Protection of minors in the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Minor on tablet
Children are exposed to abuse on social media

The EU institutions have recently agreed on a revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The new Directive aims to provide an updated legal framework reflecting the significant and rapid evolution of the audiovisual media services technologies and market: from television to portable devices, video-on-demand services, video-sharing platforms, from traditional TV content to video clips and user-generated content.

Despite being based on Member States’ international legal obligations, provisions on moral development of minors were attacked without any ground during discussions at the European Parliament.

The revised Directive will preserve all references to the protection of moral development of minors. In dialogue with EU representatives, COMECE has been active to ensure this positive result.

The introduction of brand new rules on protecting minors from harmful content in video-sharing platforms is also to be welcomed.

Unfortunately, on the basis of the solution originally proposed by the European Commission, the ban on programmes involving pornography or gratuitous violence has been replaced by the requirement of the strictest measures for framing such contents.

In the light of this less-than-ambitious approach, COMECE encourages Member states to implement stricter measures than the ones indicated in the Directive, so as to ensure maximum protection for the moral development of minors.