In a statement, it says that funding for public service media (PSM) in Georgia is currently guaranteed as a fixed percentage of the GDP. However there is now a legal initiative to change the funding model and remove the funding guarantee which could expose GPB to greater political influence and interference.
It adds that making GPB dependent on yearly decisions taken by the state would jeopardise its stability and remove safeguards against the use of funding decisions as a means to exert undue political interference. It would also compromise efforts to align Georgian legislation with European standards that obligate the state to ensure sustainable PSM funding.
Commenting on the development, EBU DG Noel Curran said: “While it is clearly up to each country to choose appropriate safeguards for PSM’s independence, it would go against European standards to remove existing safeguards without equivalent guarantees.”
The EBU concluded its statement by saying that it has been providing strategic, legal and professional assistance to GPB to support their reforms, and changing the funding mechanism at this critical junction could have a detrimental effect, not only on the reforms, but on their ability to fulfil their remit to society.