N. van Eijk
- Towards new regulatory concepts for the regulation of audiovisual media
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Institute for Information Law (IViR)
European media regulation currently faces several challenges: technology, media and markets have become convergent, while – at the same time – the situations in the individual member states differ in respect of media use, the usage of end devices as well as regulatory aims and frameworks.
These challenges can be met with an updated regulatory framework. Core attributes of this updated framework are a reorientation relative to the current framework, a basis in principles, learning aptitude, and a coherent approach to media regulation. This is, however, not just an incremental but a structural change.
Other than the regulatory framework currently in place, which takes different types of audiovisual services as a starting point for specific regulation just to follow the same aims, a reoriented regulatory framework could allow for effective regulations that follow specific goals and that address the media landscape as a whole – also taking into account the peculiarities of certain types of media in specific provisions by introducing a general regulation as well as one built upon that. Such a framework is capable of effectively managing a convergent media landscape.
An incentive-based opt-in approach would further improve the efficiency of this framework, offering a self-categorisation option for content providers and unburdening regulators while retaining the needed flexibility. Privileging desirable public value services will give incentives for providing such media content across different audiovisual services and form the basis of a vivid and pluralistic media landscape. However, European regulation still has to guarantee a minimum standard.
To address the different situations in the member states, they will need some leeway for implementation. This calls for a principle-driven approach, setting coherent regulatory aims and a general framework across Europe, but leaving it to the member states to define requirements for the different content categories for the providers to opt-in to. This will finally lead to a consistent regulatory framework throughout the EU, which is still able to manage the heterogeneity of the different media landscapes.
This paper is based on a larger study by the Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) and the Institute for Information Law (IViR).
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