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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM (97) 2004 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM (98) 703 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM (1999) 511 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM (2000) 711 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM (2001) 700 final - SEC (2001) 1754 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM (2002) 700 final - SEC (2002) 1410 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Monitoring Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1209 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission expressed the view that fuller information was required on the legislative situation in the audiovisual sector in Slovakia. However, provided that the appropriate legislative measures were pursued with sufficient urgency and accompanied by the requisite structural adjustment of the industry, Slovakia should be able to meet EC requirements in the audiovisual sector in the medium term.

The November 1998 Report confirmed that Slovakia needed to make further efforts to align its legislation with the acquis.

The October 1999 Report noted that no progress had been made in this sector and that Slovakia's legislation was still not in conformity with the acquis.

The November 2000 Report noted that Slovakia had made substantial progress in aligning its legislation to the Community acquis.

The November 2001 Report noted that significant progress had been made in the audiovisual and cultural fields.

The October 2002 Report recorded steady progress by Slovakia in the audiovisual and cultural fields.

The November 2003 Report confirms that Slovakia has met the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations on cultural and audiovisual policy and will be in a position to implement the acquis on accession.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.


In the context of the internal market, the audiovisual acquis is intended to ensure the provision and free movement of audiovisual services within the EU as well as the promotion of the European programme industry. The acquis is contained in the " Television without frontiers " Directive, which is applicable to all broadcasters regardless of modes of transmission (terrestrial, satellite, cable) or their private or public, and lays down basic rules concerning transfrontier broadcasting. The main points are:

  • to ensure the free movement of television broadcasts throughout Member States;
  • to promote the production and distribution of European audiovisual products (by laying down a minimum proportion of broadcasting time for European products and those by independent producers);
  • to set basic standards for television advertising;
  • to provide for the protection of minors and allow the right of reply.

The European Association Agreement provides for cooperation in the promotion and modernisation of the audiovisual industry, and the harmonisation of regulatory aspects of audiovisual policy.

The "Television without frontiers" Directive is one of the measures to be adopted by the CEECs under Stage I of the White Paper on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the internal market of the Union (1995).


The legal framework for the audiovisual sector is determined by the 1991 Slovak Television Law, and the 1991 Radio and Television Broadcasting Law. The first law dismantles the State's monopoly and prescribes the basic rules, rights and regulations for broadcasting and broadcasters, whilst the latter sets up a Radio and Television Broadcasting Council, which issues licences to broadcasters. An amendment recommending a minimum percentage of European Union and Slovak audiovisual programmes entered into force in May 1998.

The adoption of a new Broadcasting Act in 2000 has allowed Slovakia to align to the Community acquis. Through an amendment introduced in April 2001, Slovakia brought its legislation into line with the provisions of the Television without frontiers Directive.

An amendment to the Broadcasting Act entered into force in May 2002. It aims to solve a procedural problem that impeded the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council from imposing sanctions in the case of appeals. As regards administrative capacity, the staff of the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council was strengthened in 2002. The Council's 2002 budget was also increased.

The protocol amending the Council of Europe Convention on Transfrontier Television was ratified in October 2000. The administrative capacity relating to the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council and to the cultural sphere must be strengthened.

Slovakia has taken steps to participate in the Community programmes Media Plus and Media Training as from 2003.

In 2003 Slovakia's legislation was consistent with the Community acquis in the audiovisual sector.

In the field of culture, the Association Council decision allowing Slovakia to participate fully in the " Culture 2000 " programme as from 2001 was adopted in October 2001. The administrative resources made available for programme management will have to be reinforced. During the period 2001-2002, the Slovak Republic has gradually strengthened its administrative capacity in this area. In 2003 Slovakia's legislation in the cultural field met the requirements arising from the accession negotiations.

Last updated: 15.01.2004