Freedom of Media in Ukraine
The Project “Freedom of media in Ukraine”, implemented within the Council of Europe (CoE) and European Union (EU) Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) is aimed to improve freedom, independence, pluralism and diversity of media in Ukraine.
The Law on audio visual services is a key law for the media sphere and according to EU-Ukraine Association Agreement Ukraine should gradually approximate its legislation on audio-visual policy within 2 years of the entry into force of this Agreement. The law will replace the Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting and the Law on the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine. The draft Law has been developed with support of CoE pervious projects and is expected to be tabled and reviewed by the Parliament in 2016.
The Law on transparency of media ownership was adopted on 3 September 2015, establishing one of the best legal frameworks in Europe. The law was positively assessed by CoE expert, who provided a post-adoption analysis of the Law on transparency of media ownership. Now it is necessary to focus on implementation of the law, develop a practical mechanism of disclosure of media ownership and final beneficiaries and develop capacity of the regulator to implement the law.
Community media, mostly TV and radio, established and controlled by a community, either a geographic or a community of identity or interest are an important tool for informing citizens at the local level in CoE member states. Unfortunately, development of the community media in Ukraine is at the initial stage.
Ukraine has entered a crucial and decisive phase of launching a public broadcasting system. However the level of awareness on public broadcasting and its channels is rather law. Only 34% of adult population have heard anything about launching of the public broadcasting in 2015 and only 9% are acutely aware about it according to GFK survey held in 2015 under support of EU/CoE Joint Programme. Only 16 % responded that they have seen any advertisement and promotional materials of the public broadcasting and its channels.
In April 2014, the European Union and the Council of Europe agreed in a Statement of Intent that targeted cooperation activities with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus - the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries - would be implemented under a ‘Programmatic Cooperation Framework’ (PCF).
These cooperation activities intend to strengthen the capacity of Eastern Partnership countries, which are the member states of the Council of Europe, with the exception of Belarus, and to implement domestic reforms to bring them closer to the standards of the Council of Europe and the European Union in the fields of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The total budget of the Project is 177 thousand euro. The project is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe. The project implementation period is 1 January - 31 December 2016.
- CoE expert support for adoption of the Law on audio visual services is provided, public discussions on the Draft Law are organised;
- The capacity of the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine in implementation of the law on transparency media ownership, digital switchover, implementation of sanctions to broadcasters, transition from licensing to permissions system is increased. The web-site of the regulator to perform the new functions for transparency of media ownership is modernized in accordance with the Council of Europe expert recommendations;
- More community media outlets in the regions of Ukraine, including in the areas where ethnic minorities live are established. Awareness of the MPs and authorities on media policy on community basis is increased, the legislation in this area is improved;
- Public awareness about the role and importance of the public service broadcaster is increased.
Our main partners are the National TV and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine, the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information Policy, the National Television Company of Ukraine (which is being transformed into the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine), civil society and media organizations.