MEPs to vote on EU audiovisual media services reform next month

Written by Martin Banks on 9 August 2018 in News

MEPs will vote next month on the reform of EU legislation on audiovisual media services.

Photo credit: Press Association

A vote in plenary in Strasbourg, the first after the summer recess, to endorse the new rules is likely to take place in the week starting 10 September.

This comes after Parliament negotiators and the Bulgarian EU Council presidency agreed on an updated EU audiovisual media services directive, based on the proposal first presented by the European Commission back in May 2016.

German deputy Sabine Verheyen, Parliament’s rapporteur on the reform of the legislation, said, "We have now made European media regulation fit for the digital era by applying similar rules to similar services, whether online or offline.”

The EPP group member added, “We have finally negotiated a level of protection for internet media services similar to that in place for traditional broadcast media.”

She went on, “With this result, after negotiation with the member states, we have established a fair, level playing field by adapting some important rules to internet media services which were formerly only applicable to traditional television.”

Verheyen believes the result is “great news” for the European film sector and also European cultural diversity.

She points out that the revised rules mean that video on demand platforms will have to assign 30 per cent of their catalogue to European productions.

It is expected that this will give a boost to European creativity in the audiovisual sector.

The main goals of the reform were also to protect consumers against excessive advertising during peak viewing hours, and in particular to protect children and minors.

Verheyen said, “I am happy to say that we have been successful in negotiating that a similar level of protection now also applies to internet media services, as it does to the classical broadcast media services.

“The transparency rules for advertising, especially on product placement and sponsorship, will now also apply to video-sharing platforms. This is a great achievement for the protection of consumers, especially children and minors. It was our main goal to protect our consumers against excessive advertising.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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