Doc. 11328
26 June 2007

The funding of public service broadcasting

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr Laukkanen and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

The Parliamentary Assembly refers to the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005) and the Action Plan of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kiev, 10-11 March 2005) with regard to Council of Europe action concerning the future of public service broadcasting

Digital information technology is rapidly changing the electronic media market. As a result of fast developing technologies, new commercial actors involved in broadcasting have emerged. The number of ways to deliver programmes has increased and the consumers can today choose between several different platforms for receiving for instance television channels. As a consequence of this overall development, society has become more media-oriented and the importance of media has increased.

The public broadcasting companies traditionally play an important role in Europe in ensuring equal access for all citizens to information, in offering a full range of television and radio services for all citizens on an equal basis, regardless of economic status or place of residence, and in maintaining a programme policy which supports the principles of democracy and cultural pluralism. Public service broadcasting is an important instrument in the building of the information society.

The financing of the public broadcasting services varies in different countries, and many countries are facing difficulties in covering the costs. Annual licence fees remain the most usual financial basis, with supplementary incomes from advertising or state subsidies. As the number of multi-channel digital television and complementary distribution channels, such as the Internet, continues to increase, the willingness of consumers to pay TV licences fee is, however, decreasing.

Thus, public service broadcasting is facing huge challenges all over Europe. In order to be able to ensure the future of public broadcasting the Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to re-assess the tasks and mandate of public services in the new digital context, to re-define the guidelines for future programme policies, and to examine the principles for the financing of the services in the future.

Signed 1:

1     SOC: Socialist Group
      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
      EDG: European Democratic Group
      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
      NR: not registered in a group