As a result, says the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), it has overturned presidential objections that had put the amendments in jeopardy.
The EBU adds that it has supported the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) in arguing that the amendments bill was necessary to allow the GPB to work more efficiently and increase its independence both politically and financially. The new regulations mean that content-related contracts – for the acquisition, development, production or co-production of programme material – are now exempt from the normal public procurement rules.
GPB will also be able to receive additional revenue from commercial advertising and will be allowed to place commercials throughout its airtime, apart from in primetime and on holidays.
GPB was supported by the EBU’s Legal and Member Relations Departments. Radka Betcheva, the latter’s head, said: “We hope the adoption of these critical amends will help ease some of GPB’s current difficulties and support further reforms at the broadcaster.
“GPB is in the process of transforming itself and the new regulations will help it fufil its important role to society.”