Brussels, 28 October 2010
Digital Agenda: Commission welcomes implementation of EU rules on TV and video-on-demand by Austria; closes infringement case
The European Commission has welcomed Austria's notification of measures to implement the EU Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive into national law. As a result, the Commission has decided to end the legal action which it had launched against Austria. All EU Member States had agreed to implement the modernised rules for Europe's audiovisual industry into national law by 19 December 2009.
The AVMS Directive (2010/13/EU) strengthens Europe's TV and audiovisual industry by reducing regulation and creating a level playing field for audiovisual media services across frontiers while maintaining high consumer protection standards. It removes outdated restrictions on digital TV over the internet, video on demand and mobile TV and created a Single Market for all audiovisual media services, providing legal certainty for businesses and protection for consumers.
EU Member States agreed to implement the AVMS Directive into their national law by 19 December 2009 (see IP/09/1983). In June 2010, the Commission sent formal requests, in the form of so-called 'reasoned opinions', to twelve Member States (Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, and Slovenia) to update without delay their national broadcasting rules (see IP/10/803). Austria has now implemented the Directive, and the Commission is monitoring implementation in the other eleven Member States very closely. Unless these other countries adopt and notify their implementing measures to the Commission very soon, they could be referred to the European Court of Justice.
The "Television without Frontiers" Directive was adopted in 1989 (IP/91/898) and amended for the first time in 1997 (IP/97/552). In December 2007, an amending Directive was adopted (see IP/07/1809, MEMO/08/803). On 10 March 2010, the provisions of the original "Television without frontiers" Directive were merged with the provisions contained in the amending directives to form the codified version of the now called "Audiovisual Media Services" Directive.
The AVMS Directive can be found at:
For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/10/530.