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Strasbourg, 9 November 2005

MC-S-PSB(2005)009

 

PDF

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON PUBLIC SERVICE
BROADCASTING IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

(MC-S-PSB)

______

2nd meeting
3 and 4 November 2005
Strasbourg, Human Rights Building

______

REPORT

______

    Items 1 and 2 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

    1. The Group of Specialists on Public Service Broadcasting in the Information Society (MC-S-PSB) held its 2nd meeting in Strasbourg on 3 and 4 November 2005. The meeting was chaired by Mr Gian-Luca MARSELLA (Switzerland), Vice-Chairperson of the MC-S-PSB.

    The list of participants appears in Appendix I. The agenda, as adopted, is reproduced in Appendix II, which also lists the working documents.

    Item 3 of the agenda: Consideration of how the public service remit should be developed and adapted to suit the new digital environment

    2. The Group considered the revised version of Mr Christian NISSEN’s study of how the public service remit should be developed and adapted to suit the Information Society. Several members of the MC-S-PSB said that the study represented an outstanding piece of work which was extremely interesting in several respects, had been researched in great detail and was sometimes a little provocative in terms of form. The author of the study raised highly topical questions regarding the public service media, without necessarily providing any final answers, given the future orientation of the work.

    It was noted that, in this version, the author had taken account of several suggestions put forward by Group members at their first meeting. On the other hand, some comments, such as those submitted by the European Commission, had not been taken into consideration, according to the Commission’s representative. She stressed that the Commission had not challenged the need for the public service media to extend their activities to other services but had merely pointed out that it was for member states to decide how to fund such new activities.

    In this connection, the Group agreed that the study expressed Mr Nissen’s personal view only, which made it unnecessary to amend this final version. In view of the latter’s excellent quality, it would be useful to ensure that it is disseminated as widely as possible via the Media Division’s website, as well as distributing a paper version to professionals and policy-makers. One expert pointed out that his country might use the study as a “Green Paper” setting out various lines of thought for further development on the future of the public service media.

    3. The Group noted that the reason for commissioning the study had been to fuel the MC-S-PSB’s work on the first element of its terms of reference, which required it to “examine how the public service remit should, as appropriate, be developed and adapted by member states to suit the new digital environment, and study the legal, financial, technical and other conditions needed to enable public service broadcasters to discharge it in the best possible manner”.

    It was also pointed out that, according to the work plan approved by the MC-S-PSB at its first meeting, the study was to serve as the basis for a possible discussion paper to be prepared by the Group on public service media strategies geared to developing their remits and adapting them to the Information Society.

    4. The Group held a discussion on the further work to be conducted by the MC-S-PSB on this subject. One expert felt that the Group should start by defining the public service remit. However, most delegations considered that it would be difficult to define a general remit for different broadcasters in Europe. In fact, this was why the European Commission had opted, in the Amsterdam Protocol, for leaving it to member states to define the public service remit for national broadcasters.

    The Secretariat observed that a number of common elements could be pinpointed in the remit of various media operators, before considering how the public service remit might be developed in a digital environment and going into the requisite legal, financial, technical and other conditions required for public service media to better discharge this remit. Other documents that might be useful for this purpose, in addition to Mr Nissen’s study, included the EBU study on the definition of the public service remit in Europe and the collection of public service remits in selected member states (see document MC-S-PSB (2005) Misc 2).

    5. The Group agreed that the draft policy paper should underline the need to adapt the public service remit to the new context of the Information Society. In this connection, particular emphasis was placed on the opportunity to adapt Council of Europe standards covering public service broadcasting to fit public service media in a digital environment. An expert stressed that the document should include one vital aspect, namely the fact that public service broadcasters had to be accessible on all platforms for to all social groups, including minority groups.

    Another expert pointed out that the Amsterdam Protocol required public service broadcasting to take direct account of society’s democratic needs, whence the importance not only of its content but also of its market penetration, its presence on a variety of platforms and the development of a whole range of new services.

    6. With reference to the Recommendation (2003) 9 of the Committee of Ministers on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting, the EBU representative stated that, in view of the challenge of recent technological innovations, member states have to revise and broaden the remit of public service media and provide the requisite financial/technical resources to enable them to develop new services, including interactive facilities.

    7. The discussion on the need to adapt the public service remit to suit the new digital environment resumed at the hearing on the role of public service broadcasters in promoting wider democratic participation by individuals.

    Item 5 of the agenda: Hearing on the role of public service broadcasters in promoting wider democratic participation of individuals with the help of new interactive technologies

    8. The Group noted that the purpose of this hearing was to further work in considering, in accordance with its terms of reference, “strategies with the aim of encouraging public service broadcasting organisations to assume an increased role in promoting a wider democratic participation of individuals, inter alia with the help of new interactive technologies (…) with a view to proposing appropriate action by the CDMC”.

    According to its work plan, the Group was to prepare a document incorporating all the main ideas on this theme, including public service broadcasters’ initiatives for promoting a wider democratic participation of individuals, with the help of new interactive technologies. The MC-S-PSB could also use this document as a source of additional inspiration for the policy paper on the public service broadcasters’ strategies for developing their remits and adapting them to suit the Information Society.

    9. The hearing began with presentations by the guest speakers (for the list of guest speakers see document MC-S-PSB (2005) Misc 3) on the current possibilities and approaches adopted by selected public service broadcasters in the Information Society with a view to promoting democratic participation by as many individuals as possible, particularly by means of the new interactive technologies (most of these presentations will be available on the Media Division website in PowerPoint format). The presentations were followed by an exchange of views with the guest speakers.

    10. The main ideas emerging from the hearing included the following:

    - In order for public service broadcasters to promote broader democratic participation, it is essential for them to secure the requisite (financial and technical) resources for making a genuine impact on society. Public service broadcasters should ensure that their programmes/contents are present on a variety of platforms. They also have to develop new services in order to adapt to the new audience psychology and changing needs.

    - The public service remit should be dynamic and capable of reacting to changes in the media landscape, taking care not to confine itself to the traditional media or services that are not on offer from the commercial operators. The Council of Europe member states have to extend the scope of the activities of public service broadcasters to cover Internet services in order to encourage greater democratic participation.

    - Audience attitudes are changing rapidly, which means that public service broadcasters should provide audiences with content on all platforms and media in order to maintain their impact.

    - The new Internet facilities have considerable potential, but it will take some time before users take full advantage of them.

    - It is essential to use the specific facilities offered by the new services to ensure fulfilment of the public service remit relating to democratic participation (e.g. setting up such platforms as Internet “chat rooms” and “forums”).

    - It is necessary to promote training in the new media services that could potentially boost democratic participation.

    - Interactive facilities give “public value” to the new media, i.e. they facilitate greater audience involvement (especially young people), provide them with new experiences/information and make “boring” information more attractive.

    - The public should have an opportunity to use the new services in accordance with their specific needs.

    - Accountability is the watchword, because public service broadcasters have to preserve their reputation as providers of a secure space for all, guaranteeing safe values and high-quality content.

    11. The members of the Group went on to discuss the results of the hearing and the further work to be conducted by the MC-S-PSB in this field, particularly in connection with the facilities available to public service broadcasters and the requisite strategies to encourage them to use these possibilities.

    Some experts said that it would be premature to decide on the type of document which the Group should prepare on democratic participation. The ideas emerging from the hearing could be used to fuel the Group’s work on adapting the public service remit to suit the digital environment. However, the Group did not yet have sufficient material for a separate document on democratic participation.

    One expert proposed consulting member states (by questionnaire), as well as the NGOs that had contributed to the Kyiv Conference. Another noted that consultation could be useful, but that the main thing was the appropriate starting point, such as a summary of the main ideas emerging from the hearing. A further expert added that the Group’s priority was to prepare a document on adapting the public service remit to suit the digital environment. The document on democratic participation might be prepared at a later juncture.

    The Secretariat suggested that there is no contradiction between the two ideas, which might be implemented concurrently. A start could be made on gathering information on good practices from selected public service broadcasters and presenting it to member states, urging them to act on the basis of these positive examples.

    12. The EBU representative pointed to the existence of several instruments geared to encouraging member states to take such action. However, it should be borne in mind that many public service broadcasters lacked the requisite resources and an appropriate legislative framework. The Council of Europe should recommend that member states broaden the public service remit by granting public service broadcasters the rights and resources to develop new services to bring them into line with the new Information Society environment and the changes in audience attitudes.

    One expert observed that, from the replies to the MC-S-PSB’s questionnaire, it would be difficult to ascertain, beyond the question of financial resources, the rights of public service broadcasters vis-à-vis investment in new fields/services. The Group should carefully scrutinise this problem.

    13. During this debate, the European Association for Viewers’ Interests (EAVI) outlined the results of a survey of media accountability and the modalities of citizen/viewer participation (this PowerPoint presentation is available on the Media Division website). The survey, entitled “Broadcasting and Citizens. Media Accountability and Viewers’ Participation in Europe”, had been conducted with the support of the European Commission (http://www.eavi.org/reports.htm).

    This aroused interest among a number of MC-S-PSB members, who expressed the view that the Group ought to deal with this theme of the public service remit in the context of democratic and interactive participation. However, according to one expert, the main question is how to promote on-going democratic participation (e.g. whether it should be laid down in law or promoted by the regulating authorities). This system operates in some English-speaking countries. He added that the Group ought to consider this experiment in more detail.

    One expert added that democratic participation via the media was the concrete expression of, on the one hand, citizen involvement in the life of society in general and, on the other, the right to freedom of expression and information.

    Item 4 of the agenda: Consideration of the replies to the questionnaire on the state of implementation of Recommendation No. R (96) 10 in Council of Europe member states and on the current situation regarding the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting organisations

    14. The Secretariat presented the Group with the compilation of replies to the questionnaire on the state of implementation of Recommendation No. R (96) 10 in Council of Europe member states and on the current situation regarding the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting organisations (see document MC-S-PSB (2005) 008). Some thirty member states had answered the questionnaire.

    Several experts noted that the compilation presented a great deal of information, sometimes in great detail. However, if the replies collected were to present a reliable picture facilitating analysis of the state of implementation of Recommendation No. R (96) 10, two new aspects should be added to the questionnaire, namely:

    - a quantitative aspect: efforts had to be made to ensure that all the states concerned replied (one expert noted the lack of replies from several member states in Eastern Europe, particularly those in the former Soviet area, which were, precisely, experiencing serious problems in terms of public service broadcasting independence);

    - a qualitative aspect: the target groups for the questionnaire should also embrace independent experts, public service media corporations, NGOs, etc, in order to secure a complete picture of the situation in member states.

    15. It was decided to conduct an additional consultation procedure via the website, on the understanding that this approach made it difficult to check information sources.

    The EBU representative suggested sending the questionnaire to the experts who had helped prepare the monitoring report “Television across Europe: Regulation, Policy and Independence (2005)” produced by the Open Society Institute1.

    Item 6 of the agenda: Work of the MC-S-PSB in 2006

    16. The Group noted that the work plan for 2005 had been completed (see document MM-S-PSB (2005) 4). In connection with activities in the subsequent year, it was pointed out that in principle the MC-S-PSB work plan for 2005 already comprised the main elements for the 2006 work. The Group held a discussion on practical working methods and deadlines for completing these elements.

    17. In connection with examining how the public service remit should be developed and adapted to suit the new digital environment (first element of the Group’s terms of reference), the MC-S-PSB asked the Secretariat to prepare a draft policy paper on this subject for the MC-S-PSB’s first meeting in 2006, based on relevant elements of Mr Nissen’s study and other documents on public service remit (mentioned under item 3 above). The draft policy paper should be finalised at the Group’s second meeting in 2006, taking account of the CDMC’s comments.

    18. As regards the monitoring of the implementation by member states of Recommendation No. R (96) 10 (second element of the terms of reference), the Group agreed that it would be premature at this stage to discuss the practical format of the document to be prepared on the basis of the replies to the questionnaire. The Secretariat was asked to prepare a draft analysis of public service media independence in member states for the first meeting in 2006, based on the replies received. The Secretariat draft should provide some indication as to the nature of the additional guidelines that might be provided to ensure public service media independence.

    19. Lastly, concerning the examination of public service broadcasters’ strategies to promote a wider democratic participation of individuals (third element of the terms of reference), the Secretariat was asked to prepare a draft section to be incorporated into the policy paper (see first element of the Group’s terms of reference) or a separate draft document setting out public service broadcasters’ initiatives for promoting a wider democratic participation of individuals, with the help of new interactive technologies, and strategies to encourage such initiatives, for the first meeting in 2006.

    20. The Secretariat informed the Group that, at its first meeting from 21 to 24 June 2005, the CDMC had considered a list of paragraphs in the Action Plan adopted at the Ministerial Conference in Kyiv which had not been included in the terms of reference of the four groups of specialists (see document CDMC (2005) 006). It invited the MC-S-PSB to pronounce on the expediency of introducing specific new elements into its terms of reference and its work plan respectively.

    In this connection, several members of the MC-S-PSB expressed the view that, if the CDMC deemed it necessary to extend the Group’s terms of reference even further, the possibility should be considered of incorporating paragraph 13 of the Action Plan, which read “Examine in particular how different types of media can play a part in promoting social cohesion and integrating all communities and generations”. This subject might be broached against the background of the debate on how the public service remit could remedy audience fragmentation in the digital environment.

    21. The delegation of the European Association for the Interests of Viewers (EAVI) said that paragraph 22 was also of interest for the Group’s work, namely “Examine ways of increasing the transparency of public authorities and facilitating public scrutiny via the media, having regard to Recommendation Rec (2002) 2 on access to official documents and the work on e-governance under way in the Council of Europe”.

    Some of the experts expressed doubts about this suggestion. Others considered that the two paragraphs were pluridisciplinary and therefore ought to be considered in co-operation with other groups of specialists. It was decided to return to this matter once the CDMC had reached a decision on it.

    Item 7 of the agenda: Decisions of the CDMC of interest to the work of the MC-S-PSB

    22. The Secretariat outlined the discussions within the CDMC, including those on the work of the MC-S-PSB and in particular the fact that the Steering Committee had backed the approach adopted by the Group on “public service media”, and had encouraged the Group to pursue its work.

    Item 8 of the agenda: Election of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson for 2006

    23. Given the absence of a number of MC-S-PSB members, including the Chairperson, and since some other members had been replaced or were taking part in the Group’s work for the first time, it was decided to postpone the election of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson to the first meeting in 2006.

    Item 9 of the agenda: Other business

    None.

    Item 10 of the agenda: Date of the next meeting

    24. The Secretariat informed the Group members that the timetable for meetings of Groups of Specialists in 2006 would be approved at the subsequent CDMC meeting (29 November – 2 December 2005). The Secretariat would inform the members of the MC-S-PSB of the meeting dates as soon as they had been decided.

    * * *

    APPENDIX I

    List of participants

    MEMBERS STATES/ETATS MEMBRES

    ARMENIA / ARMENIE

    Ms Nouneh SARKISSIAN, Managing Director, Internews, Media Support NGO, YEREVAN

    AZERBAIJAN/AZERBAIDJAN
    Excused
    Mr Elnur SULTANOV, Department for Human Rights and Democratisation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BAKU

    BELGIUM/BELGIQUE
    Flemish community/Communauté flamande
    Excused
    Mr Marc CHATELET, Deputy Director, afdeling Media en Film, Ministerie van de Vlaamse cGemeenschap, BRUSSELS

    Mr Johan BOUCIQUÉ, Media Advisor, afdeling Media en Film, Ministerie van de Vlaamse cGemeenschap, BRUSSELS

    French community/Communauté française
    Excused
    Mr Thibault MULATIN, Chargé de mission, Service Général de l'Audiovisuel et des Multimédias, Ministère de la Communauté française de Belgique, BRUXELLES

    BULGARIA/BULGARIE

    Ms Janet ZAHARIEVA, Senior Legal Adviser, National Television bTV, National Palace of Culture, SOFIA

    Ms Bissera ZANKOVA, Media expert, Consultant, Ministry of Transport and Communications SOFIA

    CYPRUS/CHYPRE

    Mr Andreas CHRISTODOULOU, Head of Media Section, Ministry of Interior, NICOSIA

    Excused
    Mr Neophytos EPAMINONDAS, Director, Cyprus Radio-Television Authority, NICOSIA

    CZECH REPUBLIC/REPUBLIQUE TCHEQUE

    Mr Artus Rejent, media lawyer, Media Department, Ministry of Culture, PRAGUE

    DENMARK/DANEMARK

    Ms Pernille Rahbek, Danish Ministry of Culture, COPENHAGEN

    ESTONIA/ESTONIE

    Mr Hagi SHEIN, Dean of the Media School, Concordia Audentes International University, Member of the Estonian Broadcasting Council, TALLINN

    GERMANY/ALLEMAGNE

    Ms Alexa REWER, Division for International Cooperation in Media Affairs, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, BONN

    HUNGARY/HONGRIE
    Excused
    Mr Márk LENGYEL, Managing Director, Körmendy-Ékes & Lengyel Consulting, BUDAPEST

    ICELAND/ISLANDE
    Excused
    Mr Olafur FRIDRIKSSON, Reykjavík University, School of Law, REYKJAVÍK

    IRELAND/IRLANDE

    Mr Paul MULQUEEN, Broadcasting Policy Division, Department of Communications Marine & Natural Resources, DUBLIN

    ITALY/ITALIE

    PORTUGAL
    Excused
    Ms Maria DE LURDES MONTEIRO, member of Alta Autoridade para a Comunicaçao Social, LISBON

    RUSSIAN FEDERATION/FEDERATION DE RUSSIE
    Excused
    Mr Armen OGANESYAN, Chairman, “Voice of Russia”, National Radio Company, MOSCOW

    SLOVAKIA/SLOVAQUIE

    Mr Ondrej SUCHÁNEK, Conseiller principal, Département des médias et des droits d´auteur, Direction des médias et de l´audiovisuel, Ministère de la Culture, Ministerstvo kultúry SR, BRATISLAVA

    SLOVENIA/SLOVENIE

    Mr Peter SOTOSEK STULAR, Media Directorate, Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia, LJUBLJANA

    SWITZERLAND/SUISSE

    Mr Gian-Luca MARSELLA, Office fédéral de la communication OFCOM, BIENNE

    TURKEY/TURQUIE

    Mr Irfan Dündar ERENTURK, Radio and Television Supreme Council, BILKENT

    UNITED KINGDOM/ROYAUME-UNI

    Mr Chris BONE, Broadcasting Policy Division, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, LONDON

    OBSERVERS/OBSERVATEURS:

    EUROPEAN COMMISSION/COMMISSION EUROPEENNE

    Ms Anna HEROLD, European Commission, Directorate General for Information Society and Media, Brussels

    EUROPEAN BROADCASTING UNION (EBU)/
    UNION EUROPEENNE DE RADIO-TELEVISION (UER)

    Mr Werner RUMPHORST, Director, Legal Department, EBU, GRAND-SACONNEX GENEVE

    Mr Jacques BRIQUEMONT, Responsable des affaires publiques, UER, BRUXELLES

    ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCIAL TELEVISION IN EUROPE (ACT) /
    ASSOCIATION DES TELEVISIONS COMMERCIALES EUROPENNES (ACT)

    Ms Julie RUFF, European Affairs and Communication, ACT, BRUSSELS

    THE EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR VIEWERS INTERESTS (EAVI)

    Mr Paolo BALDI and Mr Paolo CELOT

    EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF JOURNALISTS
    FEDERATION EUROPEENNE DES JOURNALISTES

    HOLY SEE/SAINT SIEGE

    Mr Louis Ter STEEG, UTRECHT

    PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
    ASSEMBLEE PARLEMENTAIRE DU CONSEIL DE L’EUROPE
    Excused
    Mr Rüdiger DOSSOW

    EUROPEAN AUDIOVISUAL OBSERVATORY
    OBSERVATOIRE EUROPEEN DE L’AUDIOVISUEL
    Excused
    Mr Wolfgang CLOSS

    JAPAN/JAPON

    Mr Naoyuki IWAI, Consul (Attorney), Consulate General of Japan, STRASBOURG

    GUEST SPEAKERS AT THE HEARING/ORATEURS INVITES A L’AUDITION

    Werner RUMPHORST, EBU, Director of Legal Affairs Department

    David Wood, EBU, responsible for technical aspects regarding new media

    Wolfgang Schulz, Director, Hans-Bredow-Institut für Medienforschung

    Matteo MAGGIORE, BBC

    Michel P. Mol, NBC - Netherlands Broadcasting Corporation

    Verena Wiedemann, ARD

    SECRETARIAT:

    Mr Jan MALINOWSKI, Head of Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II/ Chef de la Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

    Mr Eugen CIBOTARU, Administrator, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights – DG II/Administrateur, Division Médias, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

    * * *

    Appendix II

    Annotated draft agenda

    Item 1 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting

    Item 2 of the agenda: Adoption of the agenda

    1. The draft agenda is set out in document MC-S-PSB(2005)OJ2.

    Item 3 of the agenda: Examination of how the public service remit should be developed and adapted to suit the new digital environment

    2. The Group will consider a revised version of the study by Mr Christian NISSEN on how the public service remit should be developed and adapted to suit the Information Society. In this version, the author has taken into consideration the orientations and suggestions given to him by the members of the Group at its 1st meeting.

    3. After discussion within the MC-S-PSB, the study will be published on the website of the Media Division. The reason why the study had been ordered was to boost the work on the first element of Group’s terms of reference, which provides that it would “examine how the public service remit should, as appropriate, be developed and adapted by member States to suit the new digital environment, and study the legal, financial, technical and other conditions needed to enable public service broadcasters to discharge it in the best possible manner”.

    4. According to the work plan approved by the MC-S-PSB at its 1st meeting, the study should serve as a basis for a possible policy paper to be prepared by the Group for approval by the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) on strategies for developing & adapting the remit of public service broadcasters in the Information Society.

    This is why the Group is invited to discuss on further work to be carried out by the MC-S-PSB on this subject.

    Working documents

    - Revised version of the study “Public Service Media in the Information Society” by Mr Christian Nissen (MC-S-PSB(2005)005 rev, PDF version only)

    - Report of the 1st meeting of the MM-S-PSB (2-3 May 2005) (MM-S-PSB(2005)006)

- Terms of reference of the MM-S-PSB

- Comments by the EBU on the 1st version of the study by Mr Nissen (EBU, Legal Affairs Department)

- Study on the definition of the remit of public service broadcasting in Europe (EBU, Legal Department)

    Item 4 of the agenda: Examination of the replies to the questionnaire on the state of implementation of Recommendation No R (96) 10 in the member states and on the current situation regarding the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting organisations

    5. The Group is invited to examine a compilation of responses to the questionnaire on the state of implementation of Recommendation No R (96) 10 in the member states and on the current situation regarding the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting organisations and to discuss on further work to be carried out by the MC-S-PSB on this subject, notably as regards the preparation of a report on the independence of public service broadcasters in Council of Europe member states. 

    Following this examination, the Group could proceed to a preliminary discussion on the need to provide further guidance to Council of Europe member states on how to secure the independence of public service broadcasting organisations.

    Working documents

    - Compilation of responses to the questionnaire (MC-S-PSB(2005)008, PDF version only)

    - Report of the 1st meeting of the MM-S-PSB (2-3 May 2005) (MM-S-PSB(2005)006)

- Terms of reference of the MM-S-PSB

    - Work plan for the MM-S-PSB for 2005 (MM-S-PSB(2005)004)

    Item 5 of the agenda: Hearing on the role of public service broadcasters in promoting wider democratic participation by individuals with the help of new interactive technologies

    6. The reason for holding this hearing was to boost further the work of the Group that, according to its terms of reference, will “examine strategies with the aim of encouraging public service broadcasting organisations to assume an increased role in promoting a wider democratic participation of individuals, inter alia with the help of new interactive technologies”.

    7. According to its work plan, the Group would prepare a paper gathering essential ideas on this subject. This document could help drafting the MC-S-PSB policy paper on strategies for developing and adapting the remit of public service broadcasters in the Information Society, but also further develop independent reflection on the topic (third element of terms of reference).

8. The hearing will be held on 3 November, from 2.30 to 6.00 pm and will start with a round of presentations by the invited speakers – representatives of different professional organisations – on possibilities available to and approach adopted by public service broadcasters in the Information Society for promoting wider democratic participation by individuals, in particular via the new interactive technologies.

Then the members of the Group will hold an exchange of views with the guest speakers. It would be very useful if the members of the Group could prepare in advance precise questions that could boost the discussion.

On 4 November, the members of the Group are invited to hold a discussion on the results of the hearing and on further work to be carried out by the MC-S-PSB on this subject, notably as regards possibilities open to public service broadcasters and strategies which could be adopted to encourage them to use such possibilities.

9. With a view to this discussion, the European Association of Viewers’ Interests (EAVI), which has a status of observer within the MC-S-PSB, will present the results of a study on social accountability of the media and the ways of citizens-viewers’ participation. The study “Broadcasting and Citizens. Media accountability and viewers’ participation in Europe” was prepared with the support of the European Commission. The members of the Group are invited to consult the EAVI website to examine its research on the matter (see the link below).

    Working documents

- Terms of reference of the MM-S-PSB

10. The Group is invited to discuss on its work in 2006. The work plan for MC-S-PSB for 2005 contains in principle the essential elements regarding the work for next year. The Group should discuss concrete working methods to implement these elements.

11. At its 1st meeting from 21 to 24 June, the CDMC examined a list of paragraphs of the Action Plan adopted during the Kyiv Ministerial Conference, which have not been covered by the terms of reference of the four groups of specialists. It requested that the Secretariat prepare detailed proposals for action, including where appropriate a work plan, in respect of the above-mentioned points of the Action Plan.

The MC-S-PSB is invited to examine a draft work plan concerning the points of the Kyiv Action Plan not covered by the terms of reference of the groups of specialists.

    Working documents

- Terms of reference of the MM-S-PSB

    - Work plan for the MM-S-PSB for 2005 (MM-S-PSB(2005)004)

    - Extracts of the report of the 1st meeting of the CDMC (21-24 June 2005) relevant to the work of the MC-S-PSB (MC-S-PSB(2005)007)

    - Elements of the Action Plan not covered by the terms of reference of the four Groups of Specialists (CDMC(2005)006)

Item 7 of the agenda: Decisions of the CDMC of interest to the work of the MC-S-PSB

12. The CDMC changed the acronyms of its subordinate bodies to reflect the change in the Steering Committee's own name, namely MC-S-PSB for the Group of Specialists on public service broadcasting in the Information Society.

13. The CDMC supported the MM-S-PSB’s approach vis-à-vis public service media. The Chairman of the CDMC highlighted the importance of the Group’s task in this connection, given that it is the only intergovernmental body working on this issue.

14. Regarding the terms of reference and future work of the Group, the Chairman of the CDMC noted that the Parliamentary Assembly’s Recommendation 1641 (2004), addressed to the Committee of Ministers, requested the preparation of a major new policy document on public service broadcasting (see Item 3 of the draft agenda and first element of the terms of reference of the MC-S-PSB).

    Working documents

    - Extracts of the report of the 1st meeting of the CDMC (21-24 June 2005) relevant to the work of the MC-S-PSB (MC-S-PSB(2005)007)

- Terms of reference of the MM-S-PSB

- Recommendation 1641 (2004) of the PACE on public service broadcasting

    Item 8 of the agenda: Election of Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson for 2006

    15. According to the Rules of Procedure for Council of Europe committees, the terms of office of the Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons of the groups of specialists shall be one year, with the possibility of being re-elected for one additional term. The MC-S-PSB is invited to elect its Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the year 2006.

    Working document

    - Election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson (MM-S-PSB(2005)001)

    Item 9 of the agenda: Other business

    Item 10 of the agenda: Dates of next meeting

    16. The Secretariat will provide information orally on this item.

    Information documents relevant for the work of the MC-S-PSB :

- Television across Europe: Regulation, Policy and Independence (2005) – Reports http://www.eumap.org/topics/media/television_europe

- Research by European Association for Viewers Interests (EAVI) on viewers’ rights in a number of European countries & on the instruments European citizens have at their disposal to safeguard their rights and interests as TV viewers http://www.eavi.org/reports.htm

    - Resolution on public service broadcasting adopted at the 4th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Prague, December 1994)

    - Recommendation No. R (96) 10 of the Committee of Ministers on the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting

- Recommendation Rec (2003) 9 of the Committee of Ministers on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting

- Report on public service broadcasting prepared by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) (12 January 2004)

- Addendum to the Report on public service broadcasting prepared by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the PACE

- Recommendation 1641 (2004) of the PACE on public service broadcasting

- Reply from the Committee of Ministers (30 September 2004) to the Recommendation 1641 (2004) of the PACE on public service broadcasting

- Protocol to the Amsterdam Treaty on the system of public broadcasting in the member States

- Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the EU Member States, meeting within the Council of 25 January 1999 concerning public service broadcasting

- Communication from the European Commission on the application of State aid rules to pubic service broadcasting (2001/C 320/04)

- Clarification by the European Commission concerning application of State aid rules to Public Service Broadcasting (IP/01/1429, 17/10/01)

- State aid: Commission requests Germany, Ireland and The Netherlands to clarify role and financing of public service broadcasters (IP/05/250, 03/03/05)

- Press release of the European Audiovisual Observatory on the financial situation of public radio-television companies in Europe (9/04/02)

- “The key role of the public service broadcasting in European society in the 21st century” – the EBU contribution to the Conference on public service broadcasting (Amsterdam, 1-3 September 2004)

- Chapters to be published in the book “Media between culture and commerce”, part B “The Future and Challenges of Public Service Broadcasting” (ed. Karol Jakubowicz)


1 Internet address: http://www.eumap.org/reports/2005.