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The Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) Success Story

16 June 2015, 1730 start

Hosted by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport,
The Churchill Room, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ

The Audio Visual & Media Services Directive (lovingly known as the AVMSD) is arguably one of the few success stories of the European technology and cultural legislative scene. Its core principle, the country of origin principle, has helped foster a genuine ‘television without frontiers’, one of the few successful examples of the single market at work, and one that brought more choice, information and culture to citizens and audiences. It also helped the UK grow into the formidable media and content hub that it is today.

Just as the European Commission is embarking upon a fresh drive for a ‘digital single market’ which will encompass telecom but also copyright, the AVMSD too is the subject of review. IIC UK discussion looked at examples of the AVMSD at work, in particular how the Country of Origin principle works, and how it has helped growth.

Our panellists discussed and assessed how the COO principle is challenged today. These challenges include some countries seeking to establish a ‘country of destination’ principle for VOD services, which some might argue would roll back on the single market and bring Europe back to the 1980s or earlier; other member states are seeking to derogate from the COO principle for advertising; and yet others are seeking to derogate from the COO principle for reasons of national security.

The panellists looked at how far the UK has an interest in changes, or not, to the COO principle, in areas such as audience protection for example. They also looked at the political considerations behind debates on the AVMSD, from lack of ambition, to a desire by many to have ‘less Europe’ and ‘less Single Market’, to a drive by some to create new regulatory obstacles to the US content giants which they fear are invading Europe afresh. The question was: what impact would such extra regulation have on an already struggling European media sector?

Confirmed speakers:
• Monica Arino, Director of International Affairs, OFCOM
• Marcel Boulogne, Head of Sector ‘ Audio-Visual Media Services’, Converging Media and Content Unit, DG Connect, EC
• Maria Michalis, Reader in Communication Policy, University of Westminster
• Ceri Morgan, Deputy Director, Media Policy and Creative Industries, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Chair)
• Mitchell Simmons, Director of Government Relations Europe, Viacom


  • Tuesday, 16 June 2015

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