With the approach of the vote at first reading on the revised Television Without Frontiers (TVWF) Directive, telecom operators, publishers and advertisers are calling for the country of origin' principle to be maintained in its present state. Members of the EP are set to vote on 13 December in Strasbourg. According to a coalition of some 60 private sector providers of audiovisual media services, the results of the Audiovisual Council of 13 November and the report by Ruth Hieronymi (EPP, Germany), "would give member states the possibility to establish derogations from the country of origin' principle established in the original text of the directive". To put it plainly, they denounce the breach of the principle of free movement of programmes. "Such a derogation would run counter to the internal market concept and must be rejected to safeguard the future viability of media services in Europe," declared Angela Mills-Wade, Executive Director of the European Publishers Council. Without disputing the country of origin' principle, the European Commission has proposed the application of stricter rules in the areas coordinated by the directive and a procedure under its supervision.

In a joint declaration, the industry puts five demands to European decision-makers: 1. to ensure that the member states do not obtain new powers to limit the services of providers established in another member state; 2. to reject all amendments concerning jurisdiction; 3. to leave intact the proposal's original wording on...

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