The Hans-Bredow-Institut (lead contractor), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Central European University, Cullen International as well as Perspective Associates as a subcontractor on behalf of the European Commission carried out a study in order to develop indicators for the independence and effectiveness of regulatory bodies in the audiovisual sector (“Indicators for Independence and Efficient Functioning of Audiovisual Media Services Regulatory Bodies for the Purpose of Enforcing the Rules in the AVMS Directive” (SMART 2009/0001). The study was published by the EU Commission in 2011. However, it is still of relevance to the present day due to recent events concerning the restructuring of media outlets in several Member States.
Besides a regulatory theoretical framework, the study also contains a detailed legal description and analysis of responsible regulatory institutions in the field of audio-visual media services in 43 countries, an analysis of the actual execution of the legal guidelines for regulators in the respective countries, as well as the identification of key characteristics for “independent regulation institutions” in the sense of the EU guideline for audio-visual media services. Following the study, team members of the project compiled the central approaches and findings in a volume, which was published in January 2014.
Furthermore, we were able to conduct a follow-up survey in cooperation with the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA), in which the practical effects and consequences of this project were collected from the viewpoint of government agencies. We found out that the regulatory bodies acknowledged the findings of this survey and applied the ranking tool. More than half of the interviewees revealed that the findings of the study led to internal and formal external talks and debates.