As guardian of the Treaty, the Commission ensures that the provisions of the Directive are properly implemented by the Member States and complied with by audiovisual media service providers established in the EU.
In general, the Commission endeavours to discuss issues of interpretation and application of the rules of the Directive with the Member States and their regulatory authorities, notably at the Contact Committee and Regulators' meetings organized in Brussels. The Commission also continuously provides for relevant information and indicators as part of its reporting obligations under the 2002 Communication on improving the application of the monitoring of EU law.
Sometimes the Commission is required to take legal action, known as infringement proceedings against a particular Member State in case of violations of the Directive. The Commission may learn about infringements through complaints by citizens, parliamentary questions or following a monitoring excercise carried out by an independent consultant on the rules on audiovisual commercial communications.
The following press releases are examples of infringements pursued by the Commission in recent years:
Before launching infringement procedures, the Commission contacts the Member States' national authorities to request additional information or to inform them of potential issues in relation to the transposition or the implementation of the Directive in their national legislation.
The following press releases are illustrative of such contacts: