On Thursday, the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, referred to the resolution adopted by the Council prior to the vote of the TVN24 license. He stated that it was “a clarification of the interpretation of the current law so that there would be no doubts as to how the National Broadcasting Council interprets the provisions of the Broadcasting Act”.
“In this resolution, certain directions of actions and obligations of the chairman are set out in several points” – said the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, on Thursday about the resolution. As he added, the resolution adopted by the National Broadcasting Council on Wednesday before the TVN24 concession was voted “clarifies the interpretation of the current law so that there is no doubt as to how the KRRiT collegially – as the body for regulating the audiovisual market in Poland – interprets the provisions of the Broadcasting Act in force in Poland since 1992 “.
Kołodziejski about the adopted resolution
– Due to the fact that recently in the public space there have appeared many different interpretations – for example Article 35 of the Broadcasting Act – of whether companies from outside Europe may be the majority shareholders of the Polish concessionaire or not and how it is related to the fact that ultimately the parent company is a company from outside Europe. This is closed in the interpretation that is explicitly indicated in this resolution – explained the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council.
– All members of the National Broadcasting Council debated the content of the resolution and voted unanimously. It is simply an expression of our position, although it is an internal matter, because it obliges the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, that is me, to take certain actions – added Kołodziejski. When asked about the specific activities, he replied: “The scope of this resolution is wide, so today I do not want to speak more”.
Resolution before voting on the concession
The National Broadcasting Council voted on Wednesday to extend the TVN24 license. An absolute majority of votes was obtained in the vote – 4 people were in favor of extending the license, 1 against. The decision was made four days before the expiry of the license.
Before the vote, the National Broadcasting Council unanimously adopted a resolution on “taking measures to organize the rules of broadcasting radio and television programs in Poland in the scope of the activities of entities from outside the European Economic Area”. Its content is similar to the provisions of lex TVN.
The spokeswoman of the Council, Teresa Brykczyńska, said that the resolution was necessary to make a decision regarding the TVN24 license. She indicated that “there were issues related to the analysis and different interpretations of the provisions of the Broadcasting Act”. – We do not change the interpretation of the law, we ask you to clarify it – she emphasized.
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Lawyer with the resolution of the National Broadcasting Council
She spoke on TVN24 on Thursday about the resolution adopted by the National Broadcasting Council Agnieszka Wiercińska-Krużewska, attorney at law, partner at the WKB law firm. As she said, “on the one hand, such a resolution tells us something outward about how the National Broadcasting Council thinks about certain matters, but on the other hand, it has no legal force binding on outsiders, for example, concessionaires.”
– The license has been extended, the National Council confirms that TVN24 can broadcast on the same terms as it has broadcast so far. On the other hand, it says, “We don’t like how you are controlled.” So who is the ultimate owner of TVN. According to the interpretation of the National Broadcasting Council, the media law says that there should be no indirect control by an entity outside the European Economic Area – said the lawyer. However – as she pointed out – “in the opinion of most lawyers, the act clearly states that such indirect control is permissible provided that the entity directly controlling the broadcasting entity in Poland is an entity from the European Economic Area”.
– So far, such an interpretation has not aroused controversy, concessions have been issued in exactly the same factual state. This “but”, which the National Broadcasting Council talks about, is the same “but” that appeared in the Lex TVN act – she noted. – The resolution has exactly the same keynote. It turned out that it is not so easy to pass the bill in the Sejm, that there is a strong Senate veto, and therefore this strange concept of the resolution appeared. Even as a lawyer, it is difficult for me to break away from my political thinking. If it is exactly the same thinking as a bill, it means that there is an attempt to leave a gate to return to the discussion on this subject – said Wiercińska-Krużewska.
Experts comment on the resolution of the National Broadcasting Council
The matter was also commented on by “Faktach po Faktach” on Wednesday prof. Jerzy Zajadło from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Gdańsk and prof. Krystian Markiewicz, president of the Association of Polish Judges “Iustitia”.
Markiewicz said that for him “this resolution is a certain political manifesto”. – Perhaps it is so that the parliament is not able to push through this law (known as lex TVN) and at the same time it is possibly taking into account the president’s veto. Therefore, this body, which is a political body, is making such a manifesto. And this is meant to wipe away tears for some politicians from the ruling party, he added.
Professor Zajadło said that “there is some embarrassment of the constitutional body that has been acting so inconsistently in this matter for so many months”. – The entire lex TVN, due to its nature and the way in which this act was handled, was one huge legislative swindle. Now there is a fear that this swindle has moved to the decision-making level of the National Broadcasting Council – said prof. It was.
Former head of the National Broadcasting Council Jan Dworak speaking in a special issue of “Press Lodge” in TVN24 on the Wednesday’s resolution of the Council, he indicated that “formally, it obviously does not have any generally applicable legal force”. “I read this resolution, which is indeed self-contradictory in various ways, as such a fig leaf, but also as a kind of step that was supposed to make it possible to collect the majority of these four votes,” he said.
On Thursday, in the TVN24 program “Get up and know” Dr. Krzysztof Grzegorzewski, a media expert from the University of Lodz, saidthat in the resolution adopted by KRRIT on Wednesday, one provision seems to him “disturbing”. – (He says) that she intends to oblige the prime minister and the legislator to challenge the current provisions to the Constitutional Tribunal, because the National Council cannot do so – he pointed out. As he added, “of course, the council can pass whatever it likes, because it is not a legislative body.” – She is to exercise constitutional control over the media market in Poland, guarding the elementary rules in this market – he emphasized. – What is included in the Broadcasting Act at the moment is absolutely not in conflict with the ownership structure of the TVN Group. After all, it is not legally forbidden – the expert assessed.