Europe in media regulation

What is the ERGA?

In Germany, media regulation is a federal state matter. However, it is not only impacted by politics in North Rhine-Westphalia, but also by legislation in place at the German and European levels. This is helpful because media services today know even fewer borders than ever before. Therefore, media regulation can also be ensured across borders.

We need Europe. We are convinced of this and aim to strengthen and develop this unique community of values. This is accompanied by a responsibility which we seek to fulfil. The member states of the European Union must shape Europe!

Effectively joining forces at a European level is absolutely necessary, in particular against the backdrop of increasing global pressure – of both a political and an economic nature. As a media regulator, we are involved with our participation in the ERGA, the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services.

Why does the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia pay special attention to European media regulation? 

Our Director, Dr. Tobias Schmid, is the European Affairs Commissioner of the Media Authorities and accordingly the German representative in the ERGA (European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services). Furthermore, he has led this association as its Chair since 2020. 

For this reason, one of our colleagues is also located in Brussels and works on site on the issues of international media legislation and regulation.

How do European decisions impact regulatory duties in North Rhine-Westphalia? 

We are directly affected by European law through the AVMS Directive. Therefore, we aim to be directly involved in shaping this legal framework as advisors. Our work in the ERGA allows us to do just this.

Law enforcement on the Internet is our key task, where we place particular emphasis on the protection of human dignity, minors, users, and the plurality of the media. Our aim is to strengthen these values at a European level. However, not every member state considers these values to be equally worthy of protection, which is why we campaign for their safeguarding. At the same time, we rely on the co-operation of European media regulators to ensure the efficiency of this protection.