Paving the way for a reform of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive
The European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) is determined to strengthen protection for minors
A specialist ERGA working group has expressed concern that young people today have such easy access to potentially harmful audiovisual content. In its report to the European Commission in connection with the ongoing reform of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), experts from national regulatory authorities suggest that the current distinction between linear and non-linear content is no longer useful, since young people can access all this content online. ERGA believes that the future directive should focus not just on traditional television services but also on cinema, DVDs and video on demand. The group also recommends clarifying key definitions such as saying that a programme is “likely to impair” or “might seriously impair” the development of minors, since this concept has not always been applied in the same way in the various Member States. Finally, ERGA encourages closer cooperation between all providers and regulators of audiovisual media services, with the aim of providing parents with a series of tools to protect their children.
Two other ERGA subgroups examined the general scope of application of the directive and the independence of regulators. A fourth report on territorial jurisdiction is also expected to be released soon. It will seek to provide clearer criteria on which country’s supervisory regulations should apply to media services in a Europe where content is no longer confined within borders. Further information is available at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/erga-published-two-reports-protection-minors-and-scope-audiovisual-media-services-directive