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Although EU Member States share a tradition of regulating public
broadcasting for the public interest, such regulation has been in decline in
recent years. It has been challenged by the emergence of commercial television
sworn to the market logic, as well as by satellite services and the Internet.
EU law and policy has, under pressure from powerful global forces, abetted
that decline. The question thus arises: Do cultural values still matter in
European national broadcasting?
This important book examines the challenges posed to public service
obligations by European Union media law and policy. An in-depth analysis of
the extent to which six countries (France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the
Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) regulate broadcasting for the public
interest reveals a range of vulnerability to national political pressures or,
alternatively, to the ideology of market sovereignty. The author examines the
country of origin principle and the European quota rule of the Television
without Frontiers Directive, revealing the influence of European law on the
definition and enforcement of programme requirements, and shows how the case
law of the European Court of Justice encourages deregulation at the national
level without offering adequate safeguards at the supranational level in
exchange. She asks the question whether the alleged ‘European audiovisual
model’ actually persists—that is, whether broadcasting is still committed to
protecting such values as cultural diversity, the safety of minors, the
susceptibility of consumers to advertising, media pluralism, and the fight
against racial and religious hatred. The book concludes with an evaluation of
the impact of the EU state aid regime on the licence fee based financing of
Despite the increasing importance of the subject, its study in a comparative
context has been heretofore underdeveloped. This book fully provides that
context and more, and will be of great value and interest to all parties
concerned with the key role of communications in the development of European
Part One: Public Broadcasting
Standards in Six Legal Systems. 1. Introduction. 2. France. 3
. Germany. 4. Greece. 5. Italy. 6. The Netherlands. 7.
United Kingdom. 8. Conclusion.
Part Two: Public Broadcasting Standards and European Union
Law. 1. Introduction. 2. The Competence of the European Union in
the Area of Culture under Article 151 EC. 3. Television without
Frontiers: The Country of Origin Principle. 4. Free Movement of
Television Broadcasts and National Broadcasting Standards. 5.
Television without Frontiers: The European Broadcasting Quota. 6.
Conclusion. Part Three: Financing of Public Broadcasting and
European Union State Aid Law. General Conclusion.