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State Aid Rules and the Funding of Public Service Broadcasting

Clarhed, Therese (2006)
Department of Law
Abstract
The broadcasting sector is rapidly developing and has undergone major changes during the last decades when numerous private broadcasters have entered the market following the abolishment of state monopolies. The sector has always been subject to state regulation and in order to maintain a certain quality and availability of broadcasting, the national states grant financial support to broadcasters entrusted with so called public service obligations. In Europe, regulation in this area is not only a matter for national policy, but it also comes within the ambit of European Community law. State funding of public service broadcasting has the potential of distorting competition in various ways and commercial broadcasters have sought to curb the... (More)
The broadcasting sector is rapidly developing and has undergone major changes during the last decades when numerous private broadcasters have entered the market following the abolishment of state monopolies. The sector has always been subject to state regulation and in order to maintain a certain quality and availability of broadcasting, the national states grant financial support to broadcasters entrusted with so called public service obligations. In Europe, regulation in this area is not only a matter for national policy, but it also comes within the ambit of European Community law. State funding of public service broadcasting has the potential of distorting competition in various ways and commercial broadcasters have sought to curb the power of public service broadcasters by challenging state support, using European Community competition rules on state aid. This paper shows that there are ways in which the EU Member States can grant funding to public service broadcasters without contravening the EC Treaty rules. Apart from the opportunity of structuring their funding systems in a way that does not infringe the rules, the EC Treaty provides the Member States with derogation possibilities from the state aid prohibition contained therein. When assessing state aid under the derogation provisions of the EC Treaty, the Community institutions have been sensitive to Member State concerns. Some funding measures can even completely escape the application of the state aid rules, on the condition that the amount of financing does not exceed compensation for an extra cost incurred by public service obligations. However, the Member States have given up some autonomy when signing the EC Treaty and thus, Community competition law may affect the way in which state funding is granted and which kind of programming it will support. When deciding on the legality of state aid measures, the Community institutions must balance the interests of the Member States, the commercial broadcasters and the functioning of the common market. This is not an easy task and this paper shows that further clarification is needed in the area. (Less)
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author
Clarhed, Therese
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EG-rätt
language
English
id
1556768
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:20
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:20
@misc{1556768,
  abstract     = {The broadcasting sector is rapidly developing and has undergone major changes during the last decades when numerous private broadcasters have entered the market following the abolishment of state monopolies. The sector has always been subject to state regulation and in order to maintain a certain quality and availability of broadcasting, the national states grant financial support to broadcasters entrusted with so called public service obligations. In Europe, regulation in this area is not only a matter for national policy, but it also comes within the ambit of European Community law. State funding of public service broadcasting has the potential of distorting competition in various ways and commercial broadcasters have sought to curb the power of public service broadcasters by challenging state support, using European Community competition rules on state aid. This paper shows that there are ways in which the EU Member States can grant funding to public service broadcasters without contravening the EC Treaty rules. Apart from the opportunity of structuring their funding systems in a way that does not infringe the rules, the EC Treaty provides the Member States with derogation possibilities from the state aid prohibition contained therein. When assessing state aid under the derogation provisions of the EC Treaty, the Community institutions have been sensitive to Member State concerns. Some funding measures can even completely escape the application of the state aid rules, on the condition that the amount of financing does not exceed compensation for an extra cost incurred by public service obligations. However, the Member States have given up some autonomy when signing the EC Treaty and thus, Community competition law may affect the way in which state funding is granted and which kind of programming it will support. When deciding on the legality of state aid measures, the Community institutions must balance the interests of the Member States, the commercial broadcasters and the functioning of the common market. This is not an easy task and this paper shows that further clarification is needed in the area.},
  author       = {Clarhed, Therese},
  keyword      = {EG-rätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {State Aid Rules and the Funding of Public Service Broadcasting},
  year         = {2006},
}