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FUEN took part in the European Commission's stakeholder dialogue on access to audio-visual content

At the invitation of the European Commission, FUEN took part on Tuesday, 9 November 2021 in Brussels in a stakeholder dialogue on access to and availability of audio-visual works across the EU. The invitation came as a follow-up to the Minority SafePack Initative, which, among other things, aims the improvement of cross-border access to audio-visual contents. FUEN, represented by Vice President Angelika Mlinar, attorney, MSPI legal expert Thomas Hieber and legal advisor Roman Roblek, participated in the meeting with the clear goal to represent the interests of the autochthonous national and linguistic minorities.

In her intervention, FUEN Vice President Angelika Mlinar explained that many persons belonging to national minorities speak a language that is the majority language of another country of Europe. Since their number is often too low to establish a full-fledged media landscape of their own, they depend on the media of neighbouring countries speaking the same language. Without access to the audio-visual contents from neighbouring countries speaking the same language, it is actually very difficult for people belonging to national minorities to maintain and develop their native language and culture, and the pandemic has made this dependency particularly visible.

Events of major importance for society, which can be made accessible to the public at large in a given Member State, should be available for all the citizens of the European Union, the FUEN Vice President pointed out, adding that the discussion in the stakeholders' dialogue should not be limited to the provision of audio-visual contents by Video on Demand platforms or similar service providers, but should also address for instance free-to-air catch up services, given that contents such as cultural programmes or documentaries are not or only to a limited extent available on VOD platforms.

The meeting will be followed by five more stakeholder meetings to develop concrete solutions to improve and expand access to audio-visual content in the member states.