Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Media and Content Policies

Media and Content Policies

Converging Media & Content (Unit G.1)

A thriving European media and content market that responds to consumers' needs across borders in a free and pluralistic environment. This means facilitating citizens' access to new and diverse services and providing growth opportunities to the industry by unleashing the benefits of convergence between traditional and online media.


Shape and implement fit-for-purpose policies, a regulatory framework and research and innovation actions that enable the European audiovisual media and content sectors to fulfil the above-mentioned goals, by:1. Implementing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) to facilitate cross border activities guaranteeing a high level of consumer protection. This includes decisions as to whether the existing regulatory framework is still fit-for-purpose.2. Contributing to shaping other audiovisual-related frameworks and policies: copyright, taxation, film support schemes and cultural heritage initiatives in order to promote a Digital Single Market, online access and innovation.3. Contributing to ensuring respect of media freedom and pluralism.4. Financing research and innovation on HbbTV/broadband-broadcast convergence, social media, search technologies, immersiveness (interaction, personalisation)  and media rights. This facilitates a compelling and seamless user experience in switching between broadcast and Internet, as well as between traditional linear TV and on-demand non-linear services.  


The media landscape in the EU Member States is diverse, both in terms of industry structure, market and cultural specificities:1. The AVMSD provides minimum rules, at European level, to facilitate the creation of an internal market for audiovisual media services. Providers are subject only to the rules applicable in the country where they are established and are free to distribute across borders. As the Internet changes the way audiovisual media are consumed, viewers can increasingly access to on-demand audiovisual content from all over the Union, also on mobile devices. In light of these developments, we must ensure that the current regulatory framework remains up-to-date. A REFIT exercise is foreseen for 2015 to test the regulatory fitness of the Directive.2. The situation of media freedom and pluralism varies across the EU. Overall European citizens enjoy a good  level of media freedom and pluralism, but there are still challenges in some Member States. The main legislative competence in this field lies with the Member States. The Commission acts as a facilitator through support to various projects and through awareness-raising initiatives.3.Rigid and fragmented regulatory frameworks/policies (e.g. copyright, media release windows) constrain innovation and growth of the European industry, limit access to creative content by European citizens and prevent European researchers, educational establishments and cultural heritage institutions from adapting their activities to the digital era. Our research activities aim at developing technologies that provide European companies with innovative tools to enhance user experience.

In the area of media and content policies, the EU Treaties, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights, set out broad principles. These include internal market provisions, respect for media freedom and pluralism, cultural diversity and consumer protection. The principles are reflected in specific EU legislation, such as the AVMSD and the copyright framework. Whereas we have the lead for the AVMSD and for film heritage, we only contribute to other areas such as copyright, taxation and films in the digital area. Under H2020, technologies for creative industries, social media and convergence are addressed by the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) chapter of the LEIT (Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies) actions.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
28.20 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
Four studies concerning the audiovisual sector are foreseen for a total of € 1 000 000. Under the Horizon 2020 programme 2014/2015 - ICT call 19 b) and c): 21 and 2 Mio Euro, respectively.

Two pilot projects concerning: the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (€1 000 000) and Media Pluralism monitor (€500 000).A research study on impact of advertising on minors (€ 1 000 000).Mission budget required to meet relevant stakeholders, attend pertinent court proceedings and address related topics at conferences outside Brussels: € 35 000. Mission costs in the framework of research project management: € 20 000.Travel costs for experts invited to meetings = € 60 000.The four studies mentioned above shall concern: criteria for advertising monitoring, TV sets with Internet connectivity, self-regulation and independence of regulatory authorities; moreover, services linked to MAVISE database on VOD will be purchased from the European Audiovisual Observatory, for a total mentioned above of € 1 000 000.


Awareness about media freedom and pluralism within the EU institutions and national administrations

Improved awarness inside the EU institutions and national administrations about the challenges regarding media freedom and pluralism as well as related Commission activities

Timeframe: 2014 / 2015



Number of references to activities of the European Commission undertaken with regard to ensuring media freedom and pluralism in documents of other European institutions as well as Member States, administrations and other national bodies.

Target Reference / mention by at least one document of another EU institution and a Member State per year. (2014/2015)
Baseline Mention by EP and by Council in 2013 (1/2014)
Current Mention by EP and by Council in 2013 (4/2014)

Benchmarking enlargement and neighbourhing countries with regard to the audiovisual acquis

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Quality and speed to provide input into progress reports based on screening of national legislations and guidance for drafting national legislations (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, FYROM, Serbia, Turkey and Iceland)

Target 100% on time follow up of requests to contribute to progress reports (2014/2015)

Monitoring of legal compliance, possibly followed by infringement proceedings (including pre Court resolution)

Timeframe: Continuous



Time spent on conformity cases with Member States including, if needed, drafting of Letters of Formal Notice - and contributions to the Legal Service - in cases where Member States have infringed the AVMSD.

Target Follow-up of cases with discussions within one year with MS about possible lack of compliance in order to assess appropriate measures (in 2014 and 2015); drafting of Letters of Formal Notice within 10 working days after the decision to send them is taken. (Continuous)

4th Report on the implementation of the Film Heritage Recommendation

Timeframe: 2014



Visibility of the report

Target 10 press items, including on line, covering the report (2014/2015)

Balanced representation of stakeholders in meetings and contacts.

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Inclusiveness with regards to the kind of stakeholders involved in meetings and contacts with societal, industrial and regulatory stakeholders.

Target Three meetings per quarter throughout 2014. (2014)
Baseline 6 in Nov/Dec 2013 with groups of stakeholders (1/2014)
Current Planned 5 meeetings with groups of stakeholders in April 2014 (4/2014)

Contribution to the development of policy and regulatory frameworks concerning copyright, tax and film in the digital era

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Quality of inter-service contributions, guidance documents, public policy statements

Target Approximately 60% of input, suggestions, recommendations are implemented (2014)
Baseline Approximately 40% of input, suggestions, recommendations are implemented (2013)

Research: new advanced methods, systems, technologies and services.

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Deliverables in line with the definition of the DOW (Description of Works).

Target 100 % compliance of projects with DOW. (2015)

Review of the current regulatory framework (REFIT)

Timeframe: 2015



Fit for purpose proposal with regard to the follow up of the Green Paper.

Target Fit for purpose preparation of the REFIT exercise (2015)
Baseline Analysis of 236 contributions to the Green Paper (1/2014)
Current In depth analysis of inputs provided by ERGA, Contact Committee and stakeholders as well as of ongoing studies and data collected from independent sources. (2015)

Visibility of Commission involvement to ensure media freedom and pluralism


Timeframe: 2014/2015



Number of press items, including online, and/or mentioning in NGO reports of DG CNECT actions

Target 10 articles and/or reports regarding DG CNECT actions (2014/2015)

The external expansion of the European audiovisual sphere.

Timeframe: 2014 and beyond



Level of the alignment of the legislation in the candidate and potential candidate countries (B-H, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, FYROM, Serbia, Turkey, Iceland) with the audiovisual acquis.

Target Full alignment of legislation in country before accession. (2014 and beyond)
Baseline Bosnia, Iceland = 100%; Albania, Montenegro = 90%. (2014)

Enhanced promotion of European audiovisual works as well as a strong support for independent works broadcast by EU linear TV channels.

Timeframe: 2011/2012



Share of EU audiovisual works broadcast by EU linear TV channels larger than 50% of transmission time and share of independent works broadcast by EU linear TV channels larger than 10% of transmission time as for Member States bi-annual reports.

Target Maintaining the level of EU audiovisual works and independent works above the 50% and 10% above mentioned thresholds, respectively. (Continuous)
Baseline 63.8% in 2009 and 64.3% in 2010 for European works. 34.1% in 2009 and 33.8% in 2010 for independent works (2012 Report)

A more coherent legal framework for audiovisual media service providers in the EU through enhanced consistency of the implementation of the AVMSD.

Timeframe: Continuous



Ensure benchmarks for dealing with infringements and for dealing with complaints.

Target 12 months for closure/referral to the Court; 12 months to decide to open infringement proceedings or close the case. (Continuous)

Increase in the number of Video-on-demand services available in Member States provided by suppliers established in another Member State.

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Number of Video-on-Demand services available in Member States provided by suppliers established in another Member State. (lead indicator)

Target Increase up to 8% (2015)
Baseline 277 (2/2014)

Increase of linear audiovisual services established in a Member State and targeting non domestic EU markets

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Number of linear audiovisual services established in a Member State and targeting non domestic EU markets (lead indicator)

Target Increase up to 10% (EU 28 + extra EU) (2015)
Baseline 1989 channels targeting foreign markets (EU 28 + extra EU) (12/2013)

Regulatory frameworks and policies (copyright, taxes, film in the digital era, film heritage) better adapted to the needs of innovation and the Digital Single Market

Timeframe: 2014/2015



Number of stakeholder / consumer complaints

Target 30% reduction in stakeholders / consumers complaints (2014/2015)
Baseline 40 complaints (2013)

Take up of the implications of convergence into policy and research.

Integration of audiovisual convergence and expectations of stakeholders in the definition of the policy strategy + take up of results of on-going research projects

Timeframe: 2014



Referencing of results of research projects that are currently on-going in relevant research literature

Target At least one on average per project (Until end 2015)

References of findings stemming from the Green Paper consultation in documents by other European institutions and Member States

Target At least one reference in documents issued by EP and/or other EU Institutions and/or MS. (2015)
Baseline reference in EP resolution in March 2014 (4/2014)
Current reference in EP resolution in March 2014 (4/2014)

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • eCommerce Action Plan - Double the share of eCommerce in retail sales and of the internet sector in European GDP by 2015
  • DAE - The entire EU to be covered by broadband by 2013
  • DAE - The entire EU to be covered by broadband above 30Mbps by 2020
  • DAE - 50% of the EU to subscribe to broadband above100 Mbps by 2020
  • DAE - 50 % of the population to buy online by 2015
  • DAE - 20 % of the population to buy online cross-border by 2015
  • DAE - To increase regular internet usage from 60 % to 75 % by2015, and from 41 % to 60 % among disadvantaged people
  • DAE - To halve the proportion of the population that has never used the internet from 30 % to 15 % by 2015