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Media in the information society

The European Commission deals with media. Its policy objective is to contribute towards creating a genuine “European media area” that guarantees and reinforces citizens’ choices, particularly as regards television or radio channels and programmes and the press, by ensuring freedom of establishment for companies in the media sector and the free movement of the services they offer.

More specifically, the European Commission is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the freedoms established by the Treaties of the European Union are respected;
  • ensuring that the Member States implement and effectively apply the Directives within its remit (Directive on the co-ordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission, Directive on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of, conditional access);
  • dealing with infringement proceedings and possibly bringing certain cases before the Court of Justice of the European Communities;
  • drawing up reports to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on the application of the above-mentioned Directives;
  • proposing, as necessary, legislative or other measures for adapting the legal framework in the light of developments in the sector;
  • drawing up Interpretative Communications on specific questions regarding the media (e.g. Communication on the right to satellite dishes, draft Communication on “must carry” rules (obligation to provide European citizens with certain TV broadcast, in particular public service broadcasting);
  • monitoring the development of the media, with particular reference to mergers and their impact on the freedoms of the Internal Market and pluralism.