Yearbook of European Law - Vol. 4

By A. Barav; D. A. Wyatt | Go to book overview

The EEC Directive on Television
Broadcasting*

REBECCA WALLACE and DAVID GOLDBERG


Introduction

On 3 October 1989, the Council adopted a Directive1 on the co-ordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation, or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of broadcasting activities.

This article aims to describe and analyse this Directive. Part I offers a brief account of some significant events leading up to the Directive's adoption; Part II describes its scope and purpose; Part III analyses some of the Directive's important provisions; and in conclusion the article deals with matters such as competence, the legal status of Article 4 on local content, ownership, restrictions on the advertising of particular products, and copyright.


I. Events leading up to the Directive's adoption

The Directive was adopted after the passage of a lengthy period of time which, arguably, began in March 1982. The European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the basis of a Report2 drawn up by Wilhelm Hahn on behalf of the Committee on Youth, Culture, Education, Information and Sport. The European Parliament was interested in television as a means of fostering European unity and as a tool against ' US cultural imperialism'3 The Resolution4 states that the Parliament 'considers that outline rules should be drawn up on European radio and television broadcasting, inter alia, with a view to protecting young people and establishing a code of practice for advertising at Community level'. The Report contains the Opinion of the Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee,5 which called for the policy of approximating national laws on broadcasting; and, interestingly, in terms of

____________________
*
© Rebecca Wallace, Senior Lecturer in Law, The Law School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and David Goldberg, Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Law and Financial Studies, University of Glasgow, 1989. The authors wish to thank Elaine Smith for typing the draft manuscript.
1
Council Directive (89/552/EEC) OJ 1989 L 298/23.
2
European Communities, European Parliament, Working Documents 1981-2, Doc 1-1030/81.
3
J. Howkins and M. Foster, Television in 1992: A Guide to Europe's New TV, Film and Video Business ( Coopers & Lybrand 1989) 57.
4
Resolution on radio and television broadcasting in the EC, OJ 1982 C 87/110 et seq.
5
Hahn Report, supra n 2, 27-36.

-175-

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