Key Takeaways of ALIA’s White Paper on the regulation of tomorrow's media

What happened?

Electronic media in Luxembourg are currently regulated by the Law of 27 July 1991 on electronic media (“Electronic Media Law”). This law adopts a channel-specific regulatory approach encompassing radio broadcasting, satellite broadcasting, cable broadcasting and television but also on-demand media services and video-sharing platforms (on certain items concerning the last two media).

So far, the Electronic Media Law has been amended thirteen times, primarily to incorporate EU directives and without undertaking a global reassessment of the law. Today, the discrepancy between the practices of the public and the new forms of electronic media on the one hand, and the content of the law and the powers of the Luxembourg Independent Broadcasting Authority (Autorité Luxembourgeoise indépendante de l’audiovisuel, ALIA”) on the other, is striking. ALIA in particular calls for a thorough overhaul of the Electronic Media Law.

In that respect, ALIA organised a colloquium entitled “Face aux défis de la digitalisation, quelle réforme de la loi sur les médias électroniques ?” in April 2023 and released a white paper on 2 October 2023 (“White Paper”) for the attention of Luxembourg’s political forces, which underscores and summarises the observations made during the event.

Key Takeaways of ALIA’s White Paper :

In its White Paper, ALIA presented eight key points for an in-depth update of the Electronic Media Law:

  • defining the values governing programme content;
  • introducing the principle of technological neutrality;
  • expanding ALIA’s surveillance mission to the Internet;
  • elevating Media Education;
  • combatting Harmful Content;
  • providing a legal Framework for Gaming;
  • revisiting Political Information Oversight;
  • reforming ALIA's Structure.

What is next?

The Coalition Agreement, signed on 16 November 2023, mentions that the Government will reform the regulations applicable to the electronic media and ALIA’s powers.

It should be noted, however, that the draft Bill 8309 dated 14 September 2023 aiming at implementing certain aspects of the Digital Services Act (Regulation (EU) 2022/2065) designates the Luxembourg Competition Authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) as the Digital Services Coordinator, which will be responsible for all matters relating to the supervision and enforcement of the Digital Services Act in Luxembourg. The future will tell what role ALIA will play in relation to the distribution of illegal content on the Internet. As for the White Paper, it underlines that ALIA intends to play an advisory role on any provisions of the Digital Services Act that fall within its area of expertise.

If you would like to read more on the eight key points listed in the White Paper, please read our full article here.