UPDATE: Local radio and TV stations, obliged to play Romanian music 40 percent of their air time

Newsroom 23/11/2010 | 19:00

A legislative proposal stating that Romanian radio stations should play works from local music artists has tacitly passed the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, reports Mediafax newswire. The term for debate and approval had been set for November 3 and since it was overcome, the initiative was considered valid and passed.

The project stipulates that broadcasters found in the Romanian jurisdiction have to dedicate 40 percent of air time to local music, excepting the time dedicated to information, sports events, advertisement, teleshopping and teletext programs. This initiative will apply in the prime-time interval, 18.00 – 22.00 for television channels, and 6.00 – 14.00 for radio stations, continues the newswire.

The project was initiated by MPs Raluca Turcan, Brandusa Novac (PDL – Liberal Democratic Party), Victor Socaciu, Madalin Voicu (PSD – Social Democratic Party) and Cristian Topescu (PNL – National Liberal Party).

A similar legislation can also be found in France, where, since 1994, local broadcasters are required to play 40 percent of their songs in French, during prime time hours.


UPDATE: The director of the Romanian Audiovisual Communications Association (ARCA), George Chirita, has issued an official statement, declaring that the bill violates aspects of the law, both European and Romanian, on numerous levels.

First of all, as Chirita underline, this project contradicts directly the EU Treaty (articles 18 and 40 paragraph 2), which forbids any sort of discrimination by nationality. Chirita therefore exemplifies a similar article in the law of the audiovisual prior to Romania’s EU membership, which referred to a mandatory 30 percent Romanian works in TV channels’ air time, which had to be eliminated in order to align to European legislation.

What’s more, as Chirita continues, the bill affects the principle of editorial independence, consecrated by the law of the audiovisual under article 6. The bill thus obliges television channels that do no include music in their programs now do as such. Therefore, the Romanian Senate is asked not to pass this bill, which might not only cause difficulties for Romanian TV channels and radio stations, but to Romania, as well, in relation to the EU.


Corina Dumitrescu

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