Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Public discussion on a bill for radio and television

Ralitsa Kovacheva, August 1, 2010

The Working Group, charged with drafting the new law on radio and television has organised a public discussion on its ideas about the bill. From the outset, however, the chairman of the Group Gheorghi Lozanov said the Group members would deliberately not expose their positions, firstly because their work is still under way and, secondly, in order not to restrict the debate in any way. However, there were no discussions. For several reasons.

According to the rules, everyone who wished to make a statement had to register in advance and had 5 minutes to do that, without various opinions being subject of discussions and comments. The statements were very general and theoretical, given the fact that a lot of journalism professors and experts were involved. The most united and concrete position was that of the representatives of the Association of Bulgarian Broadcasters (ABBRO). They have put an emphasis on the full liberalisation of trade matters of television stations. This position has fully been supported by the New Bulgarian Media group.

Journalists were in their role of “covering” the discussion and had neither the right for questions, nor the wish to speak. The draft of the new law should be ready in November.