Europe says yes to open-access TV :LETTER

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From Ms Carol Tongue, MEP

Sir: Andrew Neil warns that "the folk who run Britain's media" ("Any more takers for digital TV?", 16 June) are in danger of letting the future pass them by. His warnings are timely but, in the meantime, he has allowed an important event to pass him by.

The European Parliament last week voted for pluralism in digital TV; for open access to conditional systems on fair and non-discriminatory terms; and published tariffs applicable for all on the same basis - most importantly, we voted for an effective and swift arbitration mechanism and failing this, legal recourse to the EU judicial system for any broadcaster who believes these rules have been transgressed by the gatekeepers of digital TV.

These amendments were added to the latest EU directive on TV standards by a European Parliament determined to uphold the public interest. Now we require the national action that Andrew Neil prescribes if diversity and quality in the new TV age are to be upheld.

Yours sincerely,


MEP for London East (Lab)

Ilford, Essex

19 June

The writer is the Socialist Group spokesperson on media in the European Parliament.