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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 June 2012

Digital Agenda: Commission asks Court of Justice to fine Poland for not fully implementing Audiovisual Media Services Directive

The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to fully implement EU audiovisual media services Directive. Poland has partially implemented the Directive but not the provisions concerning on-demand services. This means that providers of such services are not obliged to protect viewers, especially children, from hidden advertising (such as subliminal advertising) or from content containing incitement to hatred. Nor does Poland respect the rules on the European content of services provided on-demand. Poland should have implemented the Directive in full, including the rules for on-demand services, by December 2009.

The Commission proposes a daily fine of € 112 190.40 which would be paid as from the date of the Court's affirmative ruling until Poland notifies the Commission that it has fully implemented the rules into national law.

These financial penalties are proposed under the Lisbon Treaty and take into account the duration and the gravity of the infringement and the size of the Member State.

Background

The AVMS Directive (2010/13/EU) ensures a Single Market and legal certainty for Europe's TV and audiovisual industry by creating a level playing field for both broadcast and on-demand audiovisual media services across frontiers while preserving cultural diversity, protecting children and consumers, safeguarding media pluralism and combating racial and religious hatred. The Directive is based on the "country of origin" principle, whereby audiovisual media service providers are subject to the regulations in their country of origin only and cannot be subject to regulation in the destination country except in very limited circumstances (e.g. incitement to hatred). EU Member States agreed to implement the AVMS Directive into their national law by 19 December 2009 (see IP/09/1983).

Useful Links

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/464

An overview of infringement proceedings related to the AVMS Directive

Details of the AVMS Directive

Digital Agenda website

Neelie Kroes' website

Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter

Contacts :

Ryan Heath (+32 2 296 17 16), Twitter: @ECspokesRyan

Linda Cain (+32 2 299 90 19)


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