities. The ninth member of the Council is nominated by the previously appointed Council members whereby the nominee must fulfil criteria for Council membership set forth in this Law and must be a person residing and employed in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo.

Who appoints the members?

The National Assembly

Incompatibilities

    May not be members: 1) Federal and/or Republican Members of Parliament or members of the autonomous provincial parliaments;
    2. Elected or appointed officials in the Federal Government, the Government of the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter Government) and the executive bodies of the autonomous provinces (ministers, their deputies, assistants, as well as heads of separate departments directly controlled by the Government or of executive councils, and other officials);
    3. Officials of political parties (party leaders, party presidency members and their deputies, members of party executive and main boards and other party officials);
    4. Individuals, who as owners of shares or stocks, members of management or supervisory bodies, employees, contractees et al, have an interest in the legal persons involved in the production and/or broadcasting of radio and television programmes or related activities (advertising, telecommunications, et al) because the membership of such an individual in the Council may lead to a conflict of interests;
    5. Individuals, who have been convicted by a final sentence of a crime of abuse of official power, corruption, fraud, theft or another criminal offence rendering him/her unfit for the post, notwithstanding the imposed sanction, or who have been convicted by a final sentence of another criminal offence to a prison sentence exceeding 6 (six) months.
    6. Spouses, parents or children of or individuals collaterally related to the second degree to individuals listed in para 1, sub-paras 1 to 4 of this Article.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

    If a competent health institution finds the member incapacitated by an illness to fulfil the duties of Council member for a period exceeding six months;
    If it is determined that, during the submission of the nomination, the member gave false personal data or omitted to report data on circumstances set forth in Article 25 of this Law. (incompatibilities)
    If it is determined that some of the circumstances set forth in Article 25 of this Law occurred during the tenure of the Council member.
    If for no good reason, the member omits or refuses to fulfil the duty of a Council member for at least 3 consecutive months or a period of 12 months during which the member has failed to fulfil his duties for at least six months.

Who can dismiss them?

At the proposal of the Council or of at least 20 MPs, the Assembly.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Agency

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

    The Agency shall set and publicise non-discriminatory, impartial and measurable decision-making criteria, corresponding to the activities for the performance of which the licence is awarded. In the event that more than one person fulfilling the terms has applied for the same radio frequency, it shall give advantage to the one which, on the basis of the submitted documentation, provides stronger guarantees that it shall contribute to better quality and more diverse programme i.e. programme contents in the area in which the programme is to be broadcast. If the applicant is broadcasting a radio and/or TV programme at the time of application submission, the Council shall, while making a decision on granting a broadcasting licence, take also into consideration the applicant's hitherto contribution to the implementation of principles regulating relations in the broadcasting sector as set forth in the law.

Procedure

Public tender.

Can the decision be appealed?

    A person, which has applied at the public tender and is dissatisfied with the Council decision, has the right to file an objection to the Council. An administrative lawsuit may be launched against the decision on the objection.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Quorum 5/9, voting by a single majority.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

    The Agency passes recommendations, instructions, binding instructions and general binding instructions for broadcasters to ensure the efficient implementation of the broadcasting policy. The Agency may pass and publish other regulations in keeping with this Law and in the manner envisaged by the Statute.

Financing

    The Agency income comprises funds collected from the fees the broadcasters pay for the right to broadcast programmes (the broadcasting licences) in keeping with this Law. If the Agency fails to accrue the planned income from the fees, the lacking funds shall be provided from the budget of the Republic of Serbia.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

N

Y

Y

N

N

Y

-


    Montenegro
     

    Based on the law: Broadcasting law of December 2002

    General information

Name of the authority

The Broadcasting Agency

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

5

Term (years)

5

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

    Authorised nominators for members of the Agency Council are: The government of the Republic of Montenegro, the University of Montenegro, broadcasters associations excluding ass. of public broadcasting services, NGOs and citizens’ organisations involved in the protection of human rights and freedoms, NGOs in the media sphere.

Who appoints the members?

The parliament of the Republic ratifies the appointment of the members of the Agency Council.

Incompatibilities

Members of the Parliament and city council members, elected, appointed and assigned persons in the government, officials of political parties, persons which, as stake holders, shareholders, members of managing bodies, employees, persons under contract etc. have an interest in legal entities involved in the production and/or broadcasting of radio and/or TV programmes and in other related activities, in a way that the membership of such person in the Agency Council may result in a conflict of interests, persons sentenced by final and binding decision for the offence of violation of official duty, offence of corruption, fraud or theft, regardless of the sentence imposed, or that were sentenced for other offences for imprisonment longer than 6 month, during the period of legal consequences of the sentence, persons who are spouses of the above or related to them in strait line regardless of the degree of kinship.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Only if because of illness, on the basis of result of a competent medical institution, he/she is not able to perform his/her duties for more than 6 month, it is established that on the occasion of submission of the proposal for appointment, they submitted inaccurate personal data or omitted to reveal the data that are of relevance for the possible appointment, if it is established that any incompatibilities occurred, and if without sufficient reason or approval of the Agency, they fail or refuse to perform their duty for at least 6 consecutive months or 6 month out of a year.

Who can dismiss them?

Parliament of the Republic.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Agency

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The Agency is obliged to grant the right to transmission and broadcasting of radio and TV signals only with compliance with the established criteria and prescribed conditions and standards for the programme production, transmission and broadcasting.

Procedure

Public tender

Can the decision be appealed?

Any applicant who is dissatisfied with the Agency’s decision has the right to submit the objection to the Agency Council. The Agency is obliged to take decision upon the objection within 15 days. An administrative proceeding can be initiated against the decision taken upon the objection.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Majority of the members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

Instructions.

Financing

    Fees for the registration of broadcasters and signal distributors, fees paid for licences for TV and radio broadcasting and for the licences for the development of a distribution system, a part of the broadcasting subscriptions, a part of tax on radio receivers, a part of the revenues of the company for the transmission and broadcasting of radio and TV signals as well as other sources in compliance with law.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

Y

-

    SLOVAKIA 

    Based on the law: Act No. 308 of 14 September, 2000 on Broadcasting and Retransmission, last amended in May 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission of the Slovak Republic - Rada pre vysielanie a retransmisiu

Whom is it accountable to?

Presents information to the National Council.

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Members of the Parliament, professional institutions and civil associations operating in the areas of audio-visual, mass information means, culture, science, education, sport, registered religious and church societies and civil associations of citizens with health handicaps.

Who appoints the members?

The National Council

Incompatibilities

As a Council member can be elected a citizen of the Slovak Republic with his/her permanent residence on the territory of the Republic, who has reached the age of 25, has the right to legal actions in their full extent and is blameless; (has not been convicted by law of a deliberate criminal act). The post of member of the Council shall not be compatible with the function of President of the Republic, a National Council deputy, a member of the government, a Ministry state secretary or board director, the director of other central body of the state administration or its statutory representative, an employee of a state administration body, a mayor, a judge, a prosecutor, a member of the Slovak Television Council or of the Radio Council. A Council member must not hold a function in a political party or a political movement, appear in its name or act for its benefit; be the publisher of a periodic press, a broadcaster, operator of retransmission or a member of a statutory body, an administration body, a control body, a statutory body or the employee of these persons; this restriction applies also to persons close to Council members; have a share in the basic equity, or a share in the voting rights of a person who is the broadcaster or operator of retransmission; this restriction applies also to persons close to Council members; be a member of the statutory body, managing body or control body or statutory body of a person who provides services connected to the creation of programmes, advertisements or technical preparation of broadcasting and retransmission, provide the broadcaster or operator of retransmission direct or mediated counsel or a specialist service or aid against remuneration or any other countervalue. The office of member of the Council is a public function. The post of Chairman of the Council is incompatible with other legal relations or occasional legal relations; this restriction does not apply to scientific, pedagogical, public relations, literary or artistic activities. Other members of Council may perform their function alongside a legal relation, while obeying the restrictions above.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If he/she has ceased to fulfil the conditions for office performance; he/she has been legally convicted for a deliberate criminal act; he/she has been legally deprived of the right to legal actions, or his/her right to legal actions has been legally restricted; he/she has not performed his/her office for more than six consecutive calendar months or he/she acts in contrary to the status of the Council.

Who can dismiss them?

The National Council.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The Council shall be obliged to evaluate and take into account:
a) prerequisites for the observance of plurality of information and medial content,
b) transparency of ownership relations of the applicant for the licence,
c) transparency and credibility of financial funds designated to financing of the broadcasting,
d) proportionality of programme structure proposed by the applicant for the licence in relation to the existing offer of programme services in the area of broadcasting in the territory that should be covered by this broadcasting,
e) contribution of the applicant for the licence in relation to the broadcasting and production of programmes in public interest,
f) the fact that the applicant for the licence should not obtain a dominant position on the relevant market,
g) the fact that it is necessary to ensure adequate capital participation of the Slovak persons and their representation in bodies of the company provided that the applicant for the licence is a legal person with foreign capital participation.

Procedure

Public tender

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The Council shall be capable of taking decisions if at least seven of its members are present at its session, while one of them must be the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Council. The agreement at least five members of the Council is needed for valid decision.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

To the Council's competence also belong participating in the preparation of laws and other generally binding legislation in the area of broadcasting and retransmission, expressing itself on proposals to sign international treaties in the area of broadcasting and retransmission, on their fulfilment, on proposing signing international treaties, international conventions and other international legal acts or accession to them.

Financing

The Council works with its own budget, and its activity is refunded from the State budget. The expenses pertaining to the Council’s activities are covered by the State budget; Council income is State budget income. The Council presents to the Ministry of Finance its budget proposal for the following year, together with a justification. The Council’s budget is approved by the National Council following discussion in the relevant committee.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Y

 


    SLOVENIA 

    Based on the law: Mass Media Act of 2001.

    General information

Name of the authority

The Broadcasting Council - Svet za radiodifuzijo

Whom is it accountable to?

The National Assembly.

Composition:

Number of members

7

Term (years)

5

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Slovenian universities (candidates from the areas of law, telecommunications and informatics), the Chamber of Culture of Slovenia (audiovisual culture), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (commerce), the Journalists’ Society of Slovenia (journalism and communication) and candidates who submit their own candidacy if they are experts in the specified areas.

Who appoints the members?

The National Assembly

Incompatibilities

Officials, parliamentary deputies and other persons employed in State bodies, members of the leadership of political parties, persons employed in a publishing company of a radio or television station or an advertising organisation, persons who as external contractors have concluded contractual relations with the publisher of a radio or television station or an advertising organisation, persons who hold more than one per cent of the capital or management or voting rights within the assets of a publisher of a radio or television station or within an advertising organisation.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

May be dismissed if they themselves request to be, if they receive a custodial sentence after being convicted of a criminal offence, because of the permanent loss of the working capability to perform their functions, if they no longer fulfil the conditions for membership of the council, if they fail to act in accordance with law, if they fail to participate in council sessions without justification.

Who can dismiss them?

The National Assembly of the Republic determines that one of the grounds specified in the previous paragraph has arisen and on this basis rules on early dismissal. The initiative for early dismissal may be given to the National Assembly by the agency or directly by the Broadcasting Council.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Agency/ Broadcasting Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The efficiency of use of frequencies and the following criteria are primarily taken into consideration: the amount of in-house production and production of Slovenian audio-visual works, the political neutrality of the station, the diversity of the programming, the level of development of broadcasting in the specific area, the level of coverage achieved by the same station in the area under tender, an opinion from the relevant local community body, an assurance that the local community supports a local or regional radio or television station, the applicant's economic status and technical and personnel capacity to broadcast, the number of potential consumers, the applicant's experience in broadcasting, the duration (scope) of the station. A national radio or television station shall have priority in selection over other bidders in those areas that it does not cover or does not cover at a level of sufficient technical quality. Priority shall be given to the radio and television stations of special importance of specified in the present act. If the same or a similar range of programming is offered, in the selection of the publisher of a station that would cover a smaller area priority shall be given to the bidder with a head office in the area for which the station is intended.

Procedure

The Agency conducts the public tender procedure and make the selection on the basis of a binding proposal by the Broadcasting Council.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

NS

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

NS

Financing

The funds for the work of the Broadcasting Council are provided from the national budget, at the proposal of the Telecommunication, Broadcasting and Post Agency of the Republic of Slovenia.

    Law enforcement competences

    Supervision of the implementation of the provisions of the Mass Media Act is conducted by the Telecommunication, Broadcasting and Post Agency of the Republic of Slovenia on the basis of initiatives by the Broadcasting Council.

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

 

Y

?

N

Y

N

N

Y*


    *May also temporarily prohibit the publication of commercial advertising (advertisements, sponsorship) for a maximum period of three months if it determines that the publisher, despite a warning, is infringing the provisions of the act governing advertising or sponsorship.

    SPAIN 

    Based on the law: nr 12/1997 on the Liberalisation of Telecommunications, law nr. 10/1988 on Private Television of 3 May 1988.

    NOTE: The Commission deals with both telecommunications and broadcasting, although when dealing with broadcasting, it has very little decisive power, as most decisions (on licensing, sanctions, etc) are taken by the government. There are also regional broadcasting authorities that supervise local broadcasting.

    General information

Name of the authority

Telecommunication Market Commission - La Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones

Whom is it accountable to?

As a public body, the CMT reports to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The Chairman and vice-chairman are proposed by the Minister of Science and Technology

Who appoints the members?

The Chairman and vice-chairman – the government, other members – Minister of Science and Technology

Incompatibilities

As for other high public functions.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

Permanent impossibility to exercise their charges, if they seriously fail to fulfil their obligations, if they are sentenced for committing an intentional offence, for reasons of incompatibilities; resignation accepted by the government, [cesarán en su cargo por separación acordada por el Gobierno, previa instrucción de expediente por el Ministro de Fomento]

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Governement

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

(For private TV licences) [La adjudicación por el Gobierno de las concesiones atenderá a los siguientes criterios: Necesidad de garantizar una expresión libre y pluralista de ideas y de corrientes de opinión. Viabilidad técnica y económica del proyecto, la relación en los proyectos de programación entre la producción nacional, europea comunitaria y extranjera, dándose preferencia a la de expresión originaria española y a la europea comunitaria.
Capacidad de las sociedades solicitantes para atender las necesidades de programación con una cobertura limitada a cada una de las zonas territoriales, previsiones de las sociedades solicitantes para satisfacer en el conjunto de su programación las diversas demandas y los plurales intereses del público.
El Gobierno apreciará en su conjunto las ofertas presentadas y su idoneidad para satisfacer los criterios enunciados en el párrafo anterior. El Gobierno adjudicará las concesiones en favor de las ofertas mas ventajosas para el interés público, valorando prioritariamente las garantías ofrecidas por los concurrentes a fin de salvaguardar la pluralidad de ideas y corrientes de opinión, así como la necesidad de diversificación de los agentes informativos y el objetivo de evitar tanto los abusos de posición dominante como las practicas restrictivas de la libre competencia.]

Procedure

Public competition

Can the decision be appealed?

 

Other

Quorum for decision-making

 

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

The Commission has a separate budget, made of its own founds, incomes (fines, fees etc) and transfers from the Ministry of Science and Technology

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y*


    * May request inspections and sanctions from the Ministry of Science and Technology

    SWEDEN 

    Based on the law: the Radio and Television Act of 1996

    Note: The Radio and TV Authority is a general broadcasting authority. It also issues licences for local and community radio broadcasting. The Swedish Broadcasting Commission supervises the compliance of programme content with the provisions of the laws which regulate broadcasting services and the licences granted by the Government. The Commission's mandate covers all Swedish radio and television broadcasters who offer services to the general public, be it on a local, regional or national basis, it also monitors foreign channels distributed by satellite to the Swedish public.

    General information

Name of the authority

Swedish Broadcasting Commission - Granskningsnämnden för radio och TV

Radio and TV Authority – Radio- och TV-verket

Whom is it accountable to?

   

Composition:

Number of members

7

NA

Term (years)

NS

NA

Can they be re-elected?

NS

NA

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NS

NA

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

NA

Who appoints the members?

The Government

NA

Incompatibilities

 

NA

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

 

NA

Who can dismiss them?

 

NA

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

-

The Government grants licences for country-wide TV and Radio broadcasting, the Radio and TV Authority for local and community radios.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

-

(for local radios) If there are two or more applicants for a vacant frequency, the Radio and TV Authority is to endeavour to achieve an allocation of the frequency which ensures that the content of the broadcasts is largely produced by the applicant and there are programmes with local links.
In addition, the Authority is to endeavour to prevent the establishment of a dominant position in the publication of news or the shaping of public opinion, and to ensure that opportunities for achieving a diverse range of views are used. In the allocation process, the Radio and TV Authority must also take into account the applicant’s financial and technical prerequisites for conducting long-term operations with satisfactory capacity and quality.

Procedure

   

Can the decision be appealed?

Decisions on injunctions carrying a fine may be appealed to the Administrative Court of Appeal. Other decisions of the Commission are not subject to appeal.

An appeal against a decision by the Radio and TV Authority regarding the issue of a licence may be made to a public administrative court.

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The Broadcasting Commission has a quorum if the chairman, or a vice-chairman, and three
other members are present.

-

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

No

The Authority issues regulations on television standards.

Financing

   

    * The Radio and TV Authority is a government authority. Therefore, the questions concerning its membership are inapplicable.

    Law enforcement competences

 

Warnings

Fines

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

BC

 

Y*

Y

         

RTV Auth.

 

Y

       

Y

 


    * The fines are imposed by a court ruling at the request of the Authority.

    SWITZERLAND 

    Based on the law: Federal Law on Radio and Television of 21 June 1991 (Status as at 1 January 1995)
    (Updated version including the changes due to the new Telecommunications Law of 30 April 1997), Radio and Television Decree of 6 October 1997 as of 2002.

    NOTE: The OFCOM has a very wide range of competences: it oversees radio and television broadcasting, radiocommunications, telecommunications services and telecommunications installations, but it does not interfere with the content of the broadcasting. That is supervised by the Complaints Commission.

    General information

Name of the authority

Federal Office of Communications - Office Fédéral de la Communication (OFCOM) + Comcom

Independent Complaints Commission - L'Autorité indépendante d'examen des plaintes en matière de radio-télévision/ Die Unabhängige Beschwerdeinstanz für Radio und Fernsehen

Whom is it accountable to?

 

For administrative reasons, it is tied to the general secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transports, Energy and Communication. Presents an annual report to the Federal Council.

Composition:

Number of members

NA

9

Term (years)

NA

NS

Can they be re-elected?

NA

NS

Are the members’ terms staggered?

NA

NS

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

-

 

Who appoints the members?

The Federal Council chooses members of the Comcom, the independent communication commission (a consultative council), the OFCOM is administrative.

The Federal Council

Incompatibilities

NS

Members of federal authorities, members of the operator's administrative
bodies, and persons employed by the operator, may not be elected.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

NS

NS

Who can dismiss them?

NS

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Federal Council, the Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication for local and regional programmes.

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Priority will be given to those applicants whose programmes contain the greatest proportion of original productions and wish to contribute most towards diversity of information and culture, and which have the closest relationship to the supply area concerned.

Procedure

Competitive tender, the Federal Council issues rules of proceeding.

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

   

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

   

Financing

NS

NS

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Y*


    *They may ask the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication to impose sanctions. The AIEP may first order the broadcaster to stop the infringement.

    “The FORMER YOUGOSLAV REPUBLIC of MACEDONIA” 

    Based on the law: Broadcasting Act of 2002.

    General information

Name of the authority

Broadcasting Council – Sovet za radiodifuzija

Whom is it accountable to?

 

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

6

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The Committee for issues of election and appointment of the Parliament

Who appoints the members?

The Parliament (“from among competent and expert persons from the domain of public information providing, economy, education, culture and other areas. An appropriate representation of the members of the nationalities in the country is to be provided in the composition of the Council.”)

Incompatibilities

A member of Parliament, member of the Government or a person employed in a broadcasting organisation or in State agencies, members of the leadership of political parties, as well as persons who have a stake, shares or some other economic interest in broadcasting organisations

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If they are sentenced for a crime for which a penalty of at least six months is prescribed, or if they are sentenced for a crime or some other act which makes them unworthy for performing the function, as well as for unjustified absence from the work of the Council for more than six months.

Who can dismiss them?

NS

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The Government on the proposal of the Authority

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

The concession is issued to the broadcasting trade company which offers better conditions for performing the broadcasting activity for the citizens of the respective area through: a programme for performing the activity; production of its own programme; production of its own programme to meet the needs of a specific nationality in the respective area; technical and exploitation conditions for broadcasting the programme, conform to the determined standards; space conditions for performing the activity; professional and technical staff; financial means for the realisation of the planned programme; and others.

Procedure

Competition (call for bids).

Can the decision be appealed?

NS

Other

Quorum for decision-making

The Council enacts decisions with a majority of votes from the total number of its members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

 

Financing

    Funds from broadcasting fees (tax).

    Law enforcement competences

    (the competent inspectorates at the respective ministries undertake measures against those broadcasting organisations which perform an activity contrary to the law, directly and upon proposal from the Council.)

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

 

N

?

N

N

N

N

Y*


    *The ministries may impose fines, but it is the Council that may decide on the revocation of a licence.

    TURKEY 

    Based on the law: on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and Their Broadcasts Law No. 3984 of 20 April 1994.

    General information

Name of the authority

Turkish Radio and TV Supreme Council – Radyo ve Televizyon Ust Kurulu

Whom is it accountable to?

To the Prime Minister's Supervisory Board

Composition:

Number of members

9

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Yes

Are the members’ terms staggered?

No

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

Five members elected upon nomination of political party groups

Two members to be elected among 4 nominees of the Higher Education General Board from non-members of the Board in electric-electronics, communication, culture/arts and print/audiovisual media fields;

One member to be elected from 2 candidates jointly to be nominated by two journalists association having the most numerous members with yellow press card and Press Council;

One member to be elected from 2 candidates to be nominated by the National Security Council General Secretariat among civil servants.

Who appoints the members?

First group: The Turkish Grand National Assembly

The others: The Council of Ministers

Incompatibilities

Members of the Supreme Council and their relatives up to the third degree, shall not enter into any commitments pertaining to the function and powers of the Supreme Council within the field of radio and television services, shall not be partners or managers in private radio and television enterprises and in the enterprises that have affiliation with these companies. They shall not undertake any civil service or private post for the duration of their membership, be a party directly or indirectly in matters within the field of function and powers of private or public broadcasting enterprises or nor derive any benefit for such matters, shall not be a member to a political party. Functions in associations and foundations whose purpose is social aid and education and co-operative partnership are exceptions to this provision.

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If incompatibilities occur

Who can dismiss them?

By decision of the authority (Council) itself

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The RTV Supreme Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

Grant broadcasting permits and licences to applicants who have complied with the prerequisites, within a framework of neutrality and equity. To appropriate at least 50 % of the channel and frequencies which are not allocated to Turkish Radio and Television to time sharing and to regional balance use in accordance with Article 16 and with national, regional and local planning, and to supervise their appropriate use.

Procedure

Tender. Bids shall be made by giving open proposals both in written and oral form. They must fulfil the technical and financial requirements provided for in the relevant regulation.

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes

Other

Quorum for decision-making

5 members.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

To draft the regulations and other rules regarding its own work and activities in accordance with this law and the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, may also define the conditions for issuing licences, etc.

Financing

The revenues of the Supreme Council are: television and radio frequency annual allocation fees from private radio and television enterprises; a five percent share of annual gross advertising receipts of private radio and television enterprises, administrative fines imposed on radio and television enterprises. When needed, appropriations included under the section on transfers in the budget of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

 



    UKRAINE 

    Based on the law: on National Television and Broadcasting Council of Ukraine of 23 September 1997 (VR No. 538/97); as amended by Law of 30 September 1998 (VR No. 134-XIV (134-14)).

    General information

Name of the authority

National Council of TV and Radio Broadcasting

Whom is it accountable to?

The Supreme Council of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine.

Composition:

Number of members

8

Term (years)

4

Can they be re-elected?

Once

Are the members’ terms staggered?

Yes

Election of the members:

Who nominates the candidates?

The proposals regarding candidates for membership in the National Council shall be made by the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ukraine upon submission of the relevant committee of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, taking into account suggestions of groups (factions) of the members (people's deputies) of the Supreme Council of Ukraine and associations of individuals.

The President of Ukraine shall consult the Prime Minister of Ukraine and relevant ministries with regard to the candidates for membership in the National Council.

Who appoints the members?

4 members of the National Council appointed by the Supreme Council of Ukraine

4 members of the National Council appointed by the President of Ukraine.

Incompatibilities

Members of the National Council holding permanent office are regarded as civil servants and shall not hold any official posts at any governmental or non-governmental organisations, institutions or enterprises, and nor shall they receive any fees for any works done (except royalties for creative accomplishments or payments for freelance teaching work (e.g., lectures)); they may not engage in any line of business in the sphere of television or radio broadcasts, and they shall sever affiliation to (or with) any political parties.
Members of the National Council and its office employees shall not accept any rewards (including salaries) from television or radio companies or from enterprises, institutions and organisations being founders (shareholders) of television or radio companies.
Members of the National Council and its office personnel shall not be founders (co-founders) of TV/radio companies, and nor shall they engage in commercial ventures.  

Conditions for dismissing a member of the authority before the end of his/her term.

If a member resigns; is deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, has violated Article 2 (principles of the audiovisual law) herein before; this member receives a vote of no confidence from the Supreme Council of Ukraine; This member fails to carry out his/her duties or turns out professionally inadequate; This member is condemned by a court of law, with the sentence having come into force.
Or in case of:
- submission of a personal letter of resignation;
- renunciation of the citizenship of Ukraine;
- violation of the requirements set forth in Article 11 hereof;
- enforcement of an accusatory sentence of a court of law with respect to him/her;
- inability to fulfil the duties due to illness during six and more months;
- declaration of such a member incapable, insufficiently capable, missing or dead;
- death
- rotation;
- abuse of office;

Who can dismiss them?

A declaration of no confidence can be made by the Supreme Council to a member of the National Council appointed by it or by the President of Ukraine to a member of the National Council appointed by him/her.
The Chairman may be dismissed during his/her term of office by a Resolution of the Supreme Council on the basis of an application of the President of Ukraine.

Broadcast licensing procedure:

Who issues the licences?

The National Council

Criteria of choice if there are more bidders than frequencies available?

When staging licence contests, the National Council shall bear in mind:  
- The viewers' (listeners') interests;  
- The need to protect general national interests and promote cultural values;  
- The need to gear TV/radio programmes to cover the stands taken by different social groups;  
- Conformity of the license application to the terms of the contest;  
- Conformity of the TV/radio company's (actual) technical characteristics and creative potential to those stated in the application;  
- The TV/radio company's commitments in terms of social broadcasts;  
- previous use of this TV/radio channel.  
TV/radio companies not registered in keeping with set procedures or set up by political parties, trade unions, religious organisations and enterprises as founders (cofounders) shall not be eligible. Should several applicants prove to be on equal standing warranting the issuance of a licence, preference shall be given the applicant which used the licence in the previous term, provided this applicant did not violate any terms and conditions set by the laws currently in effect.

Procedure

Competition

Can the decision be appealed?

If a licence is refused, the applicant TV/radio company is notified in writing, along with appropriate explanations. The refusal to grant a licence may be appealed to a court of law within three months.  

Other

Quorum for decision-making

Sessions of the Council are valid if at least 6 members of the Council are present.

Can the authority create laws? (delegated regulations)

The Council can adopt resolutions, develop regulations, rules and instructions and issue recommendations within the limits of its authority. It may participate in the drafting of international treaties of Ukraine dealing with television and radio broadcasts and determine, on the basis of the regulations thus developed, procedures of licensing TV/radio channels using satellite facilities.

Financing

    State budget and funds transferred to the account “Sums on instruction” of the Council within the limit of 20% of the amount obtained during a year.

    Law enforcement competences

Warnings

Fines/
penalties

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Other

Y

Y

N

Y

N

N

Y

 

    UNITED KINGDOM 

    Based on the law: Ofcom Act 2002

    The Ofcom should be operational by the end of 2003. It is being designed to be a regulator for the converging communications sector, it will merge the functions of five existing regulatory bodies: the Independent Television Commission (ITC), the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), the Office of Telecommunications (Oftel), the Radio Authority (RAu) and the Radiocommunications Agency (RA). It will have wide powers, award licences to broadcasters and have the right to impose sanctions. Ofcom presents its annual report to the Secretaries of State, who then lays it before the Parliament.

    The Ofcom Board is made up of 9 members. Six are appointed by the Secretaries of State for Trade and Industry and for Culture, Media and Sport. These are known as ‘the Members’. The three Staff Members comprise the Chief Executive and two additional persons appointed by the Members. Together, the Members and Staff Members are known as ‘the Board Members’. The Board must comply with a code of conduct that regulates, among other things, rules of behaviour in case of conflicts of interests.

    Further details on the functioning of Ofcom and its rules of procedure are not yet available, as the authority is still not fully operational.

    II. BROADCASTING REGULATORY AUTHORITIES 

    Most Council of Europe member countries have one broadcasting regulatory authority that supervises and regulates all kinds of broadcasting: television, radio, cable etc. In some countries, the same body also deals with telecommunications.

    There are a few exceptions to the rule: the United Kingdom is the last European country to have separate authorities for radio and television (only until the new regulatory authority, the Ofcom, replaces the 5 authorities that currently exist). Some countries have decided to create separate authorities for different communities or federal states (Belgium, Germany), in others, there are 2 different bodies, one issuing licences and dealing with the more technical aspects of broadcasting, the other supervising the content of programmes and dealing with complaints. However, it can be noticed that during the last few years, there has been a slight tendency to merge the separate bodies into one authority supervising all aspects of broadcasting. This kind of changes has taken place in countries like Italy and Austria and is currently under way in the United Kingdom.

    Table 1. Country information

 

Name of the organ

Whom is it accountable to?

Albania

National Council of Radio and Television

The People's Assembly

Armenia

The National Commission of TV and Radio (Company)

The National Assembly

Austria

KommAustria

The Federal Chancellor

Azerbaijan

National TV – Radio Council

-

Belgium

Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel

 

Vlaams Commissariaat voor de Media

 

Bosnia & Herzeg.

Communication Regulatory Agency

The Council of Ministers.

Bulgaria

Council of Electronic Media

-

Croatia

The Council for Radio and Television

The Croatian State Parliament.

Cyprus

The Cyprus Radio-Television Authority

The council of Ministers and the Parliament

Czech Republic

Council for Radio and TV Broadcasting in the Czech Republic

House of Deputies.

Denmark

Radio and Television Board

Under the Minister for Culture.

Estonia

Estonian Broadcasting Council

 

Finland

The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority

 

France

Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel

Reports to the President, the government and the Parliament.

Germany*

-

-

Georgia

The Georgian National Communications Commission

The President/ The Parliament

Greece

National Council for Radio and Television

The Parliament. Under the supervision of the Ministry to the Press and the Mass media.

Hungary

National Radio and Television Commission

The Parliament.

Iceland

The Broadcast Licensing Committee

 

Ireland**

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland

 

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission

 

Italy

Authority for Equal Protection of Communications

 

Latvia

National Broadcasting Council

 

Lithuania

Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission

The Seimas (Parliament)

Luxembourg

Commission Indépendante de la radiodiffusion

 

Conseil National des programmes

 

Malta

Malta Broadcasting Authority

 

Moldova

The Audio-Visual Coordinating Council

 

Norway

Media Ownership Authority

The ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.

Mass Media Authority

Under The Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.

Netherlands

Commissariaat voor de Media

 

Poland

National Broadcasting Council

Reports to the Sejm, the Senate and the President.

Portugal

High Authority for the Mass Media

The Assembly of the Republic.

Romania

National Audiovisual Council

The Parliament.

Russia

-

-

Serbia & Montenegro

Serbia - The Republican Broadcasting Agency

 

Montenegro – The Broadcasting Agency

 

Slovakia

Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission of the Slovak Republic

The National Council.

Slovenia

Broadcasting Council

The National Assembly.

Spain

Telecommunication Market Commission

Reports to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Sweden

Swedish Broadcasting Commission

 

Radio and TV Authority

 

Switzerland

Office Fédéral de la Communication

 

Independent Complaints Commission

The Federal Council.

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

Republic of Macedonia Broadcasting Council

 

Turkey

Turkish Radio and TV Supreme Council

 

Ukraine

National Council of TV and Radio Broadcasting

The Supreme Council of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine.

United Kingdom

The OFCOM

Ministers/ The Parliament

    * In Germany, there are separate authorities in each federal State.
    **In Ireland, there is also a RTE Authority that supervises public TV, but it has no regulatory powers.

    MEMBERSHIP 

    Broadcasting regulatory authorities are usually collegial bodies composed of 3 to 13 members. The few institutions that have more than 20 members tend to have a more consultative function (the College d’Avis in the Belgian CSA, the Conseil National des Programmes in Luxembourg).

    The members of the authorities are appointed for a period of 4 to 6 years (with some exceptions like Estonia and Lithuania, where the term of office of the members of the authority depends on the duration of the term of the institution that elected them or their governing bodies’ authorisation.) The member’s terms of office are often staggered to assure a better continuity of the authority’s work, but it is not always regulated in the audiovisual law. In many countries, the members of the authority may be re-elected for a maximum of two consecutive terms. However, several countries (France, Poland, Serbia) have decided to prohibit them from being re-elected even once.

    In some countries (Belgium, Iceland), when the members are elected, a group of deputies is appointed at the same time to replace the members in case they are incapable of assuming their functions for a limited period of time or if they resign before the end of their term.

    In Austria, the authority, KommAustria, consists of a Director General and staff, but also includes an Advisory Council that must be consulted before the granting of licences. The Finnish and Swedish authorities, as well as the Swiss OFCOM, are administrative bodies. Therefore, there is no council, the employees of the Authorities are appointed as any other employees of the administration, and accordingly this part of the table does not concern them.
    For Germany, see country report.

    Table 2. Membership

 

Number of members

Term (years)

Re-election

Are the terms of office of the members staggered?

Albania

7

5

once

Y

Armenia

9

6

once

NS

Austria

DG/6 members.

6(members)

Yes

NS

Azerbaijan

9

6

Y

Y

Belgium

CSA

The Office (Chairman, 3 vice-chairmen)

5

Y

NS

   

Collège d'autorisation et de contrôle – Bureau + 5 members

4

Y

No

Collège d'avis – Bureau + 30 members (+ deputies)

VCM

3 (+3 deputies)

6

once

NS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

7 (+ DG)

4

once

NS

Bulgaria

9

6

once

Y

Croatia

9

5

once

Y

Cyprus

7

6

NS

NS

Czech Republic

13

6

once

NS

Denmark

7

4

NS

NS

Estonia

9

5 y. for experts, GI for political appointees

NS

NS

Finland

-

-

-

-

France

9

6

N

Y

Georgia

3

6

once

Y

Germany

-

-

-

-

Greece

7

4

NS

NS

Hungary

Not less than 5

4

Y

Y

Iceland

7(+alternates)

4

NS

NS

Ireland

BCI: 7 - 10

Not more than 5

Y

N

BCC: 7 - 9

NS

Italy

9

7

No

No

Latvia

9

4

once

Y

Lithuania

12

GI

NS

NS

Luxembourg

CIR - 5

5

Yes

NS

CNP - Up to 25

5

Yes

NS

Malta

5 to 7

Up to 5

Y

 

Moldova

9

5

NS

NS

Norway

-

-

-

-

Netherlands

3

5

once

 

Poland

9

6

N

Y

Portugal

11

4

once

NS

Romania

11

4

NS

Y

Serbia & Montenegro

S - 9

6

N

Y

M - 5

5

Y

Y

Slovakia

9

6

once

Y

Slovenia

7

5

Y

NS

Spain

9

6

once

NS

Sweden

BC - 7

NS 

NS

NS

Switzerland

OFCOM -

-

-

-

AIEP - 9

NS

NS

NS

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

9

6

once

Y

Turkey

9

4

NS

NS

Ukraine

8

4

once

Y

United Kingdom

9

NS

NS

NS

    APPOINTMENT OF THE MEMBERS OF THE AUTHORITY 

    The procedure of appointment of the members of the authority is usually divided into two stages: the nomination of the candidates and their appointment by the competent organ of the State.

    In some countries, there is only one or two organs involved in the election. Others have decided to have not only different organs of the State, but also civil society or journalists and publishers groups involved. In federal States, the states of the federation or autonomous regions may also propose their candidates.

    Table 3. Election of the members

 

Who nominates the candidates?

Who appoints the members?

Albania

The President, a parliamentary committee.

The Parliament

Armenia

 

The President

Austria

   

One member on the proposal from the
states of the federation.

The Federal Government

Azerbaijan

 

The President

Belgium

CSA

 

The government/Council of the French Community

VCM

 

The Flemish government

Bosnia & Herzegovina

 

The Council of Ministers

Bulgaria

 

The Parliament/the President of the Republic.

Croatia

The Government

The House of Representatives of the Parliament

Cyprus

 

The Council of Ministers

Czech Republic

The House of Deputies

The Prime Minister

Denmark

 

The Minister of Culture

Estonia

A parliamentary Committee

The Parliament

France

The President of the Republic, the president of the Senate, the president of the National Assembly.

The President of the Republic

Georgia

 

The President of the Republic

Greece

Parliamentary parties

The Parliament

Hungary

The President, the Prime Minister, parliamentary factions.

The Parliament

Iceland

 

The Legislative Assembly (Althingi)

Ireland

 

The Government

Italy

   

Latvia

Members of Parliament.

The Parliament (Saeima)

Lithuania

 

The President, the Committee for Education, Science and Culture, unions and associations of journalists, publishers, artists etc.

Luxembourg

CIR

One proposed by the Press Council.

By decision of the Grand Duchy

CNP

 

Organisations of social and cultural life, (cults, political groups, trade unions and associations).

Malta

 

The President of the Republic (with advice of the Prime Minister and consultation with the leader of the opposition.)

Moldova

 

The Parliament, the President, the Government

Netherlands

Minister of education, culture and science

By royal decree

Norway

MMA

 

Cultural Affairs Ministry.

Poland

 

The Parliament and the President.

Portugal

 

The Superior Council of the Magistracy, the Parliament, 3 by journalists, consumer groups and organisations of employers of the media sector, the government.

Romania

The Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the president, the government:

The Parliament

Russia

   

Serbia & Montenegro

Serbia

Assemblies of the autonomous provinces, associations, professional organisations, NGOs.

The Parliament

Montenegro

The government, the University of Montenegro, broadcasters associations, NGOs.

The Parliament

Slovakia

Members of the Parliament, professional institutions and civil associations.

The National Council

Slovenia

Slovenian universities, the Chamber of Culture of Slovenia, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, the Journalists’ Society of Slovenia and candidates who submit their own candidacy if they are experts in the specified areas.

The Parliament

Spain

The Minister of Science and Technology

The government, the Minister of Science and Technology

Switzerland

Complaints Commission

 

The Federal Council

OFCOM

 

The Federal Council appoints members of the Comcom, the independent communication commission, the OFCOM is administrative.

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

A parliamentary committee.

The Parliament

Turkey

Five members elected upon nomination of political party groups;

The parliament

The Higher Education General Board

The Council of Ministers

The two journalists association having the most numerous members with yellow press card and Press Council;

The National Security Council General Secretariat among civil servants.

Ukraine

The Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ukraine upon submission of the relevant committee, taking into account suggestions of factions in the parliament and associations.

4 members of the National Council appointed by the Supreme Council of Ukraine

The President of Ukraine consults the Prime Minister and relevant ministries.

4 members of the National Council appointed by the President of Ukraine.

United Kingdom

 

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry

    Table 3 bis. Election of the members

 

Nominations

Appointment

 

Civil society

Local org.

Org. of journalists, publishers and similar

Other organs of the state adm.

Others

Parl.

Pres./
King.

Gov.

Mixed

Others

Albania

     

X

 

X

       

Armenia

           

X

     

Austria

 

X

         

X

   

Azerbaijan

           

X

     

Belgium

CSA

             

X

 

X

VCM

                 

X

Bosnia & Herzegovina

             

X

   

Bulgaria

         

X

X

     

Croatia

     

X

 

X

       

Cyprus

             

X

   

Czech Republic

     

X

         

X

Denmark

                 

X

Estonia

         

X

       

France

     

X

   

X

     

Georgia

           

X

     

Greece

       

X

X

       

Hungary

     

X

 

X

       

Iceland

         

X

       

Ireland

             

X

   

Italy

                   

Latvia

         

X

       

Lithuania

           

X

   

X

Luxembourg

CIR

   

X

     

X

     

CNP

                 

X

Malta

           

X

     

Moldova

         

X

X

X

   

Netherlands

     

X

   

X

     

Norway

MOA

                   

MMA

                 

X

Poland

         

X

X

     

Portugal

         

X

 

X

 

X

Romania

     

X

 

X

       

Russia

                   

Serbia & Montenegro

Serbia

X

X

X

 

X

X

       

Montenegro

X

 

X

X

X

X

       

Slovakia

X

 

X

X

 

X

       

Slovenia

   

X

 

X

X

       

Spain

     

X

     

X

 

X

Switzerland

CC

             

X

   

OFCOM

                   

“TheFormer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

         

X

       

Turkey

   

X

X

X

X

 

X

   

United Kingdom

                 

X

Ukraine

     

X

X

X

X

     

    INCOMPATIBILITIES 

    To ensure the independence of the authority from any influence by politicians and the media industry, a list of functions which are incompatible with membership of the media authority is included in most audiovisual laws.

    The general idea is that the members of the authority should not be tied to any political party or company in the media sector. However, the exact functions which are incompatible with being a member are defined in different ways: for example, the condition of not being tied to a political party means, in some countries, that one needs to suspend membership in such an organisation for the duration of the term in the authority, while in others, this restriction only applies to party officials. The same applies to public functions: either a general prohibition to hold public functions or a list enumerating the exact incompatibilities is included in the law.

    Table 4. Incompatibilities

 

Political parties

Public functions

Employment

Interest in media

Family ties

Conviction of crime

Others

Albania

X

X

 

X

     

Armenia

X

 

Only chairmen

X

     

Austria

           

NS

Azerbaijan

   

X

   

X

 

Belgium

CSA

 

X

X

     

X

VCM

 

X

 

X

     

Bosnia & Herzegovina

X

X

         

Bulgaria

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

Croatia

X

X

 

X

     

Cyprus

     

X

     

Czech Republic

X

X

 

X

X

   

Denmark

           

NS

Estonia

 

X

 

X

     

Finland

           

NA

France

 

X

X

X

     

Georgia

X

           

Greece

X

X

     

X

X

Hungary

X

X

X

X

X

   

Iceland

           

NS

Ireland

 

X

         

Italy

             

Latvia

X

X

     

X

 

Lithuania

 

X

 

X

X

   

Luxembourg

             

Malta

 

X

 

X

     

Moldova

X

   

X

     

Norway

           

NS

Netherlands

 

X

 

X

     

Poland

X

 

X

X

     

Portugal

           

NS*

Romania

X

X

X

X

     

Serbia &
Montenegro

Serbia

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

Montenegro

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

Slovakia

X

X

Only chairman.

X

X

X

 

Slovenia

X

X

 

X

     

Spain

           

NS*

Sweden

             

Switzerland

CC

 

X

 

X

     

OFCOM

           

NA

“Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

X

X

 

X

     

Turkey

X

 

X

X

X

   

Ukraine

X

X

X

X

     

United Kingdom

     

X

   

X

    Table 5. Conditions for dismissing the members of the authority before the end of their term

 

Conditions for dismissing the authority members before the end of their term

Who can dismiss them?

Albania

Only if a member is punished by a court with a final decision for the commission of a crime; he/she becomes unable to perform his duty because of illness; he/she is absent from more than 1/3 of the meetings of the Council in a year; it is verified that he/she does not fulfil the obligations of Article 14 (incompatibilities)

The organ that elected them.

Armenia

Only if resignation, if he/she is elected or appointed to other state position, has been absent from work for more then three months without a respectable reason, is sentenced by the verdict of the court, lost the Armenian citizenship, in case of death.

By decree of the President.

Austria

NS

NS

Azerbaijan

When put in an application, refuse from Azerbaijan citizenship or accepting the citizenship of another state, commit a crime or there is the valid decision of the court, hold post in a state institution.

NS

Belgium

CSA

VCM

Only if incompatibilities declared by the plenary assembly after a hearing of the interested member, if Article 404 of the penal code may be applied, if they fail to their obligations as defined in the Media Law.
(A member, who is in a situation of incompatibility, has a period of one month to resign from the other function. Otherwise, he/she is dismissed, a month and one day after the date on which the Council has declared the incompatibility.)

The chairman and vice-chairmen are revocable by the Council of the French Community on the proposal of the Government. The members of the Collège d'autorisation et de contrôle may be revoked by the Council of the French Community on the proposal of the Government. The members of the Collège d’avis may be revoked by the Government.
The chairman pronounces the automatic resignation of a member after 6 absences at meetings in succession.

 

The Flemish Government.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Only if illness rendering the member incapable of performing his or her duties; Conviction of a crime punishable by imprisonment; A conflict of interest as defined in the Agency’s Code of Ethics, including when a member of his or her household is an owner, shareholder, or member of the boards or supervisory boards or other relevant governing bodies, director or president or other manager of any licensee or associate undertaking of any licensee; resignation; non-performance of duties for members of the Council of the Agency, as reflected by failure to participate in 3 or more successive meetings; or failure of the Director General to perform his/her duties pursuant to law, internal agency rules or his/her contract of employment; violation of the Agency’s code of ethics

The Parliament.

Bulgaria

Death or release of the person from his occupation in cases when: the person resigns; if he/she is permanently unable to fulfil his/her obligations for more than six months; for established incompatibility with the requirements of this law; for enactment of a sentence which imposes a punishment of imprisonment for deliberate crime.

The release of a member of the Council for electronic media shall be made by a decision of the Council for electronic media.

Croatia

If it is evaluated that they are incapable of an ordinary performance of the businesses within the framework of the Council or if incompatibilities.

 

Cyprus

In case of death; in case of resignation submitted in writing to the Council of Ministers; in case of non-suitability which is decided on by the Council of Ministers: as a result of the assumption of an official rank or post in any political party, or due to unbecoming conduct

The Council of Ministers.

Czech Republic

If the functions pertaining to the capacity are not duly executed; if the prerequisites for assuming the capacity, as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act, are not fulfilled; if he/she commits such conduct that challenges his/her impartiality, independence or the impartiality of the Council.

Resignation to the Prime Minister, as of the effective date of the judgment, which deprived the Council member of the eligibility to perform legal acts or which limited his/her eligibility to perform legal acts, as of the effective date of the sentence whereby the Council member was convicted of any of the offences listed in the law, due to death or declaration of death.

The Prime Minister, following a proposal from the House of Deputies.

The term expires by itself.

Denmark

NS

NS

Estonia

The term shall terminate prematurely if he/she resigns from office, is removed by the Riigikogu, a judgment of conviction enters into force with regard to him/her, or he/she dies.
A member of the Broadcasting Council shall resign from office at his/her own request or shall be removed, if he/she no longer meets the requirements provided for in this Act or is permanently unable to perform his/her duties.

The Riigikogu shall make a decision concerning the resignation or removal of a member of the Broadcasting Council on the proposal of the Riigikogu Cultural Affairs Committee.

France

If incompatibilities occur, he or she gets declared resigned by the Council.

 

Georgia

Authority of commissioners is terminated in the following cases: he/she resigns by his/her own will; indictment procedures against a commissioner are entered into force; a court recognizes him/her as incapable or missing; has lost citizenship of Georgia; does not fulfil his/her duties during a four-month continuous time period; occupies a position or performs activities that are in conflict of interest of his/her position; passes away.

The President of the Republic

Greece

Final sentence by a court for criminal offences. Conviction by a Special Disciplinary Body on charges for disciplinary offences. This Body is composed of judges, attorneys, university professors, etc.

The Disciplinary Body issues the decision and the Minister for the Press and the Mass Media issues an act confirming the decision.

Hungary

    i. Upon his resignation,
    j. upon the establishment of a conflict of interests,
    k. through dismissal (if the member fails to fulfil his duties for an uninterrupted period of three months due to reasons beyond his control.),
    l. through expulsion (if the member fails to fulfil his duties due to reasons for which his responsibility can be established, the member's culpability was established by a Ruling of a Court and the member was given a prison sentence, in force.)
    m. upon losing the appointment
    n. upon the death of the Member,
    o. upon the discontinuation of the nominating Parliamentary faction,
    p. upon the termination of the Commission's appointment (as specified in Section 45. Paragraph (1) Sub-paragraph c)) (if a specific voting procedure is inconclusive)

The termination of the Member's office shall be declared by the Chairperson of the Commission in the cases of Sub-paragraphs b) and f); by the full Commission Session, in the cases of Sub-paragraphs c), d) and e). The termination of the Chairperson's office shall be jointly declared by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

Iceland

NS

NS

Ireland

Both - Where a member of the Commission is nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann, or nominated as a candidate for election to either House of the Oireachtas or to the European Parliament, or regarded as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy, he shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Commission

Both - A member of the Commission may be removed from office by the Government for stated reasons, if, but only if, resolutions are passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas calling for his removal.

Italy

   

Latvia

He/she has not attended more than half of the Council meetings within a three-month period without justification;
if incompatibilities or
if he/she has committed an intentional violation of this Law or have allowed negligence to occur and such has caused substantial consequences.

The Saeima

Lithuania

If a member of the Commission resigns or if he cannot take part in the work of the Commission or does not attend its meetings for more than 4 months, he must be replaced. An institution which appoints a Commission member may terminate his powers before the expiry of his term of office by its justified decision or on the justified recommendation of the Commission, or in compliance with the member’s request.

The institution which has appointed him.

Luxembourg

NS

NS

Malta

NS

NS

Moldova

If they violate the audiovisual law or commit illegal actions, which will be confirmed by an enacted verdict.  

 

Norway

   

Netherlands

Only on the grounds the person is found unfit, having a financial interest in establishments in relation to which the Media Authority exercises statutory powers and having accepted a position or holding a membership which shall be incompatible with the membership of the media Authority.

By royal decree upon recommendation of the Minister.

Poland

Solely in cases when the said person has resigned, has become permanently unable to discharge his/her duties for reasons of ill health, has been sentenced for a deliberate criminal offence and the said sentence is valid and enforceable, has committed a breach of the provisions of the Act and the said breach has been confirmed by the decision of the Tribunal of State.

The body which is empowered to appoint the member.

Portugal

In case of death, physical impossibility to perform the job, incompatibilities, repeated absence during the sessions, breaking the law on the AACS, confirmed by judicial decision, for specified offences.

 

Romania

In case of incompatibilities, the members position becomes vacant and is to be occupied by the deputy on the proposal of the specialised standing commission of the Parliament. The members in the Council may be revoked on the proposal of the specialised commissions of the Parliament in case it is impossible to exert the functions for a period longer than 6 months; in case of a penal conviction applied by a final court decision.

The Council notifies the Parliament in applying this provision.

Serbia & Montenegro

Serbia - If a competent health institution finds the member incapacitated by an illness to fulfil the duties of Council member for a period exceeding six months;
If it is determined that, during the submission of the nomination, the member gave false personal data or omitted to report data on circumstances set forth in Article 25 of this Law. (incompatibilities)
If it is determined that some of the circumstances set forth in Article 25 of this Law occurred during the tenure of the Council member.
If for no good reason, the member omits or refuses to fulfil the duty of a Council member for at least 3 consecutive months or a period of 12 months during which the member has failed to fulfil his duties for at least six months.

The National Assembly.

Montenegro - Only if because of illness, on the basis of result of a competent medical institution, he/she is not able to perform his/her duties for more than 6 month, it is established that on the occasion of submission of the proposal for appointment, they submitted inaccurate personal data or omitted to reveal the data that are of relevance for the possible appointment, if it is established that any incompatibilities occurred, and if without sufficient reason or approval of the Agency, they fail or refuse to perform their duty for at least 6 consecutive months or 6 month out of a year.

The Parliament of the Republic.

Slovakia

If he/she has ceased to fulfil the conditions for office performance; he/she has been legally convicted for a deliberate criminal act; he/she has been legally deprived of the right to legal actions, or his/her right to legal actions has been legally restricted; he/she has not performed his office for more than six consecutive calendar months or he/she acts in contrary to the status of the Council.

The National Council.

Slovenia

May be dismissed if they themselves request to be, if they receive a custodial sentence after being convicted of a criminal offence, because of the permanent loss of the working capability to perform their functions, if they no longer fulfil the conditions for membership of the council, if they fail to act in accordance with law, if they fail to participate in council sessions without justification.

The National Assembly

Spain (fed)

Permanent impossibility to exercise their charges, if they seriously fail to fulfil their obligations, if they are sentenced for committing an intentional offence, for reasons of incompatibilities; resignation accepted by the government, [cesarán en su cargo por separación acordada por el Gobierno, previa instrucción de expediente por el Ministro de Fomento]

 

Sweden

   

Switzerland

NS

NS

NS

NS

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

If they are sentenced for a crime for which a penalty of at least six months is prescribed, or if they are sentenced for a crime or some other act which makes them unworthy for performing the function, as well as for unjustified absence from the work of the Council for more than six months.

 

Turkey

If incompatibilities occur.

By decision of the authority (council) itself

Ukraine

If a member resigns; is stripped of Ukrainian citizenship, has transgressed Article 2 (principles of the audiovisual law) herein before; this member receives a vote of no confidence from the Supreme Council of Ukraine; This member fails to carry out his/her duties or turns out professionally inadequate; This member is condemned by a court of law, with the sentence having come into force.
Or in case of:
- submission of a personal letter of resignation;
- renunciation of the citizenship of Ukraine;
- violation of requirements set forth in Article 11 hereof;
- enforcement of an accusatory sentence of a court of law with respect to him/her;
- inability to fulfil the duties due to illness during six and more months;
- declaration of such a member incapable, insufficiently capable, missing or dead;
- rotation; abuse of office;
- declaration of no confidence by the Supreme Council to a member of the National Council appointed by it or by the President of Ukraine to a member of the National Council appointed by him/her.

 

United Kingdom

   

    LAW ENFORCEMENT COMPETENCES 

    Most of the regulatory authorities have the right to impose sanctions on the broadcasters which they supervise, if those broadcasters fail to comply with the rules of the law, the conditions of their licence or to the regulations adopted by the authority. The most frequently authorised sanctions include warnings, financial sanctions, suspending a broadcasting licence or the broadcasting of a programme and, in cases of repeated or very serious violations, the revocation of the licence. Other kinds of sanctions which broadcasting regulatory authorities may impose in some countries are the following: reduction of the duration a licence was granted, prohibition of broadcasting of sponsoring/advertisements for a limited period of time, inspection of licensed facilities or ordering the licensee to publish its decision in newspapers/magazines at his cost. The Norwegian Media Ownership Authority, an organ created for the purpose of controlling the concentration of ownership in the media sector, has a unique competence - it may have interests sold through the enforcement authorities pursuant to the rules relating to coercive sale if the owner of the media does not comply with its decisions. In some countries, the authority has no or very little power to impose sanctions by itself, but it may request the competent government body to impose the sanctions it judges necessary on the licensee who fails to comply with the law and the conditions of the licence. This is the case in e.g. Switzerland and Spain.

    Table 6. Law enforcement competences

 

Warnings

Fines

Demand to diffuse an announcement

Suspension/ temporary revocation of the licence

Suspension of a programme/ broadcasting

Reduction of the time the licence was given

Revocation of the licence

Others

Albania

X

X

 

X

 

X

X

-

Armenia

X

X

 

X

   

X

-

Austria

X

X

X

     

X

-

Azerbaijan

 

X

           

Belgium

CSA

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

-

VCM

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

B. & H.

X

X

   

X

 

X

X

Bulgaria

X

X

 

X

   

X

-

Croatia

 

?

 

X

   

X

-

Cyprus

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

Czech Republic

X

X

   

X

 

X

-

Denmark

     

X

   

X

-

Estonia

             

-

Finland

               

France

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

-

Georgia

       

X

 

X

 

Greece

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

-

Hungary

X

X

   

X

 

X

X

Iceland

X

X

       

X

 

Ireland

     

X

   

X

 

Italy

X

X

 

X

   

X

 

Latvia

X

     

X

 

X

X

Lithuania

     

X

   

X

 

Luxembourg

X

?

       

X

-

Malta

 

X

     

X

X

X

Moldova

X

X

 

X

   

X

-

Norway

MOA

 

X

         

X

MMA

X

X

 

X

   

X

X

Netherlands

 

X

       

X

 

Poland

 

X

       

X

 

Portugal

 

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

Romania

 

X

     

X

X

 

Serbia & Montenegro

X

 

X

X

   

X

 

X

X

 

X

   

X

 

Slovakia

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

 

Slovenia

X

?

 

X

   

X

X/AM

Spain

             

AM

Sweden BC

 

X

X

         

Switzerland

             

AM

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

 

?

       

X

AM

Turkey

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

Ukraine

X

X

 

X

   

X

 

U.K.

X

X

X

   

X

X

X

    LICENSING OF BROADCASTERS 

    Broadcasting licences are in most cases granted by the authority. However, in some countries, it is the government that awards them. For terrestrial radio and television services, the frequencies are usually distributed by way of public tender or competition, while licences for cable broadcasting are in most cases awarded without competition to any candidate who wishes to obtain a licence and fulfils the basic criteria.

    To ensure objectivity and fairness in the licensing process, some legislators have decided to include an extensive list of criteria for the granting of licences into the broadcasting law. In other countries, the criteria are decided on by the authority.

    The question of whether a decision on the awarding of a licence can be appealed is not always regulated in the audiovisual law. In some countries, it may be written down in the administrative or administrative procedural laws. However, certain countries state clearly that such a decision is final and may not be appealed (this is the case in Poland).

Table 7. Licensing of broadcasters

 

Who issues the licences?

Criteria

Procedure

Can the decision be appealed?

Albania

The National Council of Radio and Television

NS

Public tender.

 

Armenia

The National Commission on TV&Radio

The Commission considers: the prevalence of local programmes, the prevalence of national programmes, the technical and financial possibilities of the applicant, the professional level of the staff.

Public competition (tender).

.

Austria

KommAustria

For a nationwide licence: ensure best the objectives of the law on private TV, especially greater diversity of opinions, an independent programme offer, taking account of the interests in the coverage area; a larger share of self-created programme items; a candidate who can provide coverage to a larger part of the population, that his programme will feature programme items of relevance to Austria. For non-nationwide licences, precedence to that applicant who, in addition to the criteria listed above, can be expected to a larger extent to reflect the cultural, artistic, political and social life of the respective coverage area, and that the programme contents will be complementary to the programmes already disseminated in the coverage area.  

Public tender.

 

Azerbaijan

The National TV – Radio Council

Competition shall be held in correspondence with the purposes of the law, bearing in mind the creative and financial possibilities of those who apply for transmission license. When determining the conditions of competition (…) the interest of the viewers, listeners and the State shall be taken into account. When holding the competition, the following shall be taken into account: the correspondence of the applicant’s data to conditions of competition, the professional, technical and financial possibilities of the applicant for implementing the TV-Radio transmission, and the result of an open hearing and other competitive procedures.

Competition.

 

Belgium

CSA

The CSA, except for local television stations, which are authorised by the government of the French community

The Collège d’autorisation et de contrôle takes into account the following elements: (1) the way in which the applicants undertake to meet the obligations concerning the programmes (cultural programmes, programmes in the French language, etc), (2) the relevance of the applicants’ financial plans, (3) the originality and innovatory nature of the application, (4) the importance of the production decentralised in the French community and (5) the experience of the applicant.

Public tender

Y

VCM

The Vlaams Commissariaat voor de Media

NS
(but minimum requirements are listed)

   

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Communication Regulatory Agency

The Agency shall grant such rights on the basis of selection criteria which must be objective, non-discriminatory, transparent and proportionate. Such selection criteria must give due weight to the achievement of the objectives and regulatory principles of the broadcasting law.

 

Y

Bulgaria

The Council of Electronic Media

The Council classifies the candidates on the grounds of the competition documents, the criteria for assessment and their relative importance in determining the complex assessment, by observing the requirement for priority of the assessment of the programme project, the report of the expert commission created to evaluate the candidates and a complex assessment for the most complete fulfilment of the competition requirements.

Competition, envisaged to be entirely public.

Y

Croatia

The Council for Radio and Television

NS
(but general requirements are listed)

The Council has to solicit bids publicly or launch a public tender procedure.

 

Cyprus

The Radio-television Authority

The completeness and quality of the programming, the knowledge, experience, ability and numerical sufficiency of the regular staff, the programme commitment for the development of the sectors of information, education and entertainment and the contribution to all forms of literature and art, as well as the ability of keeping these commitments, the ability and commitment of the applicants to safeguard pluralism in their programmes and broadcasts and for the greatest possible access to them, the journalistic and creative independence of journalists and other executors in the station and the arrangement made for the terms of employment of editors and other employees of the station by collective bargaining and collective work contract with the legally recognised professional organisation on the basis of the Industrial Relations Code, the technical efficiency of the station and its economic viability.  

Call for applications.

Y

Czech Republic

The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting

In the process of decision-making the Council shall assess the following facts: level of economic, organisational and technical readiness of the applicant to support the broadcasting, transparency of ownership relations in the company of the applicant, benefits of programme structure as proposed by the applicant for licence with regard to the existing variety in the offer of programmes of radio or television broadcasting, in case of television broadcasting the representation of European production, production of independent European producers and contemporary production in the programme structure of television broadcasting, the development of original production, the readiness of the applicant to provide hidden or open subtitles in a certain percentage of broadcast programme units for persons with impaired hearing, benefits provided by the applicant for the development of culture of minorities.

Tender and public hearings of the applicants.

Y

Denmark

The Radio and Television Board or Local Radio and Television Boards for local TV and radios.

NS

Public tender.

 

Estonia

The Ministry of Culture

NS, but there is a list of reasons for refusing a licence.

Public call for applications.

 

Finland

The Council of State

     

France

The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel

(for radio licences) Interest of the public, safeguarding the pluralism of expression, diversification of broadcasters and avoiding the dominant position of one broadcaster or practices contrary to the principle of free market competition.
Are also taken into account: the experience the candidate has in the field of communication, his financial possibilities, his possession of interests in press or advertising companies. For programmes providing general or political information, their independence and pluralism of opinions represented as well as honesty of the information provided. Contribution of locally produced programmes. The Council ensures that enough frequencies are awarded to local and community radios, as well as those operated by associations promoting cultural exchange, local development, the protection of the environment or the fight against social exclusion.

   

Georgia

The Commission

The winner should be determined by the following criteria: technical, financial, programming, including quantity of local production.

Tender.

 

Germany

The states’ media authorities

     

Greece

The Minister to the Press and the Mass Media following an opinion of the Council

Existing services in operation, number of employees, financial viability, completeness of the schedule of programmes, qualifications and experience of the employees, commitment to implement journalistic and professional codes of conduct.

Call for applications.

Y

Hungary

The Commission (ORTT)

In accordance with the evaluation criteria published at the time of the invitation to tender. Possible preference for non-profit oriented broadcasters.

Public tender.

 

Iceland

The Broadcast Licensing Committee

NS

   

Ireland

The Commission enters into a contract with broadcasters, but the Minister for Communications also plays a big role in the licensing procedure.

The Commission considers the character of the applicant; the adequacy of the expertise and experience and of the financial resources that will be available; the quality, range and type of the programmes proposed; the quantity, quality, range and type of programmes in the Irish language and relating to Irish culture; the extent to which the applicant will create within the proposed sound broadcasting service new opportunities for Irish talent in music, drama and entertainment; the desirability of having a diversity of services in the area specified; catering for a wide range of tastes including those of minority interests; the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue number of sound broadcasting services; the desirability of allowing any person, or group of persons, to have control of, or substantial interests in, an undue amount of the communications media in the area specified; the extent to which the service proposed serves recognisably local communities. In a Gaeltacht area, the Commission shall have particular regard to the preservation as a spoken language of the Irish language.

   

Italy

The Ministry of Communication

1.audience, 2. content of the programmes, 3. level of employment

Public tender.

Y

Latvia

The National Radio and Television Council

Preference shall be given to that participant in the invitation to tender whose general programme concept is oriented towards a wider public demand.

Public tender.

Y

Lithuania

The Commission

In issuing licences, priority shall be accorded to broadcasters who assume the responsibility to produce broadcasts of original creativity of a cultural, informational and educational type, to ensure correct and unbiased presentation of information, to respect personal dignity and the right to privacy, to observe the requirements set forth by laws and other legal acts, by which one strives to protect the physical, mental and moral development of minors from a possible negative effect of the mass media, and also for the broadcasters within whose reception zone, other stations are not yet broadcasting.

Except for cases specified in the law, public tender.

 

Luxembourg

The Independent Commission / The Government

As regards local radio stations, the following elements are taken into account: experience, originality of concept, volume of information, cultural and entertainment programmes.

Public tender, except for cases specified in the law.

Y

Malta

Malta Broadcasting Authority

Ensure a distribution of programming that appeals to general as well as to specific and various interests, and in line with a national broadcasting plan for the allocation of various frequencies. No situation of monopoly or similar should be allowed. The criteria for the assessment of applications: economic potential and viability, quality of scheduled programming, and technological and broadcasting plans and projects; that a licensee should be able to fulfil all his obligations under this Act and to secure compliance with all directives of the Authority (…)

The Authority may not grant any licence (…) on an exclusive basis

Y

Moldova

The TV & Radio Coordination Council

Certain priorities for producers and broadcasters of local audio-visual productions, mainly in the State language. If more audio-visual companies apply for a licence, the preferential right to obtain one is granted to the former licence holder, depending on the amount that it has invested in the development of the national audio-visual sector during the previous period of its activity.

Public tender.

 

Norway

Nationwide broadcasting – the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Media Authority for local TV and radio stations.

Not specified in the media act – “The King may issue regulations concerning the allocation of licences and the terms and conditions of licences”

   

Netherlands

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science

As regards commercial radio stations, a combination of elements including the business plan, the content of the programmes and the highest offer are used.

Public competition.

Y

Poland

The Chairman of the National Council for RTV

The following criteria apply in particular: the degree of compliance of the proposed programming activities with the tasks of broadcasting, the applicant's ability to make the necessary investments and ensure financing of the service, the estimated share of programmes produced or commissioned by the broadcaster, the planned share of European programmes or of works originally produced in Polish, as well as the broadcaster’s past compliance with media regulations. A licence shall not be awarded if it could result in: a threat to the interests of the national culture, transgression of the standards of public decency conduct and proprieties, danger to national security and defence or violation of State secrets, or achievement, by the applicant, of a dominant position in mass media in the given area.

Public call for applications.

N

Portugal

The High Authority for the Mass Media

The following criteria will be considered, in this order, for the purpose of ranking the applications:
a. The contents of the programmes grid, such as the number of hours dedicated to information;
b. The duration and timetable of the programme;
c. The coverage area ;d. The number of hours intended for the broadcasting of recent pieces of in-house production or independent works originally created in Portuguese language;
e. The inclusion of programmes accessible to the deaf, for instance by using translation in Portuguese sign language.

Public tender.

 

Romania

The Council

NS

Based on a contest, in case of a programme service broadcast by terrestrial radio-electric way, or based on a decision of the Council, in case of other telecommunication means.

 

Serbia & Montenegro

Serbia - The Agency

The Agency shall set and publicise non-discriminatory, impartial and measurable decision-making criteria, corresponding to the activities for the performance of which the licence is awarded. In the event that more than one person fulfilling the terms has applied for the same radio frequency, it shall give advantage to the one which, on the basis of the submitted documentation, provides stronger guarantees that it shall contribute to better quality and more diverse programme i.e. programme contents in the area in which the programme is to be broadcast. If the applicant is broadcasting a radio and/or TV programme at the time of application submission, the Council shall, while making a decision on granting a broadcasting licence, take also into consideration the applicant's hitherto contribution to the implementation of principles regulating relations in the broadcasting sector as set forth in the law.

Public tender.

Y

Montenegro – the Agency

The Agency is obliged to grant the right to transmission and broadcasting of radio and TV signals only in compliance with the established criteria and prescribed conditions and standards for the programme production, transmission and broadcasting.

Public tender

Y

Slovakia

The Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission

The Council shall be obliged to evaluate and take into account:
a) prerequisites for the observance of plurality of information and medial content
,b) transparency of ownership relations of the applicant for the licence,
c) transparency and credibility of financial funds designated to financing of the broadcasting,
d) proportionality of programme structure proposed by the applicant for the licence in relation to the existing offer of programme services in the area of broadcasting in the territory that should be covered by this broadcasting,
e) the contribution of the applicant for the licence in relation to the broadcasting and production of programmes in public interest,
f) the fact that the applicant for the licence should not win a dominant position in the relevant market,
g) the fact that it is necessary to ensure adequate capital participation of the Slovak persons and their representation in bodies of the company provided that the applicant for the licence is a legal person with foreign capital participation.

Public tender

 

Slovenia

The Agency/ Broadcasting Council

The following criteria are primarily taken into consideration: the amount of in-house production and production of Slovenian audio-visual works, the political neutrality of the station, the diversity of the programming, the level of development of broadcasting in the specific area, the level of coverage achieved by the same station in the area under tender, an opinion from the relevant local community body, an assurance that the local community supports a local or regional radio or television station, the applicant's economic status and technical and personnel capacity to broadcast, the number of potential consumers, the applicant's experience in broadcasting, the duration (scope) of the station. A national radio or television station shall have priority in selection in those areas that it does not cover or does not cover at a level of sufficient technical quality. Priority shall be given to the radio and television stations of special importance of specified in the present act. If the same or a similar range of programming is offered, in the selection of the publisher of a station that would cover a smaller area priority shall be given to the bidder with a head office in the area for which the station is intended.

The Agency conducts the public tender procedure and makes the selection on the basis of a binding proposal by the Broadcasting Council.

 

Spain (fed)

       

Sweden

The Government grants licences for country-wide TV and Radio broadcasting, the Radio and TV Authority for local and community radios.

   

Y

Switzerland

The Federal Council, the Fed. Dep. for the Environment, Transport, Energy and
Communication for local and regional programmes.

Priority is given to those applicants whose programmes contain the greatest proportion of original productions and wish to contribute most towards diversity of information and culture, and which have the closest relationship to the supply area concerned.

Competitive tender.

 

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

The Government on the proposal of the Authority

The concession is issued to the broadcasting trade company which offers better conditions for performing the broadcasting activity for the citizens of the respective area through: a programme for performing the activity; production of its own programme; production of its own programme to meet the needs of a specific nationality in the respective area; technical and exploitation conditions for broadcasting the programme, conform to the determined standards; space conditions for performing the activity; professional and technical staff; financial means for the realisation of the planned programme; and others.

Competition (call for bids).

 

Turkey

The RTV Supreme Council

Grants broadcasting permits and licences to applicants who have complied with the prerequisites, within a framework of neutrality and equity.

Public tender.

Y

Ukraine

The National Council

- The viewers' (listeners') interests;  
- The need to protect general national interests and promote cultural values;  
- The need to gear TV/radio programmes to cover the stands taken by different social groups;  
- Conformity of the licence application with the terms of the contest;  
- Conformity of the TV/radio company's (actual) technical characteristics and creative potential with those stated in the application;  
- The TV/radio company's commitments in terms of social broadcasts;  
- previous use of this TV/radio channel.  
Should several applicants prove to be on equal standing warranting the issuance of a licence, preference shall be given the applicant which used the licence in the previous term, provided this applicant did not violate any terms and conditions set by the laws currently in effect.

Competition

Y

 

United Kingdom

The Ofcom

     

    FINANCING OF THE AUTHORITY 

    The operating expenses of broadcasting regulatory authorities are most often covered by either the State budget, or the authority’s own revenues (consisting of licence fees, fines paid by the broadcasters, payments made by the broadcasters to the authority for its supervising activities, a percent of the broadcasters’ advertising revenues and others). Systems mixing the two are also popular.

    When the budget of the authority comes from public funds, different solutions are adopted: the authority can be financed either directly from the State budget or from a special broadcasting fund (Bulgaria). In most cases, the authority disposes of a separate budget, proposed by it and included each year in the State budget as a separate item.

    Sometimes the financing of the authority is tied to a specific organ of the public administration, e.g. in Portugal, the authority disposes of a budget, funded from the budget of the Assembly of the Republic. In Belgium, the costs of operating of the Commissariaat are covered by an allowance from the budget of the Flemish Community.

    Some countries have come up with original solutions: in Austria, the operating costs of the Advisory Council of the KommAustria are borne by RTR-GmbH, a limited-liability company with 100% of the shares of the company reserved for the Federal Government. The expenditure of RTR-GmbH is financed by receipts from licence fees as well as by financial contributions.

    In some cases, it is difficult to classify a country into one particular category, because the authority, being mainly financed from one source, may also occasionally benefit from another. For example, in Serbia, if the Agency fails to accrue the planned income from fees for broadcasting licences (which are its main source of income), the lacking funds are provided by the budget of the Republic. In Romania, while the Council is financed in the major part by the State budget, it may also have some extraordinary income from other sources.

    Table 8. Financing

 

State budget

The authority’s revenue (licence fees, fines etc.)

A mixed system

Others

Albania

X

     

Armenia

X

     

Austria

     

X

Azerbaijan

X

     

Belgium

     

X

Bosnia & Herzegovina

 

X

   

Bulgaria

 

X

   

Croatia

X

     

Cyprus

 

X

   

Czech Republic

X

     

Denmark

     

NS

Estonia

X

     

Finland

 

X

   

France

X

     

Georgia

 

X

 

X

Greece

     

NS

Hungary

   

X

 

Iceland

X

     

Ireland

 

X

   

Italy

     

NS

Latvia

X

     

Lithuania

 

X

   

Luxembourg

X

     

Malta

   

X

 

Moldova

X

     

Norway

     

NS

Netherlands

   

X

 

Poland

X

     

Portugal

       

Romania

   

X

 

Serbia & Montenegro

 

X

   

Slovakia

X

     

Slovenia

X

     

Spain (fed)

 

X

   

Sweden

     

NS

Switzerland

     

NS

“The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

 

X

   

Turkey

   

X

 

Ukraine

X

   

X

United Kingdom