Abigail Browne fellowship report 2018: Public service broadcasting at the crossroads of Ukraine and Europe 09 May 19

Cullen International provides an annual fellowship grant in memory of our beloved colleague Abigail Browne (1976-2015). The fellowship remembers Abigail's life and recognises her work in the field of communications regulation, which had a particular focus on European countries outside the EU.

The aim of the fellowship is to promote the exchange of perspectives and best practices in the field of communications regulation among European states, including building on the EU’s common regulatory framework for electronic communications

The final version of the 2018 report has just been released.

Summary

The report assesses the level of independence of the Ukrainian National Public Broadcasting Company (UA:PBC) against European standards.

The research shows, while the Ukrainian Law on Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) provides sufficient guarantees of the independence of the broadcaster, UA:PBC still faces numerous challenges because of a lack of political and public support.

For instance, despite clear provisions in the Law of Ukraine on PSB which guarantee its stable financing, the Ukrainian government used its powers to cut the budget of UA:PBC by 24% in 2017 and by 50% in 2018.

Conclusions

The lack of appropriate and stable financing is the biggest problem facing UA:PBC, preventing the full launch of PSB in Ukraine.

The legal roots of underfinancing lie in the Budget Code of Ukraine that the demands of the general state budget to change the basis of the financing of UA: PBC.

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