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EBU criticizes “dangerous initiative” to drop TV licence fee in Romania -
EBU criticizes “dangerous initiative” to drop TV licence fee in Romania
December 6th, 2010 - 19:04 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) today urged Romanian parliamentarians to withdraw or resist a “dangerous” proposal to abolish the country’s TV licence fee. In a letter to members of both houses of Romania’s Parliament, EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said it was quite evident that proposals from the country’s opposition Social Democratic Party and Conservative Party for abolition of the fee – at less than €1 per month one of the lowest in Europe – would make it impossible for TVR to carry out its role.
“Economic crisis must not be used to undermine TVR’s ability to fulfil its missions, according to European standards, to provide critical political and economic coverage, pluralistic information, and programmes that address issues of relevance to all citizens in a diverse society,” Ms Deltenre wrote. “Indeed, public service media are more important than ever when times are hard.”
Ms Deltenre recalled repeated statements by the European institutions that sustainably-funded public service broadcasters are vital to European societies and democracy. She also referred to a report adopted by the European Parliament on 25 November which reminded Member States of their commitment to European standards and of the need for public service media to have proportionate and stable funding. “In this context I do trust that, as responsible Parliamentarians, you will either withdraw or resist this dangerous initiative,” she said.