The underfunding of the Ukrainian Public Broadcaster is a matter of great concern of the European institutions - Національна рада України з питань телебачення і радіомовлення

The underfunding of the Ukrainian Public Broadcaster is a matter of great concern of the European institutions

The discussions of issues raised by the agenda of the 13th Meeting of the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) of the Council of Europe being held in Strasbourg from 5 to 8 December have been followed by a great concern related to the underfunding of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (NPBCU), since this places the Ukrainian reform in risk and substantially degrades the all-European landscape of public service broadcasting, – Mrs Olha Herasymiuk, the Representative of Ukraine in the CDMSI, informs.

Today, on 7 December 2017, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is expected to consider the Draft Law “On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2018”. The draft Budget suggests financing in the amount of UAH 990 mln. for the needs of the NPBCU. However, this does not comply with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine “On Public Service Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine”. Paragraph 4 of Article 14 of this Law provides for financing of the Public Joint-Stock Company “National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine” in the amount that is not less than 0.2 % of the general fund expenses of the State Budget for the previous year. Consideration of the fact that the general fund expenses of the State Budget for 2017 amounted to UAH 767,7 billion means that the NPBCU needs for 2018 would have to be allocated in the amount of UAH 1 billion 535 mln.

In the opinion of the National Council, which consistently supports the development and evolvement of the Ukrainian public service broadcasting, the insufficient funding can bring to nothing the entire course of reforms and negatively affect the independence of the public service broadcaster. Now the reform has just started and the production of new and interesting content obviously needs both modern equipment and professional personnel. If this is not the case, the company’s ratings will not increase. That is to say the products produced by the NPBCU will not comply with the quality requirements for public broadcasting, will not meet all the information needs of citizens, and therefore the main aim of the public service broadcaster will not be fulfilled.

The European community emphasizes that Ukraine has certain commitments to the EU and introduction of the public service broadcasting is one of these taken on commitments.

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