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Romania

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REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2003 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 702 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 510 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 710 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1753 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1409 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Regular Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final - SEC(2003) 1211 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Regular Commission Report [COM(2004) 657 final - SEC(2004) 1200 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Regular Commission Report [COM(2005) 534 final - SEC(2005) 1354 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 157 of 21.06.05]

SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission expressed the view that, provided necessary structural adjustments of the industry were made, as well as sustained efforts to change legislation, Romania should be able to meet EU requirements in the audiovisual sector in the medium term.
The November 1998 Report confirmed the Commission's initial evaluation and noted that some progress had been made.
In its October 1999 Report, the Commission noted that, despite some progress, Romania's legislation was not yet in full compliance with the audiovisual acquis.
The November 2000 Report noted that some progress had been made since publication of the previous report. Further efforts would be needed to align Romanian legislation with the Community acquis.
The November 2001 Report made the point that alignment with the acquis had not yet been achieved.
The October 2002 Report stated that Romania had made good progress since the last report.
The 2003 Regular Report confirmed that major developments had been achieved by Romania in terms of aligning its audiovisual legislation with the Community acquis. As a result, the legislation was largely in line with the acquis, and negotiations on this chapter had provisionally been closed.
The 2004 Regular Report states that the improvements made to Romania's framework act in the audiovisual sector have further improved adoption of the Community acquis.
The October 2005 Report indicates that Romania has, to a large extent, aligned its audiovisual legislation with the Community aquis.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 25 April 2005 and accession took place on 1 January 2007.

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 concerning 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" Directive 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

The legal framework for the audiovisual sector was established by the Act on radio and television services. A National Audiovisual Council (NAC) was established as an independent regulatory agency in July 1992.

Romania has a public television service, but many national and local companies were set up during the 1990s. ProTV, a private national commercial channel, is the dominant broadcaster. Cable television has a large share of the market.

The State film production monopoly was abolished in 1990 with the establishment of an independent National Film Centre (CNC), responsible for producing and distributing films. The State monopoly RADEF-Romaniafilm is responsible for film distribution. There is no direct involvement of foreign companies in film distribution.

As a result of decisions by the NAC, some progress has been made since 1997 in bringing the Romanian regulatory framework closer to the audiovisual acquis. The 1992 Act on radio and television broadcasting was amended and standards were laid down by the NAC in 1999, bringing Romania's legislation more closely into line with the acquis.

A new framework act to align Romanian legislation with the "Television Without Frontiers" Directive was adopted in the audiovisual sector in June 2002. Implementing legislation for advertising, teleshopping and sponsorship was adopted in March 2002. Furthermore, conditions regarding the right of reply were included in an NAC decision on the obligations of broadcasters. Lastly, the framework for broadcasting audiovisual programmes of local interest was established through an NAC decision in March 2002.

In 2002 no major changes were recorded regarding administrative capacity. Although the number of control activities had been steadily increasing, staffing levels remained the same as in 2001.

Furthermore, both houses of parliament have approved legislation ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television and its amending Protocol.

In 2003 Romania's audiovisual sector saw a number of major steps forward, including:

  • ratification of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and signature of the amending Protocol in February 2003;
  • adoption by the National Audiovisual Council of implementing regulations on the basis of the Audiovisual Act.

Romania must also continue to strengthen its administrative capacity in the audiovisual sector, both in the National Audiovisual Council and in the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs. The aim is to ensure the predictable, transparent and effective implementation of the regulatory framework for audiovisual policy.

Romania's framework act in the audiovisual sector was revised in October 2003. The revision reinforced the position of the NAC, which extended its members' mandates from four to six years so as to increase its political independence. The revision also clarified sanction procedures, and made more varied and proportional actions possible.

In 2004, the NAC's administrative capacity was increased through training on European legislation and on technical skills for monitoring.

In 2005, Romania has, to a large extent, aligned its legislation with the Community acquis by adopting the two remaining amendments to the audiovisual law concerning jurisdiction and freedom of reception. However, the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality with regard to television broadcasting has not been complied with. This is due to the adoption of a law on cinematography which includes an obligation for all television broadcasters in Romania to reserve a minimum of 5% of broadcasting time for Romanian feature films.

Romania should therefore complete its alignment and continue to strengthen its administrative capacity.

In the field of culture, the Association Council decision allowing Romania's participation in the Culture 2000 programme was adopted in October 2001.

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

Last updated: 12.01.2006
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