Nr. 8410, dated 30.09.1998
ON THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RADIO AND TELEVISION
IN THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
(Amended by Law Nr.8655, dated 31.07.2000, and Law Nr.8794, dated 10.05.2001)
Subsequent to Article 16, under Law Nr. 7491, dated 29.04.1991 “On the Principal Constitutional Provisions”, following the proposal of a group of members of parliament,
THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
Scope of Activity
This law regulates the activity of the public and private radio and television in the territory of the Republic of Albania.
Radio and Television Activity
Radio and television activity shall include the production, broadcasting, and re-broadcasting of programmes and information of any type by means of sound, image, coded signals, writing, intended for public via electromagnetic waves, cables, radio and television responders, or any other means.
The Legal Basis of Radio and Television Activity
Radio and television activity is conducted in compliance with Law Nr. 7491, dated 29.04.1991 “On the Principal Constitutional Provisions”, the international acts ratified by the Republic of Albania, the provisions under this Law, Law Nr. 8288, dated 18.2.1998 “On the Regulatory Telecommunications Entity”, Law Nr. 7564 dated 19.5.1992 “On Copyright”, amended by Law Nr. 7923, dated 19.4.1995, as well as the other legal provisions applicable in the Republic of Albania.
Every natural or legal person is required to have a licence in order to exercise private radio and television activity.
Fundamental Principles to Conduct Radio and Television Activity
Radio and television activity is free.
Radio and television activity should observe, in an unbiased manner, the right to information, political convictions and religious faiths, personality, dignity, individual’s privacy, as well as his fundamental rights and freedoms. The rights, moral and legal interests, and prerequisites for the protection of minors are especially observed in this activity.
Radio and television activity is forbidden to violate constitutional order, sovereignty, and national integrity.
Law shall guarantee editing independence.
Employment, promotion, as well as the rights and tasks of the employees in the public and private radio and television stations shall not be determined by their sex, origin, political views, religious faiths, or membership in Trade Unions.
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON RADIO AND TELEVISION
The National Council on Radio and Television
With a view to regulating and supervising the radio and television activity in the Republic of Albania the National Council on Radio and Television (NCRT) shall be established, which is an independent body acting on the basis of and in the spirit of implementing the provisions envisaged under this Law.
The National Council on Radio and Television enjoys the following competencies:
1. Monitoring the implementation of this law and the other laws on media on the part of the entities exercising their public or private radio and television activity, in the territory of the Republic of Albania.
2. Monitoring the informative programmes broadcast by national radio and television operators. In case deemed necessary NCRT shall monitor even the informative programs broadcast by local radio and television operators.
3. The National Council on Radio and Television shall administrate and manage the spectrum of the radio frequencies allocated for radio and television broadcasts, in compliance with the definitions as regards the radio and television services envisaged in “The National Plan of Radio Frequencies” approved of by the Council of Ministers.
4. Guaranteeing fair competition in the area of electronic media, simultaneously ensuring the further development of Albanian Public Radio Television.
5. Issuing and revoking licences to the private subjects entitling them to broadcasting radio and television programmes, including the teletext services throughout the territory, likewise supervising the observation of the conditions stipulated in the licensing agreement. The applications for the licences issued shall be examined publicly. The decisions adopted as regards licences issuance or revocation are published in the Official Gazette.
6. Drafting the set of regulations with the relevant criteria to grant licences in compliance with this law. It is entitled to arrange their issuance and guarantees equal treatment for the applicants. It also announces the reasons of refusal, suspension, or revocation of licence, likewise examining the complaints of the party claiming to have been affected, who in any case may file a complaint with the respective court of justice.
7. Granting and revoking licences for the installation of radio and television responders of foreign programmes for various areas in Albania.
8. Granting and revoking licences for re-broadcasting by the foreign radio and television stations in the territory of the Republic of Albania for the public resident in Albania.
9. Issuing authorisation document to the Albanian public and private operators for broadcasts from Albania to other countries (for third parties), in compliance with the international conventions.
10. Determining the norms of production and broadcast for the public and private electronic media related to various aspects of implementing this law.
11. Deciding in connection with implementing the sanctions provided by this law against the subjects violating these provisions, hence depending on circumstances, shall demand the intervention of other bodies in line with their respective competencies.
12. Keeping the records, files, and archives required for licences, as well as the documentation associated with it, thereby reflecting on all the subsequent changes.
13. Demanding from the public administration, judiciary, banks, and other relevant bodies, as well as the heads of the licensed subjects, any information it deems necessary to check the truthfulness of the data provided by the respective applicant prior to being granted the licence, or in any other moment. These data are utilised solely in carrying out the obligations envisaged by this law. Their dissemination and publication are forbidden.
14. Offering opinions on the prospects of radio and television activity.
15. Officially expressing proposals as regards signing and correctly enforcing the international agreements related to radio and television broadcasting.
16. Participating in the international activities focusing on the strategy and prospects of radio and television development, thereby representing Albania and supporting the participation and collaboration of public and private subjects with the counterpart European and World organisations in the area of radio and television programmes and broadcasting. It conducts researches associated with recommendations on the attitude maintained by Albania in the international official negotiations on radio and television transmissions.
17. Suggesting amendments for the legislation and the set of regulations, as dictated by the technological, economic, social, and cultural evolution in the area of electronic mass media.
18. Drafting the organisational structure and the internal rules of procedures for NCRT administration.
18/a. Endorsing the annual draft-budget for NCRT, examining and approving the annual balance sheet of NCRT, as well as the annual report on NCRT activity prior to its being submitted to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Information Media.
18/b. Endorsing the organisational structure and number of the administration staff for NCRT, as well as nominating and dismissing the directors in the NCRT administration, in compliance with Law Nr. 8549, dated 11.11.1999 “The Status of Civil Servant”.
19. Reporting at the beginning of each year on the NCRT annual activity and the manner in which the public and private networks have observed the obligations deriving from this law. The report shall be submitted to the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Public Information Media, as well as to the People’s Assembly in the plenary sessions. In case the People’s Assembly does not endorse the annual report on the activity of National Council of Radio and Television by 2/3 of the votes for two successive years, the latter will be dissolved. NCRT will be re-elected in compliance with the procedures envisaged under this law, no later than 30 days after dissolution of the previous NCRT.
20. Checking the quality of signal reception in the licensed areas and demanding the respective solutions for public complaints concerning the quality of radio and television signals transmission.
21. Issuing the decisions associated with implementing this law.
The National Council on Radio Television consists of the Chair, Deputy-chair, and five members, who are renowned personalities of social, juridical, economic, educational, mass media, radio, and television life. NCRT acts independently in compliance with this law.
The financial budget of National Council on Radio Television shall be met by State, to the extent that allows its normal functioning. The Chair and Deputy-chair of NCRT receive the same salary as the minister and deputy-minister respectively. After their election, the Chair and Deputy-chair become NCRT employees. People's Assembly shall determine the remuneration for the other members of this Council.
The members of the National Council on Radio Television shall be elected by the People’s Assembly for a five-year term, hence entitled to no more than two successive terms. The President of Republic proposes the People’s Assembly the candidate for one member, whereas the six other candidates are proposed by the Permanent Committee for Public Information Media in an equal representation between the ruling parties and opposition parties of the Albanian Parliament.
The Chair of the National Council on Radio and Television shall be elected by the People’s Assembly among its seven members based on the two candidates proposed by NCRT through secret balloting.
The Deputy Chair of the National Council on Radio and Television shall be elected by NCRT itself through secret balloting, based on the two candidates proposed.
The Chair and Deputy Chair for the first NCRT mandate shall be elected for a six-year term with a view to ensuring the continuity of NCRT functioning during the five-year rotation of the members in the mandates to follow.
Organisation and Functioning of NCRT
The National Council on Radio and Television has employed its administration, which carries out the entire necessary preparatory and administrative activity in the service of the Council.
The organisational structure of the NCRT administration staff consists of the respective departments and its director. The administration staff structure, employment criteria, as well as the remuneration structure are determined by NCRT in compliance with the models adopted by other similar independent institutions. The social insurance package, supplementary pensions, as well as the other legal privileges applicable with respect to the other institutions of the same level apply to the NCRT administration staff.
The internal functioning of NCRT, decision-making procedures and their implementation, drafted according to the provisions applicable, are proposed by the Chair and adopted by the Council.
The Competencies of NCRT Chair
The Chair is the executive governing superior for the National Council on Radio and Television.
The principal duties the Chair exercises are as follows:
a) organising, co-ordinating and governing the NCRT and NCRT administration staff activity in compliance with the law and regulations applicable for NCRT;
b) proposing to the NCRT the set of topics, and agenda for the various meetings, the problems to be examined, associated with draft decisions, and the respective written information provided herewith;
c) appointing and dismissing the NCRT administration staff employees in line with the provisions applicable for civil servants and employment relationships, with the exception of the employees appointed by the Council itself;
d) representing the NCRT in relations with third parties and the international organisations;
e) reporting to the People’s Assembly on the NCRT annual activity;
The Chair issues orders and instructions for the administration staff instrumental to carrying out his/her duties.
In event of Chair’s absence, his/her functions are exercised by Deputy-Chair.
The NCRT funding resources are as follows:
· revenues deriving from the fees associated with licences issuance and renewal;
· revenues deriving from annual licence fees;
· revenues deriving from processing the licensing applications made;
· revenues deriving from the taxes associated with radio and television broadcasts as provided in the fiscal legislation;
· state budget funding;
The fees associated with issuing and renewing licences for radio and television broadcasting, as well as the annual fees associated with the licences for the private FM radio broadcasting operators and the private analogue land television broadcasting operators are determined under this law according to Annex 1 appended.
The annual fees associated with re-broadcasting foreign broadcasts through responders, the annual fees associated with radio and television cable and satellite broadcasts, the fees associated with issuing and renewing the respective licences, the fees associated with processing the licensing applications made, the criteria and the manner of accomplishing them are determined by NCRT.
NCRT keeps the revenues and expenditure account in compliance with the Albanian Accountancy Legislation.
NCRT may also benefit from financial or material donations. Donations are accepted unconditionally, hence utilised for work purposes, and assessed by NCRT experts. Donations shall be declared and recorded in a register that the NCRT administration keeps especially for this purpose. At the end of each year NCRT is obliged to deliver to the Higher State Auditing Authority a copy of the register recording donations and expenses, and another copy of the register to the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on the Public Information Media. The register must define the type of assistance, size, time, donating subject, and the manner of donation delivery. The register must also include the identity and signature of the donor.
The members of the National Council on Radio and Television are forbidden:
1. To be members of political parties and associations, Members of Parliament, or Government Cabinet, nor declare themselves publicly or act in their interests.
2. To be members of the joint stock companies related to mass media, or representing commercial interests in contravention with their function.
3. To be involved in financial interests associated with radio and television broadcasts in terms of ownership, employment, or commercial relationships.
4. To defend and advocate the interests of any company or firm manufacturing audio-visual products, press publications, commercials, or telecommunications products.
In the course of holding their office as NCRT members they are not allowed to make public disclosures, or maintain public attitudes violating their impartiality in terms of the interests represented in items 1 through 4 under this article.
The obligations envisaged in items 3 and 4 under this article should continue to remain in force for one year following the termination of the mandate of the NCRT members.
The administration staff employees for the National Council on Radio and Television shall be forbidden membership to the managing boards of public and private broadcasting networks, they shall be forbidden to be licensed for radio and television broadcasts, they shall be forbidden to advocate and defend the interests of any subject having been granted radio and television licence, or to exercise functions in its service.
Removal from Office
1. Chair, Deputy-Chair, and any NCRT member shall be removed from office by the body electing him/her in case:
- he/she is sentenced by the court of justice through a final verdict on account of having committed a crime;
- he/she becomes incapable of performing the duty envisaged due to illness;
- he/she is absent in more than 1/3 of the meetings held during a year;
- he/she is proven to have failed to meet the obligations under Article 14.
2. The Chair, deputy-chair, and every NCRT member may submit his/her written resignation at any time.
3. In the event of removal from office a substitute shall be elected following the election procedure, hence entitled to the a term of office equal to the time remaining for the predecessor removed from office.