The European Parliament approves the Audio-Visual Media Service Directive with weak protection for children

The European Parliament just voted during a plenary session in favor of entering into inter-institutional negotiations on the Audio-Visual Media Service Directive based on the report approved by the Culture Committee on the 25th of April.

The process in the plenary session has been much more controversial than in the committee meetings as three political groups have opposed the report as a whole, while in the committee they gathered an overwhelming majority. Nevertheless, this opposition was not enough to reject or send the report back for a second reading in the plenary session.

The report approved today for inter-institutional negotiations has been already substantially improved from the initial proposal of the European Commission. The proposal of the European Parliament is to extend some basic measures of protection for minors from harmful content to all audio-visual media services (including video-sharing and streaming platforms). WYA welcomes this extension.

Nevertheless, WYA thinks that this report does not do enough to protect children from pornography, which is a crucial issue that European families face and need help from the European Union . Video sharing platforms are global businesses that can put European children at risk of exposure to harmful content; therefore, it requires a global answer. The European Union has an opportunity to show leadership by enacting key protections at the regional level.

During the next phase of the co-legislative process, the representatives of the European Parliament will negotiate with the representatives of the European Council based on the report approved by the parliament and the negotiating mandate that will be agreed by the ministers in the next meeting of the European Council in the 23th of May.

We call upon the European Council to stand up for European children and protect them from pornography by reinstating the ban on pornography and gratuitous violence from TVs and expanding it to include other audio-visual media services.

Sign our petition here to ask the European Council to stand with European children and families.