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Croatia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.7 Mass media

Following recommendations after the screening process for the Chapter on Information Society and Media, the government prepared the proposal for the new Law on Electronic Media in 2009 in order to bring Croatian media legislation fully into line with the acquis communautaire. The new Law on Electronic Media was adopted in December 2009 in order to respect the deadline set by the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The new Law on Electronic Media (2009, amended 2011 and in 2013) follows the main principles outlined in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive regarding the amount of Croatian and European audio-visual works as well as the amount of programmes produced by independent producers. It regulates commercial television and radio broadcasting and its provisions regarding content also apply to the public service broadcaster, HRT (Croatian Radio-Television), which is regulated by the Law on Croatian Radio-Television adopted in 2010 and amended in 2012. The adopted changes relate to the organisation (management structure and Programme council), functioning (programming and contents) and financing of the Croatian Radio Television.

The Law on Electronic Media also defines the basic criteria and procedures for awarding licenses. The Agency for Electronic Media (AEM) is managed by The Council for Electronic Media (VEM), an independent regulatory body that awards licences to radio and television broadcasters. Regulation of the new media and the Internet in particular has not been developed so far, although changes have been introduced in the last couple of years in regards to registration of portals and funding for them. However, this poses a problem for the functioning of portals and new media in general.

The Fund for the Promotion of Diversity and Pluralism of Electronic Media created by the new Law on Electronic Media obliges the HRT (Croatian Radio-Television) to contribute 3% of revenues generated from licence fees to the Fund. This support goes to the promotion of the production and broadcasting of electronic media content of public interest on local and regional levels, which is important for the right of citizens to public information, the rights of national minorities, promotion of cultural creativity, and development of education, science and art. The numerous discussions on media policy in Croatia have engendered a set of recommendations on the improvement of the legal structures regulating media. The government introduced amendments to the laws in order to revise the regulations, including the definition of electronic publications, while also enabling the non-profit media to compete for finance from the Fund. However, the new government disabled these amendments in 2016.

The Law on Media (2004, amended in 2011 and 2013) regulates the print media. The Law on Electronic Media and the Law on Media were modified and amended in July 2011 to help increase the visibility of media ownership. The changes to the Law on Electronic Media in July 2013 were related to eligibility of non-profit media for the funding from The Fund for the Promotion of Diversity and Pluralism of the Electronic Media.

Chapter published: 04-05-2017

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