EBU director-general Ingrid Deltenre and legal director Jane Vizard last week met Romanian government officials to discuss the crisis enveloping TVR in the wake of the EBU’s decision to withdraw member services from the country’s public broadcaster.
The decision to withdraw member services from TVR, including participation in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, was taken on April 22 after a deadline expired to settle the CHF16 million (€14.4 million) debt owed by TVR to the EBU.
Deltenre and Vizard met finance minister Anca Dragu, chair of the Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu and president of the Senate culture and media committee George Severin to discuss the crisis, which hinges on the debts owed to the EBU and other parties, and a crisis of governance and lack of sustainable funding for the broadcaster.
The Romanian government is currently preparing a new media law, details of which will be submitted to the EBLU for analysis based on best practices within member countries.
TVR has been without a director-general for the last month, with a parliamentary culture committee due to meet today to discuss a second nomination by the broadcaster’s board of Monica Ghiurco. Ghiurco’s candidature was initially rejected by parliament in April.
The withdrawal of member services by the EBU means that TVR will not be allowed to participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, among other things.
Deltenre said, “It is regrettable that an extreme measure was needed to draw the attention of Romanian authorities to the urgency of this situation.”
Dragu said: “Taking into account the seriousness of the situation, we found it necessary to organise this meeting with all parties involved to find a solution in order to avoid new sanctions and I am speaking about the possibility of TVR being excluded from the EBU.”