The Parliamentary Assembly deeply regrets the discontinuation, following the intervention of the European Commission, of work upon the vital revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ETS No. 132).
The Assembly wishes to remind the Committee of Ministers that, in this instance, it is the geographically much greater, the Council of Europe, that includes the lesser, the European Union. Non-European Union Member States have demonstrated a clear wish to adhere to the fundamental Transfrontier Television Convention even though they are not, and may not ever be, bound by the narrower European Union Directive.
While it remains desirable that the European Union Directive remains in harmony with the broader Council of Europe Convention, the Assembly has to reject out of hand the claim, made by European Union Commissioner Ms Kroes, to the effect that “The European Union has exclusive competence to enter into International agreements in the field covered by the European Convention on Transfrontier Television” (Reply from the Committee of Ministers to the Written Question No 591, Doc. 12542).
Patently, the European Union has no competence over matters relating to non-European Union Member States of the Council of Europe that are, nevertheless, signatories to the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television.
The Assembly therefore calls upon the Committee of Ministers to take into account that while European Union input will, by invitation and on a consultative basis only, be most welcome, work upon the revision of the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television must proceed without further delay or interference from the European Commission in the interests of the wider Europe not represented by the European Union.