The Commission endeavours to discuss issues of interpretation and application of the rules of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) with Member States and their regulatory authorities at the Contact Committee and the regulators meetings organized in Brussels.
The Commission continuously provides relevant information and indicators in the framework of its reporting obligations. The Commission pursues infringement proceedings against a particular Member State in certain cases, such as incorrect transposition or application of the Directive.
The Contact Committee monitors the implementation of the Directive and developments in the sector. It also acts as a forum for the exchange of views. The committee deals with existing audiovisual policy and with relevant developments arising in this sector. It should pay special attention to technical developments in the audiovisual sector.
The committee also helps Member States with their national reports which have to be written every two years.
Chaired by the Commission and composed of representatives of the authorities of the Member States, it may be convened at the request of any of the delegations. The minutes and agenda of all the meetings conducted until now are available for reference.
The European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) brings together heads or high-level representatives of national independent regulatory bodies in the field of audiovisual services. The group advises the Commission on the implementation of the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).
On 3 February 2014, the European Commission adopted a decision setting the objectives for the group:
- to advise and assist the Commission in its work;
- to ensure a consistent implementation of the AVMSD as well as in any other matters related to audiovisual media services within the Commission's competence;
- to facilitate cooperation between the regulatory bodies in the EU, as provided for in the Directive regulating audiovisual media services;
- to allow for an exchange of experience and good practices.
The AVMSD recognises the role of the independent regulatory authorities which, in most Member States, are responsible for the enforcement of the national measures transposing the rules of the Directive.
In general, regulators of audiovisual media services supervise the compliance of audiovisual programmes with European and national rules. The ERGA should provide a basis for increased cooperation between regulators and the Commission in order to achieve better enforcement of the rules of the Directive, particularly when issues of jurisdiction are at stake. More broadly, this exchange of information and cooperation allows discussions at EU level on issues of interpretation and application of provisions of the Directive, especially advertising rules. Such discussions allow a more consistent application of the rules and thus a level playing field throughout the EU.
The Commission is sometimes required to take legal action against a particular Member State in case of violations of the Directive. This is known as an infringement procedure.
The Commission may learn about violations of the Directive through complaints by citizens, parliamentary questions or following a monitoring exercise carried out by an independent consultant on the rules on audiovisual commercial communications.
Before launching infringement procedures, the Commission contacts the Member States' national authorities to request additional information or to inform them of potential issues in relation to the transposition or the implementation of the Directive in their national legislation.
The following press releases are examples of infringements pursued by the Commission in recent years:
- Commission welcomes implementation of EU rules on TV and video-on-demand by Austria; closes infringement case (28/10/2010)
- Commission welcomes French regulator's moves against incitement to hatred; ends legal action (28/10/2010)
- Commission ends legal action after Italy and Estonia comply with EU advertising rules (08/10/2009)
- EU rules on TV advertising need to be closely monitored, says Commission report (26/06/2009)
- 'Television without Frontiers': Commission warns Estonia to apply the EU's TV advertising rules (19/03/2009)
- Commission takes court action to prevent excessive spot-advertising on Spanish TV (27/11/2008)
- Television without frontiers: the European Commission takes the next step in proceedings against Spain for not complying with television advertising restrictions (06/05/2008)
- Television without frontiers: Commission issues warning to Spain for not complying with television advertising rules (10/07/2007)
Refer to illustrative examples of the EU Court of Justice case law in the broadcasting sector for more information.
Reference to National Laws
Community law requires Member States to notify to the Commission by which national laws, regulations or administrative actions they have transposed a directive.
For information on the national legislation implementing the original Television without Frontiers Directive as well as the two amending Directives please consult these documents:
- Directive 89/552/EEC (Television without Frontiers Directive)
- Directive 97/36/EC
- Directive 2007/65/EC (AVMSD)
Please note that the AVMSD has been codified by Directive 2010/13/EU. No separate transposition measures were required for the codified Directive.
Below are national measures taken pursuant to Article 14(1) of the AVMSD, verified by the Commission for their compatibility with European Union law, and published in the Official Journal of the European Union, in accordance with Article 14(2) of the Directive.
OJ L 180 of 10.07.2007, pages 11-16 - (All languages)
OJ L 180 of 10.07.2007, pages 24-32 - (All languages)
Amending Decision 2014/110/EU:
OJ L 59 of 28.2.2014, pages 39–42 - (All languages)
OJ C 14 of 19.01.1999, pages 6-7 - (All languages)
(Revocation of the measures - OJ C 45 of 19.02.2002, page 7)
OJ L 177, 8.7.2015, pages 54–59 - (All languages)
OJ L 180 of 10.07.2007, pages 38-41 - (All languages)
OJ L 180 of 10.07.2007, pages 33-37 - (All languages)
OJ L 180 of 10.07.2007, pages 8-10 - (All languages)
Measures adopted by Hungary: OJ C 214, 4.7.2017, pages 6–7
Commission decision:OJ C 214, 4.7.2017, pages 3–5
Measures adopted by Ireland: OJ C 8, 11.1.2018, pages 12–13
Commission decision: OJ C 8, 11.1.2018, pages 10–11
OJ L 187 of 17.07 2012, pages 57-61 - (All languages)
OJ L 27, 3.2.2015, pages 37–41 - (All languages)