AVMS Directive Transposition Progress Report May 2020 – Two countries agree on implementing legislation 08 June 20

EU member states need to transpose the new Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive by 19 September 2020.

Cullen International has just published two new benchmarks that track the progress in the transposition of the directive across 14 European countries.

Denmark and Germany are the first countries to have agreed on implementing legislation. The Danish parliament approved a bill, which has now been sent to the Prime Minister for publication. In Germany, the prime ministers of the Lander signed the Interstate Media Treaty. Now, the parliaments of all 16 Lander will have to adopt the new law (as a whole, without the possibility to amend it).

Other countries have also progressed: in the Netherlands the parliament has started to examine the draft, in Sweden the draft law was presented to Parliament and the Italian parliament has resumed discussions on the draft European Mandate Law 2019, which delegates to the government the powers to implement the directive by legislative decree.

In some countries transposition process has been delayed. For example, France put on hold the debate to focus public authorities' action on measures to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, although French government announced the law will be adopted by end of 2020. In Croatia, parliament activity is suspended until September 2020 because of general elections.

The report provides an overview of the most interesting proposals under discussion. Interestingly, some countries have anticipated the introduction of some provisions, not formally linked to the implementation of the directive but to Covid-19. For instance:

  • Poland extended the 1.5% levy (currently imposed on national broadcasters and distributors such as cable operators) to VOD service service providers (including non-national) to boost support to cinema production:
  • Belgium (Flanders) relaxed time limits for TV advertising (in line with the new AVMS Directive) from May 2020 to mitigate the impact of expected decreases in advertising revenues for TV channels.

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