Second meeting of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA): focus on regulatory independence

The European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services held its second meeting on 21 October 2014.

The minutes of the meeting are available here.

ERGA adopted a statement on the need for regulatory independence.

In this statement, “ERGA asks the European Commission, as the initiator of European legislation, to take the considerations in this statement and the following work into account in the context of the upcoming REFIT exercise of the AVMS Directive”.

Members also adopted the Work Programme for 2015 and approved the outlines of the future work of two subgroups: on protection of minors and material jurisdiction (annex).

The European Commission has formally established a Group of EU Regulatory Authorities in the field of Audiovisual Media Services on 3 February 2014. Its Inaugural meeting took place on 4 March 2014. It is composed of 28 heads or high level representatives of the independent national regulatory authorities for audiovisual media services nominated by each Member State as members of the Group. Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway as well as candidate countries and European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) and European Audiovisual Observatory were invited in their capacity as observers.

The Group advises the Commission in implementing the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) in a converged media age.

In its 2013 report, the independent High Level Group (HLG) on Media Freedom and Pluralism recommended the formalisation of cooperation between regulatory bodies in the field of audiovisual media services to share common good practice and setting quality standards. Moreover, the majority of respondents to the public consultation on the independence of audiovisual regulatory bodies believed that cooperation between regulatory bodies is crucial in the convergent environment. They also supported the legally mandated gathering of these authorities at European level.

In November 2013, the Council of the European Union and the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, also invited Member States to ensure the independence of their audiovisual regulatory bodies and Commission to strengthen cooperation between regulatory authorities in the field of audiovisual media services.