Adopting a report by James Clappison (United Kingdom, EDG), the PACE Legal Affairs Committee unanimously agreed to recommend that the Committee of Ministers resumes work on the revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television and negotiations with the EU on this subject in order to create a truly pan-European framework for media freedom issues.
If need be, it could also consider drafting a new convention focusing on freedom of expression aspects of media regulation. In the meantime, it should draft guidelines on media freedom adapted to the changing media landscape.
In his report, Mr Clappison recalls that the 24 year-old Convention, the first multilateral treaty to ensure the unimpeded transmission of programmes across borders, originally intended to set minimum standards for programming, advertising and sponsorship has largely been overtaken by technological and societal changes. In EU countries it has been superseded by a series of evolving EU directives with the same aim. Plans for an update to the Convention were stopped in 2011 after objections from the European Commission that it alone had exclusive competence in this field.13 of the 33 Council of Europe states to have ratified the Convention are not EU members and consequently prevented from having an updated legal instrument, with a consequent risk of diverging standards.