European values of quality and diversity on your screen

As part of its digital single market strategy, the European Commission has today published (25 May) a series of proposals to revise the Audio-visual Media Services Directive. The current Directive covers "linear services" (television) and the proposal extends its reach to non-linear services such as video on demand and online portals.

The EU digital strategy aims at ensuring that European societies, economies and industries make full use of the opportunities offered by digitisation. Another clear focus of the Commission is the protection of vulnerable people and minors in particular.

More specifically some of the measures proposed today aimed at promoting further European works in media services in order to boost cultural and creative industries and ensure quality and diversity in the content made available to viewers. In the UK, creative and cultural industries accounted for more than a million jobs and 4 per cent of GDP. British creative sectors are not only an integral part of Europe's economic fabric, but they are also an invaluable source of cultural and social strength.

The EU's democratic legislative procedure requires that whatever proposal the Commission makes will need to be approved by its College of Commissioners, and then reviewed, amended, and voted on by the European Parliament and national governments.

Labour MEPs will be able to thoroughly scrutinise the proposal published today by the Commission as well as future reforms proposed in the context of the Digital Single Market. They will examine if the measures proposed by the Commission are the best way to achieve the commonly agreed goals, while respecting Members States' competences, allowing enough flexibility for the industries to grow and prosper and offering quality and diversity of content to viewers.

While working on this file, we will be looking at ensuring that a fair and balanced compromise for all stakeholders is reached, a compromise that respects the need to promote and defend freedom of expression and cultural diversity while also ensuring a fair remuneration for creators. And we will do so by consulting extensively with the different stakeholders concerned.

We will act in the interest of British and European citizens to guarantee high levels of consumer protection, access to online services, and an inclusive, diverse and innovative digital society.

Julie Ward, Labour Europe spokesperson on Culture and member of the responsible committee says: 

"The European Digital Single Market initiative has the potential to transform Europe into a leader in digital innovation, and set a global standard for an inclusive and open internet. Labour MEPs have worked to achieve a European digital policy which not only recognises the market, but also its social aspects. Being able to lead on such important issues as how to shape our digital society and reap the economic benefits is one of the many reasons EU membership is so important for the UK and particularly important for the next generation of creators and audiences."

Find out more on the Commission proposals here