According to the EBU, it is hoped that the adoption of the amendments will ease some of GPB’s current difficulties and be a crucial support for further reforms at the broadcaster.
Commenting on the meeting, Radka Betcheva, head of members relations, Eastern Europe, at the EBU, said: “We discussed three major proposals in the draft amendments with MPs. The proposed amendments are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of public service media in Georgia. GPB is still in a process of transformation and it is of crucial importance that the legal framework creates the necessary legal environment for it to flourish.
“GPB has a broad remit to serve all segments and groups in society and the law should ensure appropriate provisions for programme production and acquisition. For this, it is necessary to exempt content-related contracts (ie contracts for the acquisition, development, production or co-production of programme material) from the normal public procurement rules, without prejudice to necessary accountablity measures.
“We also discussed best practice in Europe regarding advertising and the institutional independence of public broadcasting regarding treatment of financial results. It seems that there is a good understanding among MPs about the role of public service media in society and the need to support this important institution for democracy.
“We hope that the proposed amendments will be adopted.”
The EBU concludes by saying that its legal department has provided comments to the GPB proposal for changes to the Broadcasting Law. The proposed amendments will be discussed further in the parliamentary committee on legal and economic issues before bringing them for discussion in the plenary.