Media Advocacy Coalition Calls for Harmonization of Broadcasting Law with the EU Legislation

The Media Advocacy Coalition, in its statement  released today, calls for the harmonization of the Broadcasting Act with EU legislation to facilitate the attainment of EU candidate status and retain Georgia’s partial membership in “Creative Europe” EU programme.

The Coalition states that it is crucial that the Parliament of Georgia bring the Georgian Law “On Broadcasting” in line with European legislation by the deadline of 31 May 2023.

It is noted in the statement that “dozens of recommendations made in the independent expert report by the Information Society Unit of the Council of Europe’s Directorate General for Human Rights and the Rule of Law should be taken into account in order not only to avoid jeopardizing the media environment and the film industry, but also to avoid jeopardizing Georgia’s status as a candidate for accession to the European Union”.

The Coalition notes that the Georgian Parliament hastily adopted the amendments to the Law “On Broadcasting” in December 2022, without the participation of interested parties, noting also that despite the fact that the European Union saw the need for discussion and extended the deadline for compliance until 31 May 2023, the Parliament did not wait for the Council of Europe to discuss the issue with experts. The Parliament also didn’t consider the alternative draft law prepared by the majority of TV broadcasters and NGOs.

The statement stresses that according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Directorate General for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, published in February 2023, “several areas of broadcasting law do not comply with European Union and Council of Europe standards”. The Media Advocacy Coalition notes that the mentioned report assessed that overall the law does not comply with the European Directive. Moreover, “there are a number of provisions that allegedly violate Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” (freedom of expression).

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