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Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy Recommends Approval of Law Ensuring Independence of National Broadcasting Council

February 10 – At a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, Committee members recommended parliament approve draft law #4107 “On Amendments to Several Laws of Ukraine on Ensuring Independence of the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting” in its second reading.

Earlier, on December 15, 2020, parliament approved draft #4107 in the first reading. The law was designed to fulfill Ukraine’s international obligations to incorporate into national legislation the provisions of the European Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States), in part to ensure the independence of the state regulator in the field of television and radio broadcasting.

The purpose of the law is to develop an effective procedure for the appointment and termination of National Council members to ensure its independence from political parties.

The law’s key provisions are as follows:

  • An independent tender commission should be established to discuss the candidates to the National Council, proposed by political parties and the President of Ukraine;
  • A list of requirements and restrictions (eligibility of the candidates) should be developed for candidates for the position of member of the National Council; 
  • The development of a procedure for early termination of the powers of a member of the National Council;
  • The remuneration policy for the members of the National Council and the administrative staff should be improved (salaries should be higher than they are now);  
  • The National Council’s powers during quarantine or in times of other restrictive measures should be clearly described; and
  • A clear mechanism of interaction/communication with licensees should be developed to ensure that crucial licensing decisions are made with licensees’ participation in the relevant meetings. 

 Once approved by parliament in the second reading, this law will amend the laws “On National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting,” “On Television and Radio Broadcasting,” “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on State Support in Culture, Creative Industries, Tourism, Small and Medium Business in Connection with Restrictive Measures Related to Spread of COVID-19,” and “On Administrative Services.”

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