The broadcasters are weak and their credibility is low. “In such conditions, any contest that will be held will be challenged. We want to strengthen the institutions and to give them the necessary instruments so that they deliver results. The Audiovisual Code is very good, but it gave too much independence to the regulator – the Audiovisual Council. The Code offered stimuli, but didn’t envision penalties. When we speak about responsibility, we establish this state of exception that is normal. We are strengthening the institution to make it functional so that it is not dependent. We must depoliticize it,” Virgiliu Pâslariuc, MP of the Party of Action and Solidarity, stated in IPN’s public debate “Return of Teleradio-Moldova under Parliament’s Oversight: pluses and minuses, benefits and risks”.
Virgiliu Pîslariuc spoke about two important amendments stipulated by the bill. “One of them envisions the return to the provisions used before 2018, when Teleradio-Moldova was under parliamentary control. Ensuring control is one of the Parliament’s missions. Each area is under the Parliament’s oversight, including the audiovisual sector. We did so that the audiovisual sector is not under the Government’s sphere of control and Parliament is practically the only public authority responsible for these policies and even the Audiovisual Code provides this. So, our goal is for this good law to be applied as this law hasn’t been implemented so far. The last few years showed that something went bad. By definition, the Audiovisual Council is a regulator, an arbitrator, not an administrator. When the former government placed the company under the supervision of the Audiovisual Council, it actually tried to protect a very important propaganda instrument. It is as if you assign someone to referee the game of a football team owned by you,” stated the MP.
“The second element is related to the Audiovisual Council. This was offered full control that enables it to enjoy impunity: you are not responsible for anything. We saw arbitrariness and abuse here – this body does not obey anyone and does not respond for anything. It only presents the annual report. Stimuli were introduced, but punishment wasn’t. And we then said that the AC members will be dismissed, as any other public functionaries who do not fulfill their duties are, in accordance with the law.”
The Council for Surveillance and Development will keep its duties, but its composition will be confirmed by Parliament, not by the Audiovisual Council as a result of a contest. “We cannot say now that the Audiovisual Council is not politically unaffiliated. Parliament is the founder of Telaradio-Moldova. We will bring back the company under legitimate oversight. Our goal is to do so that this institution is independent,” said Virgiliu Pâslariuc.
“We should start from the characteristics of PAS. We didn’t have TV channels, media outlets. We had our party’s press. Our political rating never depended on the media. An example: the AC members started to speak about these changes, insinuating that censorship is being introduced. Their greatest fear was that Parliament will deprive the TV channels of licenses [...] They did so in politics – invested money in the media as in propaganda and persuasion instruments. Power is now exercised through the word. This is our politics. For us, the values of the Audiovisual Council are more important,” stated Virgiliu Pâslariuc, stating for them it is important for the public, the citizens during a hybrid war to receive high-quality and truthful information, from the state institutions too.
The public debate entitled “Return of Teleradio-Moldova under Parliament’s Oversight: pluses and minuses, benefits and risks” is the 210th installment of the project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.