Media Law and the European Regulation
The European Community originally had no explicit competence for the area of media and entertainment. However, under the pression of a huge multimedia and internet development in the member states, the need of the realization of a general European Order for the media legal system started becoming a relevant issue. Therefore, in December 1997
published a document (Grünbuch zur Konvergenz von Telekommunikation, Medien und Informationstechnologien) on the first outlined framework regulations for the converging media sectors.
In Germany, the EC’s competence to regulate the media was strongly criticized, as the EC’s attitude towards the media, especially in the area of broadcasting, was seen as too “business-oriented”. The ECJ mediated between the positions by stating that the EC had the power to regulate cross-border media services, but that member states could restrict the freedom to provide services “for overriding reasons relating to the public interest”. Later, with the cultural article in Art. 151 ECT, the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity was also established as a main principle of European Law.
As secondary legislation „Richtlinie 89/552/EWG“, new version „97/36/EG“ and the „EG-E-Commerce-Richtlinie 2000/31/EG“ have subsequently been adopted.