Translation with SYSTRAN Links

Declaration of the ERGA on the independence of the national regulatory authorities in the audio-visual sector

Official statement of the Monday, October 27, 2014

The independence of the organizations of regulation in the sectors of the communications is the key of their effectiveness. On the one hand, it contributes to the achievement of their mission of protection of the interests of the citizens and the consumers, and on the other hand, it makes it possible to ensure a foreseeable and dynamic competing environment in their sectors. With their more high level, as at any level, the regulatory authorities should be able to conclude their missions of regulation without orientation or interference on behalf of political or commercial interests. 

In the audio-visual field, in particular, the principle of independence is essential to make it possible the regulators to exert an effective monitoring of the sector and to efficiently conclude their functions of regulation in the fields covered by the European regulation framework on the matter, such as the protection of the public, including the protection of the minors, freedom of expression, diversity, pluralism and other fields like the property of the media. 

Although the directive on the services of audio-visual mediums (SMA) does not oblige the Member States explicitly to set up an independent organization of regulation, or to define the conditions of this independence, the ERGA notes that considering it 94 and article 30 of this directive indicate that the entities of regulation responsible for the implementation of its provisions are “ the independent organizations of regulation ”. 

While recognizing the differences between the constitutional systems within the EU and the variety of the institutional and functional configurations of the audio-visual regulators of the Member States, the ERGA would accommodate the identification favorably, at the European level, of common characteristics that all the regulators independent of our sector should have.

On the basis of practice best of regulation observed in related sectors, these characteristics could include:

  • the independence at the same time with respect to the private interests (including the controlled entities) and of the public authorities;
  • transparent decision-making processes and a responsibility in front of suitable actors;
  • open procedures and transparent for designation, the appointment and the revocation of the members of the Council;
  • competence and expert testimony like objectives of human resources; a financial autonomy, operational and decisional;
  • effective powers of execution;
  • the existence of mechanisms of settlement of disputes;
  • a power of revision of the decisions of the national regulatory authorities entrusted only to the judge.

The ERGA requires of the European Commission, which hold the initiative of the EU law, to take into account these considerations and work to come, in the context of the next implementation of the exercise REMADE (program for an adapted, reduced and powerful regulation) with regard to the re-examination of directive SMA. The group will continue the analysis of the characteristics of independence, in the light of the existing studies and of the experiments of the regulatory authorities, and it will submit the results to the European Commission.

 

Download below the work program of the ERGA for 2015.

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