Volume 10 (2004) / Issue 3
Public service broadcasting is still widely supported in the European Union, despite technological developments which are now offering a challenge to many of the traditional justifications offered for the support of the concept. This article aims to demonstrate that public service broadcasting, along with associated measures designed to support high standards of quality in other broadcasting services, are still very important in the modern context due to the media's pivotal role in society. An analysis of the impact of 'European public law' which, in this context, is primarily restricted to the law on the freedom to provide services and the associated effects of the 'Television Without Frontiers' Directive and the law relating to state aids, aims to highlight the impact which European Public Law has had on media regulation. Some of the more recent developments, such as the European Court of Justice's decision in Ferring and Altmark, along with the Commission's corresponding change in attitude to state funding of public service broadcasting, are welcomed. The Court's more recent decisions taken under the freedom to provide services are questioned more closely, as it appears that these measures can be said to have had a more significant impact upon the traditions of media regulation within Member State constitutions.
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