Westminster Media Forum policy conference - Revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive



The major update of the EU media legislative framework rules (AVMSD) is, despite Brexit, also one of the important topics in the UK. AVMSD has been at the centre of a debate taking place in London and offered a unique perspective of what to expect after Brexit in the audiovisual area with an impact on the EU audiovisual market. Secondly, a workshop has been held on online regulatory issues the day before by the UKs media regulator OFCOM that focused on the transposition of the AVMSD and cooperation of national regulatory authorities, that is becoming essential with the rise of the cross-border and global services.

The Westminster Media Forum Conference (21.1.2020)

The conference “Revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive - funding and prominence, consumer protection, and the UK’s position post-Brexit” organised by The Westminster Media Forum brought together at a senior level key perspectives with interest in the AVMSD. These events are organised as platforms for major policy statements from senior figures in local government, Ministers, regulators and government officials, Members of both Houses of Parliament, and senior opinion-formers in industry and interest groups.

The director of the Office of The Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission, Ľuboš Kukliš as a member of the board of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) opened the conference with his keynote speech on the topic of key objectives of the revision and next steps for implementation of the AVMSD. In his presentation and the following discussion, he not only outlined the major changes of the AVMSD but also argued that Directive inspires a new kind of regulation, with a redistribution of rights and responsibilities. The following discussions focused on the impact of the AVMSD but also on the transposition of the AVMSD in arguably the most important jurisdiction (location of the biggest platforms) – Ireland. Due to the unavoidable subject of Brexit, the event offered a very interesting perspective into the preparations and position of UK authorities after Brexit. This will have an impact on the future EU audiovisual policy as UK is one of the major audiovisual hubs in Europe and an important jurisdiction to cross border audiovisual media services.

Workshop on online regulatory issues (20.1.2020)

The Workshop on online regulatory issues organised by the UK's media regulatory authority OFCOM the day before brought together a selected group of representatives from other national media regulatory authorities from the EU (including the Irish BAI and Slovak CBR) that are all impacted by the transposition of the AVMSD. The discussion started with a presentation and discussion about the, only very recently published, draft Irish law for an online safety regime that is going to have an impact on users all around the EU. The reason is that the Irish provisions applicable to video-sharing platforms (with Facebook, Google and others in Ireland) will apply to all their EU users, including Slovak ones. Connected to this a famous academic Joan Barata, from the Stanford University, has presented the academic perspective and developments in intermediary liability, a crucial concept in the incoming debate about the Digital Services Act that will change the fundamental rules for plaforms in EU – the Ecommerce Directive.

The last but not least the debate on the cross border cooperation of the national media regulatory authorities was chaired by the director of the Office of The Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission, Ľuboš Kukliš. Cooperation is becoming crucial with the increasing number of cross border and global services in the EU, where the national regulatory authorities (including the CBR) will have to increasingly rely on the goodwill and set out rules on cooperation with partners from all over the EU. This is also at the heart of the ERGA activities, where in 2020 ERGA will be working on a  Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between all the EU regulators that is going to provide a rule book for such cooperation building on only basic rules provided by the AVMSD.

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