Moldova: Draft new Broadcasting Code to be presented to the Plenum of the Parliament

The parliamentary commission for mass media examined on Wednesday, June 29, the report on the draft new Broadcasting Code, which is to be presented to the plenum of the Parliament in order to be voted in the first reading. The document was presented by Liberal Party’s MP Lilian Carp, who once again reviewed the main provisions of the draft law and answered the questions of attendees – members of the parliamentary commission for mass media, other MPs, civil society activists, members of the Broadcasting Coordinating Council, media experts, journalists.

According to the rapporteur, the new code aims to adapt domestic broadcasting to European standards on freedom of expression and on people’s access to broadcast media services. Lilian Carp mentioned that some provisions of the current draft will have to be reviewed, because the document was developed back in 2010.

The meeting of the commission was also attended by Minister of Education Corina Fusu, who had registered this legislative initiative when she was a Liberal Party’s MP. “I am proud of being one of the authors of this draft code, with the support of colleagues from civil society”, the ex-MP said. She reminded that “the draft was developed by highly qualified national experts, from APEL [Association of Electronic Press] and IJC [Independent Journalism Center]. It had been debated countless times per chapters at the time when I was the chairman of the parliamentary commission, and it was examined by the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Broadcasting Union”.

At the same time, Corina Fusu expressed her hope that the Parliament will manage to vote this draft law in the current session. In her opinion, there are real chances that it might be adopted, because “we are strongly pressed by the EU, with which we have signed an Association Agreement; there is an Action Plan, and the Government on a monthly basis reports to the European Commission about the overdue actions that we managed to realize.” Corina Fusu claims that the adoption of a new Broadcasting Code is an overdue action that must be realized by the end of July, because the future of Moldova, relations with the World Bank and the IMF, etc. depend on it.

Ion Bunduch, Executive Director of APEL and one of the authors of the draft law, mentioned that when the new code was being developed, they tried to clearly define the notions of own product, domestic product and European works. “We’d like to believe that if these definitions and sentences from the draft are accepted, there are good chances for the broadcasting space to improve, because today we have a deformed space”.

According to media law expert Eugeniu Ribca, a new Broadcasting Code is also necessary “for Moldova to accede to the new terminology in the field, which has been used in European countries for years”. The expert believes that advertising is a well-regulated area at the European level. “We need this chapter in order to reach those European standards that had been well-systematized in European countries and are being adopted through this chapter”, he said.

Participants in the meeting explained the need in the provisions introduced into the draft new code, and they also discussed about some aspects that need to be improved. A member of the parliamentary commission for mass media, Liberal Democratic Party’s MP Maria Ciobanu, wondered if the new code will solve the problem of monopoly on the media market. Democratic Party’s MP Dumitru Diacov expressed his conviction with the fact that colleagues from his party’s parliamentary group will support the draft in the first reading. Democratic Party’s MP Sergiu Sarbu agreed, but he also added that “there will definitely be amendments for the second reading, because many elements are to be updated”.

Attendees agreed that the draft new Broadcasting Code should be debated and adopted in the first reading at the nearest plenary meeting, and then, for the second reading, draft law no.53 should be supplemented with amendments that would come from MPs in the plenum of the Parliament.

The article was originally published by, web site of the the Independent Journalism Center (Chisinau).