Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (112)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

113 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will report on the recent Dublin Castle conference on broadcasting and on the progress he views as having been made with regard to his stated policy on broadcasting across frontiers in the EU; and if his key objectives can be progressed before the end of June 2004. [8199/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

The informal ministerial conference on broadcasting, held from 1 to 3 March at Dublin Castle and the Boyne Valley Hotel, Drogheda, County Louth, afforded an opportunity for EU broadcasting ministers to hold a wide ranging and informative discussion on issues of relevance to the process of review currently in train regarding the television without frontiers directive.

Commissioner Reding presented the recently published communication on the future of European audiovisual policy and outlined the Commission's proposals for a two step approach to the review process involving a number of short-term measures such as an interpretative communication on new advertising techniques, updating of the recommendation on the protection of minors and human dignity, and in the longer term, examination of those areas requiring future reflection through the establishment of expert focus groups. Revision of the directive would be considered in the context of the reports by these focus groups. There was broad consensus in support of the Commission's general approach to the review process.

It was clear from the views expressed that there were specific issues that require further consideration, including the issue of regulatory jurisdiction which continues to be of concern to Ireland as well as a number of other member states. The Commission undertook to engage with this topic in the context of the review process. Copies of the documentation relating to the conference are being made available on my Department's website.