EBU welcomes EU Parliament’s resolution on PSBs in the digital era
November 26th, 2010

Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled “Public service broadcasting in the digital era: the ...ure of the dual system”, based on a report prepared by Ivo Belet (EPP, BE). The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) says it welcomes the resolution and the recognition it gives to the distinctive role of public service broadcasters. It clearly affirms the important role that independent, well-functioning, and financially viable public broadcasting services play in Europe.

“We are pleased that the European Parliament acknowledges the crucial role that public service broadcasters play in cultivating the public sphere, by providing high quality media content of public interest which is universally accessible. This is particularly relevant in today’s multiplatform digital environment ,” said Ingrid Deltenre, EBU Director General.

The report emphasizes the crucial role of the “dual system” - public service and commercial broadcasting - as a cornerstone of the European media landscape. It considers how to ensure the continued viability of a dual broadcasting system in a multi-player media environment with new digital technologies.

The Parliament recognizes that, in order to ‘preserve’ Europe’s dual system in an evolving multiplatform environment, PSBs need to be able to offer their services on all platforms. In particular, Member States should maintain a balance amongst the digital media services on offer, thus preserving a vibrant media landscape in the online environment.

Editorial independence as well as stable and secure funding of public service broadcasters are part of a well-functioning dual system. However, according to the resolution, public service broadcasters in some Member States are confronted with fundamental and life-threatening problems, both financially and politically. “Free and independent public service media are vital to European societies and democracy. Proper funding is particularly important in guaranteeing independence,” said Ms Deltenre.

Finally, in its resolution the Parliament highlights the need to modernise the current copyright clearance system, facilitate the re-use of archive content as well as put in place extended collective licence-systems and easy one-stop-shop systems for the clearance of rights. Under the slogan ’strong rights; easy access” the EBU has repeatedly called out for a balanced approach that provides ‘easy access’ for consumers and facilitates the distribution of content across the internal market, while duly protecting rights holders, including artists.

(Source: EBU)