Finnish Presidency aims at a consensus on the Television Directive

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 15.6.2006 11.48
Press release

The Council of the European Union should strive to achieve a general approach to the revised Television without Frontiers Directive during the Finnish Presidency.

Ms Susanna Huovinen, Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland, outlined Finland's goals regarding the Directive at the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Association for European Commercial Television in Helsinki, on 15 June.

"This week I have discussed the matter also with the rapporteur of the Directive in the European Parliament. After these discussions I feel sure that the cooperation between the Presidency and the Parliament will bring good results", Minister Huovinen said.

In her speech at the Board meeting she addressed the key issues involved in the proposal. She welcomed the goal of modernising the legislation and making it more "future-proof", and said that the proposal could be clarified by better focusing of the definitions.

The country-of-origin principle continues to be relevant. It is essential for the development of the pan-European market for audiovisual services. "I hope that we can find a reasonable solution to problems with regard to jurisdiction", Ms Huovinen said.

Finland welcomes the aim of modernising and simplifying the advertising rules. "If we want to regulate product placement, we need to make it clear where the line is to be drawn between product placement and surreptitious advertising. That would be of great importance both to the regulators and to the broadcasters", Ms Huovinen said.

The Commission submitted the proposal to revise the Television Directive at the end of last year. The first debate about it took place in the Council on 18 May. The European Parliament will most probably continue discussing the proposal at least until December. Because of this timetable, the Council will not be able to reach a formal political agreement on the matter in its November meeting.

For further information please contact:
Mr Ismo Kosonen, Director of Media Policy Unit,
tel. +358 9 160 28462, +358 50 511 6601