How Would You Like Your Television: With or Without Borders and With or Without Culture - A New Approach to Media Regulation in the European Union
Kevin M. McDonald
VW Credit, Inc.
Fordham International Law Journal 1997, p. 1991.
One of the more controversial Directives passed by the European Community (EC) is the Television Without Frontiers broadcasting directive (Directive). Article 4 of the Directive has received considerable criticism for its quota provision, which calls for running at least fifty-one percent of television program ming from EC sources. Despite amendments passed in 1997 to the 1989 directive, the quota provision was retained. Numerous observers have criticized the 1989 directive as being in violation of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) principles such as the ban on quantitative restrictions. What many of these critics have failed to consider, however, is a broader per spective on the Directive, namely, just how the Directive fits into the European Community's overall approach to regulating the audio-visual industry. Specifically, U.S. critics of the quota have failed to consider that the Directive's major purposes, i.e., the protection and promotion of a pan-European culture, are based on an entirely different concept of the role television plays in European society than it does in the United States. This Essay analyzes the effectiveness of television broadcast ing regulations as a means to effectuate the promotion and pro tection of a pan-European culture, namely, television broadcast ing regulations. First, in Part I, this Essay considers the broader background developments in the audio-visual sector that led to the passing of the Directive. Part II looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the most controversial aspect of the Directive, namely, the quota provisions. Part III critiques the Directive's effectiveness in realizing its dual goals of both protecting and promoting a pan-European culture. Finally, Part IV compares the goals enunciated in the Federal Communications Act 6 (FCC Act) with those enunciated in the Directive. Both sets of goals reflect similar concerns and interests, although the United States takes a much broader approach in realizing its goals. This Essay concludes that the Community should, like the United States, take a more expansive approach to its audio-visual policy, similar to the approach reflected in the FCC Act, in order to strengthen and effectuate a more solid and unified European broadcast reg ulatory scheme that both protects and promotes a European culture.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: European Union, European Community, Media Regulation, Television Without Frontiers
JEL Classification: K33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 9, 2004
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