Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 17

Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 17

Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 17

Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 17

Excerpt

In 1997, the Council and the European Parliament agreed a directive to amend the 'Television without Frontiers' Directive. The Amending Directive deals with several issues--control of the exclusive right to broadcast key sporting events, the 'V-chip' (a means of controlling access to particular broadcasts), and the definition of independent producers. This article will, however, focus on the fundamental question under the Directive: that of determining which Member State has jurisdiction to regulate a TV broadcaster, which, in the interests of clarification, has been altered by the Amending Directive.

This question has significant consequences for the creation of the internal market: whilst the power to regulate the media, with its impact on the individual, is important within the audio-visual sector, the question of jurisdiction also illustrates the difficulty of balancing the needs of the internal market with those of the separate national markets. This difficulty permeates case-law not only on the freedom to provide services but also that on freedom of establishment and the free movement of goods. Although one might argue that the same approach should be taken in the audio-visual sector as in other economic activities, the authors would contend that the approach adopted by the Community, whilst as a matter of principle consistent with other areas of EC law, is not appropriate for the audio-visual sector, both on practical grounds relating to the way it identifies the relevant authorities for television regulation in a given situation; and because a culturally sensitive activity, important also in terms of democracy and freedom of expression, should not be treated in the same way as goods or other services. In a more mature Community factors other than the imperatives of the creation of the internal market should be taken into account more than they have been. To develop this argument, we . . .

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