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Brussels, 23 June 1997

Final adoption of the new "Television without frontiers" Directive

Mr. Marcelino OREJA, Member of the European Commission responsible for audio-visual policy, today welcomed the final adoption by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the new "Television without frontiers" Directive. He underlined the fact that, in the Council, the Directive was adopted almost unanimously, with one delegation abstaining.

The new "Television without frontiers" Directive, proposed by the Commission on Mr. Oreja's initiative in May 1995, is the result of two years of remarkable work by the three Institutions. Compared to the 1989 text, the new Directive is up-dated, clarified and completed. In the era of digital technology, it provides a secure legal framework for broadcasters to develop their activities in the European Union, notably through the strengthening of the "one stop shop" principle (each broadcaster has to comply only with the rules of the Member State where it is established).

The substantive provisions of the Directive also ensure that the public interest is secured through the coordination of national rules in such fields as advertising, sponsorship, teleshopping, the right of reply and the protection of minors. The system set in place in 1989 for the promotion of the broadcasting of European programmes is maintained.

New rules on the broadcasting of major events, such as sports events, are included with the purpose of ensuring that Member States are able to provide for access by the public to such events on free TV. For a more complete description of the new Directive, see MEMO/97/63.

N.BAn unofficial consolidated version of the 1989 and the 1997 texts is available in English and French on request by fax to DG X/D/3 on (32-2) 299 9201.

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