Audiovisual media services: positive steps but stronger child protection still needed
The current EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive governs EU coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media, both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services.
In a vote on 25 March, the Culture & Education Committee of the European Parliament voted in favour of maintaining in the revised Directive all references to the “moral” development of minors with regard to contents that may impair it.
COMECE welcomes this vote but notices that there is still room for improvement.
The formulations adopted by the European Parliament would positively provide that the most harmful content, such as gratuitous violence and pornography, must be subject to the strictest measures. However, they do not refer to any concrete example of such measures. COMECE expresses its concern about the removal of any ban on pornography and gratuitous violence.
It is also unfortunate that the majority rejected proposals that would have strengthened the protection of minors against pornography and gratuitous violence in "demand media services”, including by means of obligations to adopt technical measures (e.g. encrypting and parental controls).
Protection from the most harmful content is a fundamental right of the child and a binding legal obligation for all EU Member States. COMECE hopes that the forthcoming inter-institutional negotiations between Parliament and Council will lead to a stronger EU commitment to better child protection.