PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE, CULTURE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Council agrees on a general approach on Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Liberty with regards to information, media content, internet, language, culture and protection of minors should be the basis of the digital world since it facilitates trade. This was stated by Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici during a press conference which was held after the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports (EYCS) Council as part of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Bonnici explained how this Directive forms an important part of the digital market, which has always featured as one of the priorities of the Maltese Presidency. This is because it assures that the content is one of high quality, and satisfies the needs of the audience and equal conditions for those who provide media services.

However, the Minister explained how abuses of these liberties will be avoided when these threaten security and public order. He said that We are very proud to have reached an agreement on audio-visual media services. This is a complex directive which touches upon very sensitive issues such as the internal market, fundamental rights and freedoms, cultural diversity and the protection of minors. But the marketplace and technology are developing rapidly. We have to ensure that the relevant rules keep pace with these changes.

Minister Bonnici also made reference to the conclusions which were adopted as part of the European Union Strategy with regards to international cultural relations. He explained how culture has an important diplomatic relation, due to its potential of uniting different cultures and its ability to remain in contact even with third states when traditional politics fails.

Source: Government of Malta