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Brussels, 12 June 2013
Statement by the European Commission on the closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation
The European Commission has taken note of the decision by the Greek authorities to close down the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), a decision taken in full autonomy.
The Commission has not sought the closure of ERT, but nor does the Commission question the Greek Government’s mandate to manage the public sector. The decision of the Greek authorities should be seen in the context of the major and necessary efforts that the authorities are taking to modernise the Greek economy. Those include improving its efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector.
The Commission understands the difficult situation of ERT staff and expects the announced dismissals to be carried out in full accordance with the applicable legal framework.
The Commission supports the role of public broadcasting as an integral part of European democracy. The Treaty makes it clear that the governance and strategic choices on public service broadcasting lie with Member States. So while the Commission cannot prescribe Member States how to organise their public service broadcaster, we would like to highlight the role of public service broadcasters regarding European values in all economic circumstances, for the sake of media pluralism, media freedom and media quality and for the expression of cultural diversity. So we welcome the commitment of the Greek government to launch a media actor that fulfils the important role of public broadcasting and is financially sustainable.