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Poland

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM (97) 2002 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM (98) 701 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM [(1999) 509 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM (2000) 709 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM (2001) 700 final - SEC (2001) 1752 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM (2002) 700 final - SEC (2002) 1408 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Monitoring Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1207 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission considered that, provided a sustained effort was made to adapt the legal framework, accompanied by the necessary structural adjustment of the industry, Poland should be able to meet EU requirements in the audiovisual sector in the medium term.

The November 1998 Report generally confirmed this initial evaluation.

The October 1999 Report stressed that progress made in this area was limited and emphasized worrying delays in some sectors.

The November 2000 Report noted that significant progress had been made, although Polish legislation was not yet fully in line with the Community acquis.

The November 2001 Report noted that little progress had been made in the audiovisual and cultural fields.

The October 2002 Report noted that there had been no further legislative alignment in the audiovisual sector, and no progress had been made with regard to administrative capacity.

The November 2003 Report concludes that Poland only partially complies with the obligations resulting from the accession negotiations in the audiovisual field. In particular, unless it takes rapid action to catch up on delays in amending the Broadcasting Act, there is a risk that it will not be able to implement the acquis by the date of accession. On the other side of the coin, Polish legislation is consistent with the acquis.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

In the context of the internal market, the audiovisual acquis is intended to ensure the provision and free movement of audiovisual services within the EU as well as the promotion of the European programme industry. The acquis is contained in the " Television without frontiers " Directive, which is applicable to all broadcasters regardless of mode of transmission (terrestrial, satellite, cable) or whether private or public, and lays down basic rules on transfrontier broadcasting. The main points are:

  • to ensure the free movement of television broadcasts throughout Member States;
  • to promote the production and distribution of European audiovisual products (by laying down a minimum proportion of broadcasting time for European products and those by independent producers);
  • to set basic standards for television advertising;
  • to provide for the protection of minors and allow the right of reply.

The European Association Agreement provides for cooperation in the promotion and modernisation of the audiovisual industry, and the harmonisation of regulatory aspects of audiovisual policy.

The "Television without frontiers" Directives is one of the measures to be adopted by the CEECs under Stage I of the White Paper on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the internal market of the Union (1995).

EVALUATION

In the audiovisual sector adoption of the Law amending the Broadcasting Act in 2000 means that many aspects of Polish legislation are now in line with the acquis, but further amendments remain necessary with regard to jurisdiction, promotion of European and independent works, major events, the definition of European works, and the principle of capital liberalisation. New legislation is pending.

In October 2000 Poland ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television.

Administrative capacity is judged satisfactory overall, though Poland will need to strengthen the National Broadcasting Council in particular to monitor observance of the new rules (e.g. computer equipment to monitor obligatory programme quotas). The budget for 2001 was cut drastically owing to the country's budgetary problems, but was increased again in 2002.

A Memorandum of Understanding providing for the participation of Poland in the Community programmes MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training was signed in June 2002, taking effect from 1 January 2002.

The Commission's 2003 report explains that Poland still needs to align its framework legislation (Broadcasting Act) on jurisdiction criteria, the definition of European works, certain aspects relating to the promotion of European and independent works, access to major events, and the principle of capital liberalisation. Administrative capacity for implementation of the audiovisual acquis is satisfactory overall, though the National Broadcasting Council needs to be strengthened in order to efficiently monitor observance of the new rules.

Finally, the Commission feels that unless rapid action is taken to catch up on delays in amending the Broadcasting Act, there is a risk that Poland will not be able to implement the acquis by the date of accession.

In the field of culture, the Association Council decision allowing Poland to participate fully in the Community Programme Culture 2000 as from 2001 was adopted in October 2001. The Commission's 2002 report recorded organisational changes and staff reinforcement relating to the Cultural Contact Point, which is now situated within the Ministry of Culture. The 2003 report notes that Poland meets the requirements for participation in Community activities in the field of culture.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 13.01.2004
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