Georgia: EBU backs GPB’s Broadcasting Law amendment proposal

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 635 views

GPB, the Georgian national broadcaster will be undergoing amendments and reforms in the near future. The European Broadcasting Union’s team has met up with the Georgian Parliamentary Committee on Legal Issues in order to discuss GPB’s Broadcasting Law’s amendement proposal.

Ms. Radka Betcheva (Head of EBU Member Relations- Eastern Europe) had a meeting with Georgian MP  Mr. George Khatidze (Foreign Relations Committee on Legal Issues) and Ms. Tinatin Berdzenishvili (Deputy Director General, GPB) in order to discuss the forthcoming reforms and amendments the Georgian national broadcaster is set to undergo.

EBU officials also discussed the best practices in advertising, production and procurement procedures as showcased by EBU Members in 56 different countries. Hopefully the implementation of the amendments will ease some of the Georgian broadcaster’s current difficulties and will play a crucial role during the forthcoming reforms at GPB.

Ms. Radka Betcheva says:

We discussed three major proposals in the draft amendments with MPs. The proposed amendments are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of public service media in Georgia. GPB is still in a process of transformation and it is of crucial importance that the legal framework creates the necessary legal environment for it to flourish.

GPB has a broad remit to serve all segments and groups in society and the law should ensure appropriate provisions for programme production and acquisition. For this, it is necessary to exempt content-related contracts (ie contracts for the acquisition, development, production or co-production of programme material) from the normal public procurement rules, without prejudice to necessary accountability measures.

We also discussed best practice in Europe regarding advertising and the institutional independence of public broadcasting regarding treatment of financial results. It seems that there is a good understanding among MPs about the role of public service media in society and the need to support this important institution for democracy.

We hope that the proposed amendments will be adopted.

The EBU Legal Department has provided comments to the GPB proposal for changes to the Broadcasting Law. The proposed amendments will be discussed further in the parliamentary committee on legal and economic issues before bringing them for discussion in the plenary.

Georgia in Eurovision

Georgia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 with Sopho Khalvashi and is yet to win the event. The country’s best placing in the competition is a 9th place, achieved in 2010 and 2011.

Georgia has partaken in the competition 9 times since its debut in 2007 and will be participating at the forthcoming 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. 2018 will mark Georgia’s 10th Eurovision participation, the country has participated in every contest since it joined the Eurovision family with the exception of 2009 when it withdrew from the competition.

GPB will be organizing the forthcoming 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in the majestic capital city of Tblisi on Sunday 26 November.