The 70th General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) opened this morning in Malta. The conference provides a unique forum for debate and discussion among the EBU Community.
Delegates at the two-day Assembly were officially welcomed to the conference by the Maltese Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, Dr Emmanuel Mallia, who stressed the importance of public service media (PSM) as a pillar of democratic society.
He said that it is priority of the Maltese government to support a “balanced and professional” national broadcaster, adding that his government looked forward to discussing a renewed national broadcasting policy with the EBU.
EBU Members currently gathered in Malta for the 70th EBU General Assembly today unanimously supported a Declaration expressing their grave concern with the continued “black screens” and silence of Greece’s public broadcaster.
The text reads:
After the Greek Government took ERT off air on 11 June, the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, ordered the return to air of public service broadcasting as soon as possible.
The EBU membership welcomes the court’s interim ruling, which reaffirms the pivotal role of public service media in democratic society. Yet the Greek Government still has not succeeded in restoring services, and ERT channels remain black and silent.
The Greek Government has announced it will establish a new organization to replace ERT, in line with the highest European standards. However, to do this successfully, and based on an open democratic debate, will take time.
The EBU unanimously calls for urgent action to immediately set up interim services and re-establish public service programming, making use of existing facilities and staff.
The EBU offers its expertise to the Greek Government and to Mr Pantelis Kapsis, the new deputy minister in charge of public service broadcasting, in reaching short- and long-term solutions to provide independent, sustainable public service media that contribute to pluralism, diversity and inclusivity in Greece, in accordance with the Public Service Media Values of our Union.