Parliament approves new model of funding for RTVS

Parliament approves new model of funding for RTVS

On Tuesday, members of the National Council of the Slovak Republic approved amendments to the RTVS Act. The public broadcaster will receive a state contribution of 0.17 percent of GDP. The new funding model is linked to the abolition of licence fees, which will be cancelled from July. Until now, they have been the main source of income for RTVS. The original proposal for funding the broadcaster was 0.15 percent of GDP, but MPs approved the increase through an amendment that came out of a parliamentary committee. The law also introduces a new source of income for the art funds, which had received a significant part of their income from concessions. The art funds will receive an annual contribution from the state budget, which will be redistributed on a percentage basis. The amendment adds a provision regulating the conditions for control, audit and state supervision of the management of RTVS. The competence of the State Audit Office and other persons authorised by the Ministry of Finance to carry out state audits in relation to the RTVS is limited. However, RTVS will continue to be audited by the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic and RTVS will continue to be subject to the control of the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic. The aim of the amendment is to eliminate the influence of the executive on the financing and functioning of RTVS. The Ministry of Culture expects the amendment to reduce the influence of politicians and the government on the broadcaster's budget and to ensure sufficiently stable and predictable funding, as the amount of revenue will be guaranteed by law and will increase in line with increases in GDP. The MPs also approved an amendment to the Act on the Slovak Press Agency.

Moreover the cultural, content and information pluralism of the media will not be part of the freedom of expression and the right to information. On Tuesday, the members of the National Council of the Slovak Republic rejected an amendment to the Constitution of the Slovak Republic drafted by the head of the Constitutional Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Milan Vetrak. The constitution will not contain a provision on the financing of public broadcasting. The author of the amendment wanted to specify the constitutional framework for the existence and financing of public media, in particular RTVS. Vetrak proposed to add a provision to the Constitution stating that the media system in the Slovak Republic is based on a dual system of public broadcasting and private media and on the pluralism of other media. He proposed that public media should be financed transparently and in a way that ensures their political independence and economic autonomy.

Source: TASR

Marianna Palková, Photo: TASR

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