In a statement, it says that despite the Law on Public Television and Broadcasting of Ukraine setting out a clear budget for public service media (PSM), this year UA:PBC received only around half of that amount.
Parliament has now adopted a draft law on the state budget which will reduce UA:PBC’s annual budget to UAH1 billion UAH (just over €30 million) next year, which equates to just 57% of the annual budget defined in state law.
The broadcaster’s DG Zurabi Alasaniia believes this will signal the end of PSM in Ukraine. “We are very surprised at such proposals since we are barely surviving the current year. By doing this they violate all laws and lead us to death. It is not an exaggeration. It is impossible to exist this way.”
The EBU notes that UA:PBC already has a deficit of UAH2220 million following the reduction in its income in 2018. As a result, the state-owned Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Television Company of Ukraine recently terminated the broadcaster’s analogue distribution across the country.
It also says that a recent conference, held in Kyiv, to address the crisis concluded that the current model of financing is ineffective as UA:PBC is unable to fulfil its obligations to society and to democracy.
The EBU concludes by again calling on the Ukrainian Government to ensure appropriate, fair and independent funding for UA:PBC in line with the Ukrainian Law and European standards.
The broadcaster is now having to consider different sources of financing, including taking a loan.