The EU wants to fine Ireland for going too far with new streaming rules

Brussels wants to fine Ireland for failing to introduce new rules for online streaming services in time.

The European Commission took Ireland and four other countries to the EU’s highest court on Thursday for missing a September 2020 deadline to transpose the rules into national law.

In an unusual move, the commission also asked the court to impose “financial sanctions” on the five countries, an indication of the level of frustration among EU officials at what they see as negligence.

The bloc’s Audiovisual Media Services (AVMSD) Directive, which sets a 30 percent quota for European content on streaming services and creates new online safeguards for children, was passed in 2018.

It was a controversial directive that has since led to a post-Brexit dispute with the UK over what defines “European” content on sites like Netflix.

The government intends to introduce the rules through the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act, which will include a new media commission and is expected to be passed by both chambers of the Oireachta by the summer.

The Commission sent warning letters to Ireland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Spain in November 2020, September 2021 and November 2021, telling them they were breaking EU law.

On Thursday it was said that the five countries had failed to fully implement and notify the Commission of the measures to implement the AVMS Directive.

“Due to the delayed implementation, citizens and businesses in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain may not be able to rely on all the provisions of the AVMSD,” the commission said in a statement on Thursday.

“These new EU rules aim to create a safer, fairer and more diverse audiovisual landscape,” the Commission said.

“They strengthen viewer protections, with particular attention to the safety of the most vulnerable, such as minors, expand rules on illegal and harmful content on video platforms, and promote cultural diversity in audiovisual media.”

It can take years for cases to make their way through European courts, by which time Irish law should be passed. The EU wants to fine Ireland for going too far with new streaming rules

Fry Electronics Team

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