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European Activities

Our European activities in relation to content fall within Ofcom’s strategic priority to provide appropriate assurances to audiences on standards of content services.

Ofcom’s priorities for 2015-2016, as set out in its Annual Plan, will be to maintain audience confidence in broadcast content, including promoting audience safety and assurance in traditional and online environments and contributing to the government's priorities in this area. This includes work on child protection online, and contributing to a common media standards framework.

Our aim is to contribute constructively to the development of European legislation that impacts on our duties and responsibilities and affects UK citizens and consumers, e.g. the implementation of the Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive and review thereof. We do so by providing technical advice to the UK Government (DCMS) and working closely with the European Commission and other EU national regulators to ensure a consistent application of the EU regulatory framework. Since 2014, we have been making this contribution in part through our active participation in the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), which was set up by the Commission to provide practical advice on the application of the AVMS Directive and which is currently preparing reports on the material and geographical scope of the Directive, on the independence of regulators and on the protection of minors.

We also aim to engage directly with relevant European Commission initiatives, including non-legislative ones.

We have frequently contributed to the European debates on audiovisual media convergence. Most recently, we responded in detail to the European Commission’s consultation on a media framework for the 21st century (on the future of the AVMS Directive). Prior to that, we also submitted our response to the EC Green Paper “Preparing for a fully converged audiovisual world: growth, creation and values”. And we have commented on the promotion of European works and various aspects of advertising regulation, including the proposed Review of the Interpretative Communication on TV advertising. Furthermore we have coordinated input to a number of OECD working groups, including on Connected TV, Competition in Broadcasting and the Development and Diffusion of Digital Content.

Additionally, we follow the development of legislative and non-legislative initiatives that may impact on our duties around Online Copyright Infringement (OCI), and we monitor and contribute as appropriate to discussions around the online protection of minors, data protection and privacy, e-commerce, network and information security and cloud computing.

Related item: TV Information for Industry