To what degree should audio-visual policy be nationally rather than EU regulated? In answering this question, reflect on the legislation, the codes and the directives that surround this question.

Essay by NitsyUniversity, Bachelor's March 2003

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With Europe being a continent so diverse in culture and values (both economically and politically), it is imperative that the audio-visual policy is nationally regulated as this will then turn out products that will reflect each country's own needs. I shall be looking mainly at the 'Television Without Frontiers' Directive as well as the MEDIA programmes and other external aspects of the policy to see how, if at all, they benefit the member states as a regulatory body.

The Audio-Visual Policy developed by the EU had two main objectives: to ensure the implementation of a true European space for audio-visual services and to contribute to developing a strong, forward-looking programme industry that can compete on world markets and help European culture to flourish and generate jobs in Europe. Television plays a large cultural and social role and is the largest source of information and entertainment in Europe with 98% of homes owning at least one (Europa, 28/06/01).

As Commission President in 1985, Jacques Delors addressed this point in his first speech to the European Parliament:

'...the culture industry will tomorrow be one of the biggest industries...We have to build a powerful culture industry that will enable us to be in control of the medium and its content, maintaining our standards of civilization, and encouraging the creative peoples amongst us.' (Quote taken from Richard Rooke, Controlling the European Mass Media: An Overview of Regulation PowerPoint, 25/02/2003)

Indeed by 1993, the Treaty on European Union made an explicit reference to the audio-visual division, in stating the Community shall encourage co-operation between Member States and, if necessary, supplement their action in such fields as artistic and literary creation, including in the audio-visual sector. It also specifies that the Community shall take cultural aspects into account in its...