Friday, 17 July 2009

Thirteenth Sitting of the Culture and Information Committee

At the sitting held on 16 July, the Culture and Information Committee discussed in principle the Bill amending and modifying the Public Information Law and the Culture Bill.



At the sitting held on 16 July, the Culture and Information Committee discussed in principle the Bill amending and modifying the Public Information Law and the Culture Bill. The sitting was chaired by Vesna Marjanovic, Committee Chairperson.

Minister of Culture Nebojsa Bradic stated that various flaws had come to light in the implementation of the Public Information Law making it necessary to modify it under urgent procedure.

Based on the objections of media associations and professional public submitted to the Bill, the Ministry of Culture had drafted and forwarded to the Government various amendments which should improve the law. The most important modification pertains to the abolition of share capital for the media and lowering of the envisaged fines.

In the discussion, the Committee members wanted to know whether the proposed modifications adhere to European standards in the field and if they do not jeopardize the survival of the smaller media. According to the estimate of some deputies, the amendments to the Public Information Law will contribute to prevent abuse in the field and establish order and responsibility.

In his explanation of the Culture Bill, Minister Bradic said that it is a systemic law which provides unified grounds for the regulation of all cultural fields and a basis for the adoption of other by-laws. He said that the Bill had undergone a broad public debate which aired various objections and suggestions for the improvement of the proposed solutions.

The Committee members stated that the new law is expected to contribute to establish the basis of cultural policy in Serbia and new standards in culture. With this in mind, it was also proposed that the solutions pertaining to the protection of cultural property and status of regional institutes for the protection of cultural monuments be made more specific.

The Committee accepted the Bill amending and modifying the Public Information Law and the Culture Bill, in principle, by a majority of votes.


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