Prepared for European Union Competencies in respect of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom – Policy Conference

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Fiesole, 29th October 2012
Federica Casarosa – Mediadem - European University Institute
http://cmpf.eui.eu/events/policy-conference.aspx

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Prepared for European Union Competencies in respect of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom – Policy Conference

  1. 1. Soft law instruments: a starting point oran easy way out?Prepared for European Union Competencies inrespect of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom –Policy ConferenceFiesole, 29th October 2012Federica Casarosa – European University Institute
  2. 2. Outline of the presentation Short description of soft law Soft law in the European context Criteria for the selection of soft law instruments Few suggestions
  3. 3. Soft law instruments: evanescent definition Different definitions of soft law  Soft law concerns rules of conduct which, in principle, have no legal binding force but which nevertheless may have practical effects (Snyder, 1994)  Soft law concerns committments which are more than policy statements but less than law in its strict sense. They have in common, without being binding as a matter of law, a certain proximity to the law or a certain legal relevance (Thurer, 1990) Three main features  Rules of conduct  No or limited binding force  But some practical effect or influence over behaviours
  4. 4. Soft law available in EU toolkit Preparatory or informative instruments  Green papers, White papers, action programmes, etc.  Inter-institutional communications Interpretative and decisional instruments  Interpretative communications and notices, decisional guidelines, codes and frameworks, etc. Formal and non-formal steering instruments  Commission and Council recommendations, commission opinions  Council decisions, declarations and conclusions, joint declarations and intr- institutional agreements, etc.
  5. 5. Scope of soft law instruments Depending on the objectives pursued, the instruments that can be selected to achieve it can be different. General objective is improving media pluralism However, several facets can be addressed  External and internal pluralism  Political and cultural pluralism  Diversity (of output and of source)  Independence  … Which are the target subjects?
  6. 6. Few suggestions (1) Foster pluralism through existing institutional bodies  Role of national regulatory authorities fora  Contact Committee (art 29 AVMS)  Facilitate effective implementation of the AVMS direcive, deliver opinions, discuss the outcomes of Commission consultations, facilitate exchange of information on the development of regulatory activities…  Role of European Fundamental Rights Agency  Current remit does not include media pluralism, nor more generally freedom of expression  Difficult to extend it within the 5-year programme
  7. 7. Few suggestions (2) Take into account the technological convergence  Increasing role for citizens/users voice  Emergence of new intermediaries  Modification of supply chain points towards propertarisation of content  What place for citizens’ voices?  Subsidising citizen participation in public service media  How to protect and support citizens’ voices in e.g. content aggregators?
  8. 8. Few suggestions (3) Address attection to private regulation  Significant role for private regulation (both self- and co- regulation) in all media sectors  Guidelines addressing key characteristics of private regulation  Regulatory independence, fair enforcement procedures, etc.  E.g. Involving DG Connect on the blueprint of what already done by DG SANCO for health issues in food marketing for children

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