Media Advocacy Coalition critically assesses the draft law initiated by the ruling party "Georgian Dream", which contradicts the goals of the European integration process, does not respond to the current challenges facing the Public Broadcaster, continues the process of media capture of the Public Broadcaster by the authorities, and ensures the further increase of the power of and extends the influence of Vasil Maglaferidze, the chairman of the board affiliated with "Georgian Dream".
The members of the ruling party "Georgian Dream" have initiated a bill that provides for the following changes in the "Broadcasting" law of Georgia: the number of members of the board of trustees increases from 9 to 11; The Communications Commission, media regulatory authority, is empowered to submit two additional candidates to the Parliament; The ban on being elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for more than one term is prohibited; Also, the term of office of the chairman and deputy of the board of trustees is increased from three years to six years, the employee of the Public Broadcaster is allowed to simultaneously hold a position/perform paid work at the Adjara television and radio of the Public Broadcaster, etc.
Unfortunately, the current draft law initiated by "Georgian Dream" contradicts the needs of the public broadcaster. Instead of bringing the legislation in line with the standards of the European Union, which the Media Advocacy Coalition and the media sector demanded before, the government continues the process of damaging the idea of the public broadcaster and tries to adapt the legislation to a person close to Bidzina Ivanishvili - the chairman of the board of trustees, Vasil Maglaferidze.
The independence of public broadcasters is crucial for ensuring fair coverage of current processes in the country and the democratic functioning of society.
Media Advocacy Coalition calls on the ruling party to seize the process of media capture of the Public Broadcaster and withdraw the draft law that harms the independence of the broadcaster. Considering the recommendations of the experts of the Council of Europe and the alternative bill prepared by the Media Advocacy Coalition, immediate steps should be taken to bring the Georgian Law on Broadcasting into compliance with European legislation.