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Co-Rapporteurs’ conflicts of interest undermine audiovisual directive vote

18/05/2017

Co-Rapporteurs’ conflicts of interest undermine audiovisual directive vote

Italian MEP Curzio Maltese has today expressed disappointment over the result of the vote on the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) in the Strasbourg plenary, which he says would have serious ramification for the protection of minors, the independence of regulatory authority (ERGA) and the liberalisation of product placement.

 Maltese - who is GUE/NGL’s shadow rapporteur on this file and is the group’s coordinator on the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) - said the vote renewed calls for scrutinising the issue of conflicts of interest over the two Co-Rapporteurs.

Following the vote, GUE/NGL - together with ALDE, ECR and EFDD political groups - have requested to vote in future plenary the mandate of the two rapporteurs, Petra Kammerevert (S&D) and Sabine Verheyen (PPE), with Maltese adding:

"The mandate has been accepted due to the iron pact between the S&D and EPP. But today’s vote confirms the negative opinion of 266 MEPs on the non-transparent conduct of the two rapporteurs."

"Such an important topic can´t be dealt with in an approximate manner - and with the suspicion of a potential conflict of interest.”

“For this reason I have sent a letter to the President of the Parliament, Antonio Tajani, informing him that Ms Kammerevert and Ms Verheyen are in the ambiguous position of being Co-Rapporteurs on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive file whilst serving as members of WDR – Rundfunkrat, the German body that oversees public broadcasters. I hope that Mr Tajani will take all the necessary action over this issue," concluded.

The AVMSD covers online platforms as well as new rules on advertising. It also introduces a minimum 30% quota on European content across video-on-demand platforms.

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