Csaba Sógor: The EU should abolish area based restrictions for broadcasting services

26.05.2016 | European Union
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Csaba Sógor: The EU should abolish area based restrictions for broadcasting services

Limiting broadcasts to country boarders is very outdated – stated Csaba Sógor in the European Parliament on Wednesday, during the debate on the digital single market strategy. According to the RMDSZ MEP, despite the business interests, in today's world of possibilities offered by new  technologies it is unacceptable that some citizens can’t view sporting events in the language of their choice, even if they have a subscription for the broadcast provider.

The European Commission’s initiative on the digital single market, presented a year ago, includes actions for 16 different areas. Its objective is to eliminate national obstacles that internet undertakings face. The EU wants to create a market where people can buy online from abroad, and where businesses can sell their products and services across countries, no matter where they are located. The digital single market would ensure that European citizens are able to make phone calls across Europe without paying roaming charges or that they can access services, music, movies and sporting events regardless of borders. The Commission estimates that the elimination of these obstacles would increase the European GDP by an additional 415 billion Euros. 

Csaba Sógor pointed out the importance of one of these 16 actions namely the elimination of area based content restrictions. In his opinion it is very outdated that certain programmes can only be broadcasted within the borders of a member state. “It is essential that the countries in the EU should form a common market in the field of electronic services, the younger generation doesn’t even grasp how we can talk about a single market without it" – argued the MEP. In his opinion area based content restrictions have contributed significantly to consumer dissatisfaction and to the fragmentation of the internal market, and it is therefore necessary to look for further measures that would make broadcasting services available regardless of country borders.