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Parliamentary questions
24 October 2002
ORAL QUESTION WITH DEBATE pursuant to Rule 42 of the Rules of Procedure by Mariotto Segni, William Abitbol, Teresa Almeida Garrett, Guido Bodrato, Juan Bayona de Perogordo, Jean-Louis Bourlanges, Luigi Cocilovo, Gerard Collins, Thierry Cornillet, Paul Coûteaux, Brian Crowley, Luigi De Mita, Gérard Deprez, Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos, Carlo Fatuzzo, Fernando Fernández Martín, Concepció Ferrer, James Fitzsimons, Konstantinos Hatzidakis, Liam Hyland, Florence Kuntz, Franco Marini, Mario Mastella, Reinhold Messner, Juan Ojeda Sanz, Seán Ó Neachtain, Marcelino Oreja Arburúa, José Pacheco Pereira, Giuseppe Pisicchio, María Avilés Perea, José Pomés Ruiz, Bartho Pronk and Lennart Sacrédeus to the Commission

 Subject: Media concentration and pluralism

- The pursuit of television broadcasting activities is regulated by Directive 89/552/EEC(1), as amended by Directive 97/36/EC(2), and the promotion of distribution and production of television programmes by Article 4 thereof.

- The Commission Green Paper of 23 December 1992 on media concentration (COM(92)0480/final) has never been followed up by a directive.

- In its resolution of 20 January 1994 on the above Green Paper the EP came out in favour of Option III, Sub-option c, as referred to in the Green Paper, and called on the Commission to submit a proposal for a directive to harmonise national restrictions on media concentration(3).

- The Commission Green Paper was also the subject of the EP's Fayot report of 5 January 1994 (A3-0435/93).

- On 27 October 1994 the EP adopted a resolution on concentration of the media(4).

- The ESC has delivered an opinion on 'Pluralism and concentration in the media', the key passage being point 2.1(5).

- Recommendation R (99) 1, adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 19 January 1999, proposes measures to be implemented by member states to promote media pluralism.

- News, and in particular television news, is an area in which the excessive power of any one player constitutes a serious danger to the workings of civilisation and democracy.

- Phenomena of the type concerned are today tending to occur in a number of European countries.

In the light of the foregoing, will the Commission:

- lay down a body of European rules to govern this sector, as is necessary not least in order to establish some fundamental democratic principles to form the foundations of the enlarged Europe;

- introduce the concept of a 'pure publisher' within the meaning of European legislation to denote a person whose interests are concentrated entirely in the publishing industry and do not extend into other economic circles;

- draw up a directive imposing exact limits on media concentration, applicable both to Europe as a whole and to individual Member States, as regards market shares quantified in terms of audience and circulation?

(1) OJ L 298, 17.10.1989, p. 23.
(2) OJ L 202, 30.7.1997, p. 60.
(3) OJ C 44, 14.2.1994, p. 177.
(4) OJ C 323, 21.11.1994, p. 157.
(5) OJ C 140, 18.5.2000, p. 19.

Original language of question: IT
Last updated: 31 October 2002Legal notice