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State aid: Commission launches public consultation on the future framework for state funding of public service broadcasting

On January 10, 2008, the European Commission published a consultation paper on the future framework which will apply to state funding of public service broadcasting. The European Commission explained that this consultation “gives Member States and stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views at an early stage, before any Commission proposal, on the possible revision of the Broadcasting Communication – first adopted in 2001 (see IP/01/1429)”. Comments should be submitted by March 10, 2008. The consultation documents include a questionnaire as well as an explanatory memorandum which gives an overview of the current rules, the relevant Commission decision-making practice and the possible scope for amendments. The European Commission noted that the key issues for discussion are “the public service remit in the new media environment and control of overcompensation.”

The launch of this consultation marks the beginning of the review of the Broadcasting Communication announced in the State Aid Action Plan of 2005 (see IP/05/680). “The Commission will then evaluate whether and to what extent changes to the rules are necessary. If appropriate, the Commission will come forward with a new proposal for a revised Broadcasting Communication in the second half of 2008.” The press release concluded that “ member States and stakeholders will again have the opportunity to express their views on this revised proposal before the Commission decides on any final version of the rules in the first half of 2009.”

For more information on the consultation, the questionnaire (in all official EU languages), and the reasons behind the initiative (in English only), visit the following site: