15 September, an international conference "Launching of public broadcasting in Ukraine: Challenges and Next Steps" is held in Kyiv.
Ukraine is one of the last countries in Europe to launch public broadcasting, which is one of the most important obligations of Ukraine to the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU), as it serves society, is funded by society, and is accountable to it.
Formation of the Supervisory Board of the National Public Television Company of Ukraine (NPBU) is one of the most important steps in introduction the public broadcasting. The Supervisory Board will supervise the operation of the NPBU, take decisions on the scope of activities of the public broadcaster, approve the Editorial Charter and elect the Board Members and Chairman of the Board of the NPBU.
According to Ukrainian law, NPBU Supervisory Board includes two types of members. The first type are the representatives of factions and groups of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. These members have been already appointed - Svitlana Ostapa, Igor Hohych, Andriy Shevchenko, Taras Avrahov, Lavrentiy Malazoniya, Vitaly Portnikov, Sergiy Taran, Mykola Davydyuk. The rest of the members - nine representatives of civil society will be selected from the representatives the fields of 1) education and science; 2) minority rights; 3) physical education and sport; 4) Journalism; 5) human rights; 6) protecting the interests of children and young people; 7) art; 8) local self-governance; 9) Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. NGO conferences will be held between 12-30 October.
Based on international experience and the the CoE standards, the most important in the formation of the NPBU is to ensure its independence from the government, local authorities and commercial influences.
Jan Tombinski, Ambassador, Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine, said: "Public broadcasting has a key role in educating citizens to be informed voters. At this stage, implementation of the law and monitoring of implementation are crucial".
Vladimir Ristovski, Ambassador, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine said: «The key actors in the process should dully appreciate the responsibilities of the members of the Supervisory Council who carry out their mission in the interest of the public in general. It is necessary the members of the Supervisory Council to be elected in a transparent procedure and on the basis of broad and inclusive debate. Also, the Council should be composed of individuals whose competencies and professionalism are widely recognised by the society».
"The main mission of public broadcaster – is to serve the public interest and not to a commercial result. We are now selecting the part of the Supervisory Board, which will provide real opportunities to the representatives of civil society to influence the program policy of the channel, the quality and variety of the programs. This part of the supervisory board will defend the independence of the public broadcaster from politicians and private capital", - said Olga Herasymyuk, First Deputy Chairman of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio.
The conference is organized jointly by the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine, the State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, the National Television Company of Ukraine under support of the Joint EU and CoE Programme "Strengthening the Information Society in Ukraine" and Deutsche Welle Akademy.
Background on the ransformation of the National Television Company into PJSC "National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine"
Stage one – reorganization of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, State Television and Radio Company “Kultura, state enterprise “Ukrtelefilm Ukrainian Studio for Television Films”, oblast state TV and radio companies (OSTRC) through their merger into the National Television Company of Ukraine, particularly taking the inventory of their property, including intangible assets. The Supervisory Board will be formed and it will elect the Chairman of the Managing Board and the Managing Board. Stage two - transformation of the National Television Company of Ukraine into the Public Joint Stock Company “National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine” according to the Transformation Procedure established by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “Some Issues Related to the Establishment of the Public Joint Stock Company ‘National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine’” No. 567 dated August 5, 2015. It is expected that the PJSC will be established by March 2016.
Video of the Conference could be seen here.