Romanian Government passed through vote the Emergency Ordinance modifying the Romanian Audiovisual Law, but the ordinance text wasn’t yet published in the Official Monitor of Romania.
According to Paginademedia.ro, The voted ordinance includes changes compared to the initial version. Those modification demand CNA members to have at least 5 years of activity in this domain and not to be relatives with Romanian president, presidents of two Parliament chambers or Executive’s members. The revised version also removed the possibility for CNA members to be released from their function if their activity report is rejected by Parliament. Also, TVs can broadcast at least 3 isolated ads during sport competitions .
Rebate remains illegal, a stipulation contested by Romanian advertising associations and industry.
Romanian associations stand up again
In this context, Romanian Advertising Agencies Association and Romanian Chapter of IAA expressed their disappointment on Government’s decision to approve the ordinance.
We are bewildered by the fact that the Emergency Ordinance passed in a non-transparent manner, during Government’s meeting on Tuesday
According to an UAPR point of view, despite previous objections related to adopting the modification and the openess UAPR showed in dialogue and getting involved in consultation on modifying this law, discussions weren’t initiated with any of the relevant parties, with Government ignoring the interest of the involved parties.
UAPS considers the law as being unconstitutional and creating a dangerous precedent for business community, as a law was changed over night, with no discussions, debates or previous announcement
IAA Romania demands Government, at its turn and together with UAPR, to withdraw the Emergency Ordinance, appreciating the decision made by Romanian Government to modify, radically and with major economical effects for advertising industry, the Audiovisual Law makes seriously worried the business environment, that was expecting predictability and stability from legislative point of view.
IAA and UAPR “repeatedly demanded to Romanian Government to organize transparent debates with all interested parties and with the civil society related to a law that, in the last instance, also has effects over the freedom of speech and over the right to image. Audiovisual needs an attentive approach especially in a critical and sensitive period in Romania, namely the electoral campaign”, the joint press release says.
“We want to expressly mention that the marketing, media and communication industry includes, apart from audiovisual, other communication channels such as press, online and outdoor. From here, we can see a biased character, anti-competitional even, of the ordinance”, the same document adds
EACA reaffirms its objections to the ordinance, in a new open letter to Romanian Government
EACA mentions that, according to official information on Romanian Government website, the ordinance was discussed and approved on November 27. The association expresses its disappointment on Romanian Executive’s decision to pass the ordinance to amend an organic law that broadly reflects audiovisual laws in Western Europe and United States.
“Your Ordinance not only puts at risk an entire industry, many of which are Romanian-owned and managed companies, but also thousands of middle class Romanian workers who represent a newly trained skilled labor force. We urge you to suspend publication of the measure in the Monitorul Official immediately and to revisit the Ordinance only after it has met the constitutional and procedural path required by Romanian and European law.”, EACA letter says.
EACA observes the fact that one of the most important legislative amendments relates to the regulation of the activities relating to the purchasing of television advertising space, stipulating that advertising agencies cannot acquire TV advertising space unless they have been expressly mandated by their clients (the final beneficiaries) in this respect. Moreover, advertising agencies will have to confirm in advance with broadcasting companies the prices for the acquisition of TV advertising spaces, prior to submitting them to their clients. Any contract executed in breach thereof will be considered null and void.
“The proposed amendments place broadcasters in a more favorable position which will distort the normal competition environment on the advertising market which will be significantly affected. In addition to this, as further detailed below, the Ordinance does not comply with the transparency and procedural requirements provided by the law for the adoption of emergency ordinances”, the letter signed by Dominic Lyle mentions.
The letter sent to Romanian and European authorities mentions a series of points that the Ordinance failed to take in consideration. The entire letter can be consulted here.
We urge you to put an immediate freeze on this Ordinance and request that your government engages with domestic governmental agencies, business interests and European officials for a proper legislative process
General Manager EACA
EACA’s letter was sent to Romanian Government, Romanian Economy, Commerce and Business Environment Ministry, Romanian Authority for Communications Management and Regulations, Romanian Justice Ministry, Romanian Audiovisual Council, Competition’s Council and also to Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission
Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights & Citizenship, to Joaquin Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission Commissioner for Competition