Media policy

A separate policy for the media (radio and TV broadcasters and internet) has been drawn up by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This media policy ensures that the media in the Netherlands and at European level form a varied range of radio and television stations, that they can work independently and are accessible to everyone. In addition, the government ensures that the media is used in a responsible manner.

Media Act

The European Audiovisual Media Services Directive (which, among other things, is geared towards enabling free traffic of broadcasting services on the internal market of EU member states) and the Media Act form the basis of the media policy. Demands on the public and commercial broadcasters are drawn up in the Media Act. In the case of the commercial broadcasters, they may not broadcast anything that could cause damage to the development of children who are younger than 16. This also applies to the public broadcasters. Because they work with subsidies, they must provide a range of programming that demonstrates a balanced reflection of society. In this way, a broad audience must be reached and the programmes must be separate from commercial influences. In addition, there are provisions relating to the management of the public broadcaster, the allocation of broadcasting time among the broadcasters and the duties which a broadcaster is obliged to comply with.

In 2014, a first amendment to the Media Act was realised. Among other things, a number of broadcasters were merged. In 2016, the Act was amended once again. One important amendment is that entertainment is no longer seen as the core task, but may still form part of the range of programming offered as long as the aim of this is to reach certain minority groups.

Dutch Media Authority

The Dutch Media Authority is, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, regulator of the Dutch audiovisual media services and mainly focuses on radio, television, video-on-demand and Dutch book publications. Its goal is also to contribute to the protection of quality, independence and diversity of the information provision.

The Authority ensures compliance with the Media Act. It oversees programmes and programme rules, ancillary duties and ancillary activities, and the funding of public, regional and local broadcasters. In addition, it also pays attention to the rules for advertising and sponsoring at both public and commercial broadcasters.

NICAM / Kijkwijzer

NICAM stands for the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media and is responsible for the coordination of Kijkwijzer (the Dutch classification system for audiovisual media).

International policy

The European Commission wants to strengthen the competitiveness of European culture, film, television and cross media industry with the Creative Europe Programme (2014-2020).