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Bulgária 138

 

RADIO AND TELEVISION ACT

REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

RADIO AND TELEVISION ACT
Promulgated State Gazette No. 138/24.11.1998
Amended, SG No. 60 & 81/1999; 79/2000; 96 & 112/2001


Chapter One
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1
(1) This Act shall regulate radio and television broadcasting activities within the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) Radio and television broadcasting activities means the creation of radio and television programs and of subsidiary information for broadcasting by terrestrial transmitter, by cable, by satellite or by means of some other technical device or process, in encoded or unencoded form, intended for immediate reception by an unlimited number of persons.

Article 2
The provisions of this Act shall not apply to:
1. radio and television programs created for the purpose of broadcasting within a single building;
2. radio and television programs created for the purpose of broadcasting for the needs of state bodies or juristic persons, where the content of the program concerns solely their activity and the transmission equipment is owned by them.

Article 3
(1) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) Radio and television broadcasting activities shall be pursued by radio and television operators by virtue of registrations or licenses issued according to the procedure established by this Act.
(2) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/2000, 96/2001) Radio and television operators shall be either sole-trader natural persons or juristic persons holding radio and television broadcasting licenses or registrations.
(3) Radio and television operators may furthermore be telecommunications operators within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act. In such case, they may not provide telecommunications services to third parties, save as otherwise provided for by their telecommunications operation licenses.
(4) The provisions of this Act shall apply to all radio and television program services created for the purpose of broadcasting or broadcast by the relevant operators under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Article 4
Radio and television operators shall be public-service and commercial.

Article 5
(Amended, SG No. 79/2000)
Commercial radio and television operators shall be sole traders or commercial corporations holding a radio and television broadcasting license, which shall operate with the main object of distributing profit among their owners.

Article 6
(1) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) Public-service radio and television operators shall be sole-trader natural persons or juristic persons holding a radio and television broadcasting license whose main object is to contribute to the realization of the constitutional right to information.
(2) Public-service radio and television operators shall be subjects of public law or of private law.
(3) Public-service radio and television operators shall:
1. provide for broadcasting political, business, cultural, scientific, educational and other socially relevant information;
2. afford access to national and global cultural values and popularize the advances of science and technology by broadcasting Bulgarian and foreign educational and cultural programs addressed to all age groups;
3. ensure, through their programming policy, the protection of national interests, universal human cultural values, national science, education and culture of all Bulgarian citizens, regardless of their ethnic identity;
4. encourage the creation of works by Bulgarian authors;
5. encourage Bulgarian performing arts.

Article 7
The Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) and the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) shall be the national public-service radio operator and, respectively, the national public-service television operator, which:
1. ensure program services for all citizens of the Republic of Bulgaria;
2. assist the development and popularization of Bulgarian culture and the Bulgarian language, as well as of the culture and language of citizens in accordance with their ethnic identity;
3. afford access to the national and European cultural heritage through their program services;
4. insert informational, educational and entertainment broadcasts in their program services;
5. apply the new information technologies;
6. (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) reflect the diversity of ideas and convictions in society by means of a pluralism of viewpoints in each one of the news and current affairs broadcasts on political and business subjects;
7. foster mutual understanding and tolerance in relations between people;
8. afford citizens the opportunity to get familiar with the official position of the State on important issues in public life.

Article 8
(1) This Act shall guarantee the freedom of radio and television operators and of their broadcasting activities from political and economic interference.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) The Electronic Media Council, as a specialized independent body, shall exercise supervision in the cases provided for in this Act.

Article 9
(1) The creation of radio and television program services in the Republic of Bulgaria shall not be restricted.
(2) Program service censorship in any form whatsoever shall be inadmissible.
(3) Freedom of reception of radio and television program services shall be ensured, and re-transmission of radio and television program services within the territory of Bulgaria shall not be restricted under the terms established by this Act.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) Application of Paragraph 3 shall be suspended in case of gross violation of the provisions of Article 10, paragraph 1, indent 6, and Article 17, paragraphs 2 and 3 in accordance with the obligations assumed by the Republic of Bulgaria under effective international treaties.

Article 10
(1) In pursuit of their broadcasting activities, radio and television operators shall be guided by the following principles:
1. guaranteed right to freedom of expression of opinion;
2. guaranteed right to information;
3. protection of confidential sources of information;
4. protection of citizens’ personal inviolability;
5. inadmissibility of broadcasts inciting to intolerance among citizens;
6. (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) inadmissibility of broadcasts which are contrary to good morals, especially if they contain pornography, extol or condone brutality or violence, or incite to hatred on grounds of race, sex, religion or nationality;
7. guaranteed right of reply;
8. guaranteed copyrights and neighboring rights in broadcasts and programs;
9. safeguarding the purity of the Bulgarian language.
(2) (Amended SG No. 79/2000) At least 50 percent of the total annual transmission time, excluding the time appointed to news and sports broadcasts, radio and television games, advertising, teletext services and radio and tele-shopping, shall be reserved for European works whenever this is practically possible.
(3) (Amended SG No. 79/2000) At least 10 percent of the total annual transmission time, excluding the time appointed to news and sports broadcasts, radio and television games, advertising, teletext services and radio and tele-shopping, shall be reserved for European works created by external producers. This proportion should be achieved progressively through allocation of sufficient resources for new works, i.e. works broadcast not later than 5 years after their creation.
(4) (New, SG No. 79/2000) The requirements under paragraphs 2 and 3 shall not apply to programs intended for local audiences and broadcast by a single operator which does not form part of the national network.

Article 11
(1) Any opinion may be freely expressed in radio and television broadcasts.
(2) Journalists and artists, who have concluded contracts with radio and television operators, may not be given any instructions or directions as to the practice of their pursuits by persons and/or groups outside the management bodies of radio and television operators.
(3) Public criticism of the programming policy of radio and television operators by their employees shall not be treated as disloyalty to the employer.
(4) Journalists, who have concluded contracts with radio and television operators, shall have the right to refuse to perform an assignment, provided it is not related to implementation of the provisions of this Act or of the relevant contracts and if it is contrary to their personal convictions; technical editing of program material or of news may not be refused.
(5) Editorial statutes for work in the sphere of current affairs may be agreed between the owners and/or management bodies of radio and television operators and the journalists who have concluded contracts with them.
(6) The editorial statute shall state specific definitions and criteria for:
1. guaranteeing the freedom and personal accountability of journalistic work in accomplishing the assignment;
2. the protection of journalists within the meaning of paragraph 2;
3. the professional and ethical standards of journalistic activity in the respective radio and television operators;
4. the manners of decision-making which concern journalistic activity;
5. the establishment of an internal body for the settlement of any disputes as may arise in the course of journalistic work on the creation of programs.

Article 12
(1) The program services of radio and television operators shall be emitted in the official language, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) The programs or individual broadcasts of radio and television operators may be emitted in another language as well, where:
1. they are broadcast for educational purposes;
2. they are intended for Bulgarian citizens who have a mother tongue different from the Bulgarian language;
3. they are intended for foreign listeners or viewers;
4. they re-transmit foreign radio and television programs.

Article 13
(1) Radio and television operators shall have the right to receive any information as they may need from state and municipal bodies, unless this information contains any secret as provided for by statute.
(2) Radio and television operators shall be obliged to use any information received accurately and untendentiously.
(3) Radio and television operators shall disclose information about their broadcasting activities in the cases provided for by the law.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) A radio or television operator, who or which holds an exclusive right for the transmission of an event of major importance, shall be obliged to afford other radio and television operators access for the news coverage of the said event in accordance with the obligations assumed by the Republic of Bulgaria under effective international treaties.

Article 14
(1) Radio and television operators shall be obliged to record the programs and broadcasts provided by them for broadcasting and to preserve the recordings for a period of three months reckoned from the date of transmission.
(2) Should a request for a reply be received or an action be brought against a radio or television operator in connection with the content of a broadcast or a program within the period referred to in paragraph 1, the recordings shall be preserved until the close of proceedings.
(3) Any person, who claims that his or her reputation has been damaged in a broadcast, shall have the right to access to the relevant archives and to a copy of the recording made at his or her expense.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) The Electronic Media Council may request material from the radio and television operators, as well as conduct on-site examinations in connection with the exercise of supervision as to compliance with this Act.

Article 15
(1) Radio and television operators shall not be obliged to disclose their sources of information to the Electronic Media Council, save in the case of pending legal proceedings or pending proceedings initiated on the complaint of a person affected.
(2) Journalists shall not be obliged to disclose their sources of information either to the audience or to the management of an operator, save in the cases under paragraph 1.
(3) Radio and television operators shall have the right to include information from an unidentified source in their broadcasts, expressly stating this fact.
(4) Journalists shall be obliged to protect the confidentiality of the source of information should this have been expressly requested by the person who has provided the said information.

Article 16
(1) Radio and television operators may not create or provide for broadcasting any broadcasts containing information related to the private life of citizens without their consent.
(2) Radio and television operators may include in their broadcasts information in the public interest relating to the private life of citizens exercising the powers of state bodies, or of citizens whose decisions exert influence on the public.
(3) In the case of violations under paragraphs 1 and 2, the person affected shall be entitled to a public apology from the radio and television operators. This shall not prejudice the right of any such person to claim damages by a judicial process.
(4) The restrictions under paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to any person under an effective sentence for a premeditated offense at public law.

Article 17
(1) Radio and television operators shall be accountable for the content of the program services provided by them for broadcasting.
(2) Radio and television operators shall be obliged not to suffer the creation or provision for broadcasting of any broadcasts in violation of the principles of Article 10, and any broadcasts inciting to national, political, ethnic, religious or racial intolerance, extolling or condoning brutality or violence, or likely to impair the physical, mental and moral development of infants and minors.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) The provisions under paragraph 2, which concern infants and minors, shall not apply to encoded broadcasts and/or broadcasts broadcast between 23:00 and 6:00 hours and clearly preceded by an acoustic and/or acoustic and optical warning, or identified by the presence of a visual symbol throughout their duration. This provision does not prejudice the liability of the operator for compliance with the principles of Article 10 throughout the duration of the program.
(4) Radio and television operators shall not be liable for any information disclosed or for the content thereof, provided the said information:
1. has been received through official channels;
2. quotes official documents;
3. accurately reproduces public statements;
4. uses material received from news agencies or from other radio and television operators.
(5) No modifications shall be permissible when documents are cited.
(6) News, representing informational facts, shall be differentiated from any comments on such news.
(7) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) Whenever a broadcast of a different radio or television operator is used in part of a broadcast, this shall be expressly stated and must be in accordance with the legal framework of the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act.

Article 18
(1) Any persons, state and municipal bodies, who or which have been affected in a radio or television broadcast, shall enjoy the right of reply.
(2) Within seven days after the day of the broadcast, the persons and bodies under paragraph 1 shall have the right to request in writing that the respective radio or television operator provide their reply for broadcasting. The contested allegations, as well as the date and time of the broadcast, shall be specified in the request.
(3) The radio or television operator shall be obliged to ensure insertion of the reply in the next succeeding edition of the same broadcast or in an equivalent time within 24 hours after receipt of the reply, modifications or abridgments of the text being impermissible.
(4) The broadcasting of a reply shall be provided at no charge to the persons and bodies under paragraph 1.
(5) The duration of the reply may not exceed the duration of the contested part of the broadcast.

Article 19
Radio and television operators shall broadcast program services solely after the copyrights and neighboring rights have been settled in advance.


Chapter Two
ELECTRONIC MEDIA COUNCIL
(Amended, SG No. 96/2001)

Section I
General Provisions

Article 20
(Amended, SG No. 96/2001)
(1) The Electronic Media Council shall be an independent specialized body which shall regulate radio and television broadcasting activities by means of registration or issuance of licenses for pursuit of radio and television broadcasting activities and through exercise of supervision over the activities of radio and television operators as to compliance with this Act.
(2) In the performance of its functions, the Electronic Media Council shall be guided by the public interest, protecting the freedom and pluralism of speech and information and the independence of radio and television operators.

Article 21
The Electronic Media Council shall be a juristic person with a head office in Sofia and with an independent budget.

Article 22
The Electronic Media Council shall be assisted in the performance of its functions by administrative and technical services whose structure and payroll shall be determined by the said Council at its own discretion in conformity with the resources allocated for the respective year.

Article 23
The Electronic Media Council shall adopt its own Rules of Organization and Procedure.

Section II
Electronic Media Council Composition

Article 24
(1) The Electronic Media Council shall consist of nine members, of whom five shall be elected by the National Assembly and four shall be appointed by the President of the Republic.
(2) The National Assembly resolution and the presidential decree under paragraph 1 shall enter into force simultaneously.

Article 25
(Amended, SG No. 96/2001)
Eligibility to the Electronic Media Council shall be limited to persons holding Bulgarian citizenship, who have a permanent address within the territory of Bulgaria, hold a degree of higher education, as well as possess professional experience in the sphere of electronic media and/or telecommunications including not less than five years of service in a radio and/or television organization, or in the sphere of telecommunications, or five years of teaching in the sphere of media or media or telecommunications.`

Article 26
The following persons shall be ineligible for membership of the Electronic Media Council:
1. Eligibility any persons who have been sentenced to imprisonment for premeditated offenses at public law;
2. any sole traders, owners of the capital of commercial corporations, partners, managing directors, managerial agents or members of management and auditing bodies of commercial corporations and cooperatives;
3. any persons who have been on the full-time staff or part-time informers of the former State Security.

Article 27
(1) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) During their term in office and, in respect of indent 4, within two years after the expiration of this term, the members of the Electronic Media Council may not:
1. (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) occupy any other salaried position under a contract of employment;
2. hold elective office in any state or municipal bodies, in the governing bodies of any political parties and coalitions, or in any trade unions;
3. be members of the management, auditing and supervisory bodies of any commercial corporations or cooperatives.
4. (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) be consultants or members of management, auditing and supervisory bodies of any radio and television operators, or acquire interests or shares in any such operators or in any advertising agencies;
5. (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) be consultants or members of management, auditing and supervisory bodies of any non-profit organizations which have received a radio or television operator license;
6. receive remuneration in any form whatsoever from any radio or television operator, save according to intellectual property legislation.
(2) Employers, who are in an employment relationship with a person who is becoming member of the Electronic Media Council, shall be obliged, when so requested by the said person, to grant the said person unpaid leave of absence for the duration of his or her term of office. After the expiration or termination of the said term of office, any such employers shall be obliged to reinstate the person concerned to his or her former position if he or she so wishes.

Article 28
Before assuming office, all members of the Electronic Media Council shall sign a declaration, affirming that they satisfy the requirements under this Act. The said declarations shall be preserved in the archives of the Electronic Media Council.

Article 28a
(New, SG No. 96/2001)
(1) Each member of the Electronic Media Council and of the evaluating commission under Article 116c shall be obliged to make a written disclosure to the Electronic Media Council of any substantial commercial, financial or another business interest which the said member or the members of his or her family have upon the making of a specific decision.
(2) Substantial interest shall be in existence whenever the persons under paragraph 1 or members of their families, as well as persons with whom each one of them is economically connected:
(a) receive a radio and television broadcasting license;
(b) are appointed to supervisory bodies in the sphere of radio and television broadcasting activities or telecommunications, or are elected to management boards of any radio and television organizations, cable or telecommunications operators, or advertising agencies.
(3) The duty of the persons under paragraph 1 shall be performed through submission of a declaration to the Electronic Media Council upon assumption of office and at least once every six months thereafter, stating the names and addresses of persons economically connected with them or with the members of their families, as well as the business interests which have arisen or could arise. The declaration under this paragraph shall be preserved in a special public register with the Electronic Media Council.
(4) Any member of the Electronic Media Council, who has an immediate business interest upon the making of a specific decision, shall be obliged to disclose the said interest and to withdraw from the debate and the voting.
(5) The party affected, as well as any party concerned, may petition the Supreme Administrative Court for revocation of any decisions made in violation of the foregoing paragraph.

Article 29
(Amended, SG No. 96/2001)
(1) The members of the Electronic Media Council shall be elected or appointed for a term of six years. The composition of the Electronic Media Council from each quota shall rotate every two years.
(2) A person may not be member of the Electronic Media Council for more than two successive terms of office. A re-election or re-appointment of any such person must not be inconsistent with the rotation provided for in paragraph 1.
(3) The members of the Electronic Media Council shall discharge their duties until the new members assume office.

Article 30
(1) The term of office of a member of the Electronic Media Council shall be terminated prior to the expiration of the said term upon removal of the person from office or in the event of death.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) A member of the Electronic Media Council shall be removed from office by a decision of the Electronic Media Council:
1. (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) acting on a letter of resignation submitted to the Chairperson of the Electronic Media Council;
2. upon permanent actual inability to discharge his or her duties in the course of more than six months;
3. upon establishment of incompatibility with the requirements of this Act;
4. (New, SG No. 96/2001) upon entry into force of a sentence imposing a term of imprisonment for a premeditated offense
(3) Upon termination of the term of office of a member of the Electronic Media Council prior to the expiration of the said term, within one month after the date of death or of the decision under paragraph 2, the competent authority shall elect or appoint a replacement for the remainder of the relevant term of office.
(4) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) Any termination of a term of office prior to the expiration thereof under paragraph 2, indents 1 and 4 and in the event of death shall be announced to the Electronic Media Council by the Chairperson of the said Council.

Article 31
(1) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) At their first meeting, the members of the Electronic Media Council shall elect from amongst their number a Chairperson for a term of one year.
(2) The Chairperson shall perform the following functions:
1. represent the Electronic Media Council;
2. convene the meetings of the Electronic Media Council and preside over them;
3. sign the acts of the Electronic Media Council adopted in implementation of this Act;
4. maintain the liaison of the Electronic Media Council with the state bodies and the radio and television operators, as well as with international organizations in the sphere of radio and television broadcasting activities;
5. (New, SG No. 79/2000) issue penalty decrees for violations of the provisions of this Act;
6. (New, SG No. 96/2001) prepare the meetings of the Electronic Media Council;
7. (New, SG No. 96/2001) direct the work of the administrative and technical services;
8. (New, SG No. 96/2001) verify compliance with the implementation of the acts as adopted.
(3) (Repealed, SG No. 96/2001).
(4) (Amended, SG Nos. 79/2000, 96/2001) The Chairperson shall vacate office automatically, upon the expiration of the one-year term for which he or she has been elected, or at his or her own request, by decision of the Electronic Media Council.
(5) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) The Electronic Media Council, acting on motion by any of its members, may make a decision on termination of the term of office of the Chairperson prior to the expiration of the said term by reason of dereliction of duties.
(6) Any decisions under paragraphs 4 and 5 shall specify the date of the next meeting at which a new election shall be held.

Section III
Electronic Media Council Powers

Article 32
(1) The Electronic Media Council shall be vested with the following powers:
1. to exercise supervision over the broadcasting activities of radio and television operators as to compliance with this Act;
2. to elect and remove the directors general of the BNR and the BNT;
3. to endorse, upon nomination by the directors general, the members of the management boards of the BNR and the BNT;
4. to give an opinion upon the drafting of statutory instruments and upon conclusion of intergovernmental agreements in the sphere of radio and television;
5. to give an opinion on the draft national budget regarding the subsidy for the BNR and the BNT;
6. to endorse annually the off-budget cost estimate of the Radio and Television Fund;
7. to organize a research of public opinion on the broadcasting activities of radio and television operators and of their program services;
8. to give an opinion regarding any changes in the amount of fees charged for use of radio and television services;
9. (Amended, SG Nos. 79/2000, 96/2001) to make decisions on the issuance, alteration, revocation, transfer and termination of a radio and television broadcasting license;
10. to refer to the competent authorities any violations of statutory instruments in the pursuit of radio and television broadcasting activities;
11. to determine the composition of the management board of the Radio and Television Fund, to adopt rules of organization and operation of the said Fund and its management board, and to appoint the Executive Director of the said Fund;
12. (New, SG No. 96/2001) to issue, at its discretion, mandatory directions for execution of the radio and television broadcasting licenses;
13. (New, SG No. 96/2001) to approach the Communications Regulation Commission with an enquiry regarding the requisite technical parameters for broadcasting by terrestrial transmitter of radio and television program services to a population center or functional region as specified by the Electronic Media Council or to the entire territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, including unallocated radio frequencies, permissible power of transmission, possible points of transmission, as well as any other technical information as may be necessary;
14. (New, SG No. 96/2001) to hold a competitive procedure for selection of a radio and television operator whereto a telecommunications license shall be issued to operate existing telecommunication networks for broadcasting by terrestrial transmitter and/or to build, maintain and operate new networks of this type;
15. (New, SG No. 96/2001) to issue an individual radio and television broadcasting license to the winner of the competitive procedure under indent 14, and to notify the Communications Regulation Commission with a view to the issuance of a telecommunications license to the same person;
16. (New, SG No. 96/2001) to effect and strike off registrations for pursuit of radio and television broadcasting activities in the cases provided for by the law;
17. (New, SG No. 96/2001) jointly with other bodies, to represent the Republic of Bulgaria in inter-state and intergovernmental organizations on matters concerning the electronic media, and to perform coordinating functions between the institutions of state and non-governmental organizations with a view to formulating a common policy regarding the electronic media;
18. (Amended, SG No. 79/2000; renumbered from indent 12, SG No. 96/2001) to make any other decisions in execution of its powers under this Act, and under effective international treaties in the sphere of radio and television broadcasting activities to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party.
(2) In execution of its powers, the Electronic Media Council shall adopt regulations, decisions and declarations and shall give opinions in the cases provided for by the law.
(3) (New, SG No. 79/2000) The Electronic Media Council shall adopt and publish a list of events of major importance for society and shall ensure measures for protection of the access of the public to their coverage, so that any operator under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Bulgaria who or which has acquired exclusive rights for the reporting of events of major importance for society exercise these rights in such a manner as the said operator:
1. do not deprive a substantial proportion of the public in Bulgaria of the possibility of following any such events via whole or partial live coverage, or where necessary or appropriate for objective reasons in the public interest, whole or partial deferred coverage on free television;
2. do not deprive a substantial proportion of the public in a Member State of the European Union, or in a State Party to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, of the possibility of following events of major importance for society via whole or partial live coverage, or where necessary or appropriate for objective reasons in the public interest, whole or partial deferred coverage on free television, according to the provisions adopted by that other state, on a basis of reciprocity.
(4) (New, SG No. 96/2001) The Electronic Media Council shall announce publicly any decisions made in connection with the exercise of the powers thereof, including the manner of application of the law, as well as the grounds for any change in its practice The decisions of the Electronic Media Council shall be reasoned.

Article 33
The Electronic Media Council shall exercise supervision over the broadcasting activities of radio and television operators solely with regard to:
1. (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) compliance with the principles under Article 10, paragraph 1 and the proportion under Article 10, paragraphs 2 and 3;
2. compliance with the requirements under Article 6, paragraph 3, and Article 7;
3. coverage of the elections of state bodies and bodies of local self-government;
4. (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) compliance with the requirements regarding advertising and radio and tele-shopping in the broadcasts of radio and television operators;
5. conformity to the standards regarding charitable activities and sponsorship;
6. safeguarding of the secrets in radio and television broadcasting activities as provided for by the law;
7. (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) compliance with the requirements as to broadcasts addressed to infants and minors;
8. information about decisions of the institutions administering justice and other state bodies in the cases provided for by the law;
9. protection of consumer rights;
10. technical quality of broadcasts and programs;
11. (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) compliance with any restrictions as may be provided for in the law, in the licenses and in the effective international treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party;
12. (New, SG No. 96/2001) compliance with the terms and conditions of the radio and television broadcasting licenses.

Section IV
Meetings

Article 34
(1) The Electronic Media Council shall be called to a meeting by the Chairperson:
1. on his or her own initiative, or
2. on the requisition of at least one third of its members.
(2) A notice of meeting shall contain a draft agenda of the meeting.

Article 35
(Amended, SG No. 96/2001) For the valid transaction of business at any meeting of the Electronic Media Council, as many members shall have to be present thereat as shall be necessary for making decisions on the agenda. The members shall vote only in person and when physically present at a meeting.

Article 36
Upon making decisions, the members of the Electronic Media Council shall be guided by the principles of:
1. fellowship;
2. public openness and transparency;
3. independence in the discussions and decision-making;
4. cooperation with state bodies, radio and television operators and non-governmental organizations active in the sphere of radio and television or in the protection of copyright and neighboring rights;
5. protection of the interests of viewers and listeners.

Article 37
(1) The Electronic Media Council shall make decisions by a simple majority of all its members.
(2) Any decisions under Article 31, paragraphs 1 and 5, and Article 32, paragraph 1, indent 3 shall require a majority of two-thirds of all members.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) If no decision under paragraph 2 is made at three successive meetings held within one month, a decision on any such business shall then require a simple majority.

Article 38
(Amended, SG Nos. 79/2000, No. 96/2001)
(1) The decisions of the Electronic Media Council shall be appealable before the Supreme Administrative Court.
(2) Any appeal against the decisions of the Electronic Media Council to elect and remove members of the management boards and directors general of the BNR and the BNT, as well as any decisions under Article 30, paragraph 2, indents 2 and 3, shall not stay the execution of any such decisions.

Article 39
(1) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) The Electronic Media Council shall issue a Newsletter carrying the decisions made, topical articles on the problems of audiovisual culture, the results of the monitoring of radio and television operators, as well as public opinion surveys commissioned by the Electronic Media Council.
(2) The Electronic Media Council shall publish a report on its activity during each year on or before the 31st day of March in the next succeeding year.

Section V
Financing and Remuneration

Article 40
The Electronic Media Council shall be financed by the Radio and Television Fund.
Article 41
(1) For the duration of performance of their functions, the members of the Electronic Media Council shall receive a monthly remuneration to an amount equivalent to three average monthly wages of persons employed in the national economy according to information of the National Statistical Institute.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 96/2001).
(3) The basic monthly remuneration shall be adjusted each quarter on the basis of the average monthly wage for the last month of the last preceding quarter.

Chapter Three
BULGARIAN NATIONAL RADIO AND BULGARIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION

Section I
General Provisions

Article 42
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall be juristic persons with head offices in Sofia.
(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall exercise day-to-day management of the state-owned property allocated thereto prior to the entry of this Act into force.

Article 43
The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall create and provide for broadcasting radio and television program services and subsidiary information, including teletext services.

Article 44
(1) The radio and television program services of the BNR and the BNT shall be broadcast by telecommunication means of their own or proceeding from a contract with a licensed telecommunications operator.
(2) The State shall implement a licensing policy in the sphere of telecommunications which shall guarantee the broadcasting of the program services of the BNR and the BNT within the entire territory of Bulgaria.

Article 45
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall introduce and provide new radio and television services.
(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall create conditions for the broadcasting and application of digital and other new technologies in radio and television broadcasting activities.

Article 46
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall have the right to conclude contracts for the purchase of finished audio and audiovisual works.
(2) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television may conclude contracts with other radio and television operators for the supply, re-transmission or exchange of program services.
Article 47
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall have the right to create their own programs and broadcasts or to commission the creation of such programs and broadcasts to external producers, as well as to take part in co-productions.
(2) News and current affairs broadcasts on political and business subjects, broadcast in the program services of the BNR and the BNT, may be produced solely by the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television.
(3) Audio and audiovisual works shall be created by external producers through a competitive procedure and the conclusion of a contract with the BNR and the BNT.
(4) The principles of relations and the procedure for production of co-productions, for the holding of competitive procedures and for conclusion of contracts with external producers shall be governed by regulations adopted by the management board.

Article 48
The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall have the right to gratuitous insertion in their newscasts, by way of fair use, of reports and news about events wherefor another radio or television operator holds the exclusive coverage rights, in conformity with the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act, mandatorily crediting the source of information.

Section II
BNR and BNT Program Services

Article 49
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall create national and regional program services, external service broadcasts, including such for Bulgarians abroad, broadcasts intended for Bulgarian citizens who have a mother tongue different from the Bulgarian language, including broadcasts in the language of the said citizens.
(2) (Amended, SG No. 79/2000) Regional program services shall cover developments of local importance. They shall be created at the regional radio and television centers and shall be intended for the audience in the respective region as well as for inclusion in the national radio and television program services.
(3) The territory of the regions, the regional program schedules and the contribution by the radio and television centers of broadcasts of their own to the creation of national radio and television program services shall be endorsed by the management boards of the BNR and the BNT.

Article 50
The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall develop their programming policy in accordance with the requirements to national public-service radio and television operators.

Article 51
When requested to do so, the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall be obliged to provide immediately and at no charge transmission time for official announcements to representatives of state bodies in the event of a disaster or an immediate threat to the life, safety or health of the public or of individual persons.

Article 52
(1) The President of the Republic, the Chairman of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, the Prosecutor General and the presidents of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation shall have the right to address the nation on the BNR and the BNT.
(2) By resolution of the National Assembly, the BNR and the BNT shall be obliged to provide immediately transmission time for live broadcasting of plenary sittings.
(3) The transmission time under paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be provided at no charge.

Article 53
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television may provide transmission time for addresses to believers and for broadcasting of significant religious ceremonies at the request of:
1. the Bulgarian Orthodox Church;
2. other officially registered religious denominations.
(2) The terms and procedure for provision of transmission time under paragraph 1 shall be established in the rules of organization and operation of the BNR and the BNT.

Article 54
The terms and procedure for provision of transmission time on the BNR and the BNT upon participation in election campaigns shall be established by statute.
Section III
BNR and BNT Management

Article 55
(1) The management bodies of the Bulgarian National Radio shall be:
1. the Management Board of the BNR;
2. the Director General of the BNR.
(2) The management bodies of the Bulgarian National Television shall be:
1 the Management Board of the BNT;
2. the Director General of the BNT.

Article 56
The directors general of the BNR and the BNT and the members of the management boards shall conduct their activities proceeding from contracts whereby management is entrusted to them.

Article 57
(1) Any employer, who or which is in an employment relationship with any person under Article 55, shall be obliged to grant any such person unpaid leave of absence for the duration of the relevant term. After the expiration or termination of the said term, the said employer shall be obliged to reinstate the said person to the position previously occupied thereby.
(2) Any persons under Article 55, who are in an employment relationship with another employer at the time of their election or endorsement by the Electronic Media Council, shall have the right to terminate the said relationship under the terms of Article 325, indent 8 of the Labor Code.
(3) Any persons under Article 55, who at the time of their election or endorsement by the Electronic Media Council are in an employment relationship with higher educational establishments or scientific organizations as degree-holding lecturers or research associates of equivalent status, shall have the right to continue their lecturing or research practice during their term of office.

Article 58
(1) The management boards of the BNR and the BNT shall consist of five members each, endorsed by the Electronic Media Council upon nomination by the respective directors general.
(2) The composition of the management boards of the BNR and the BNT shall include the respective director general, who shall chair the board by right.
(3) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) When absent, the director general of the BNR and the BNT shall authorize a member of the management board to deputize for him or her.

Article 59
(1) Eligibility to the management boards of the BNR and the BNT shall be limited to persons holding Bulgarian citizenship who reside within the territory of Bulgaria, hold a university degree and possess professional experience in the sphere of radio and television broadcasting activities, of culture, journalism, audiovision, telecommunications, law or economics.
(2) The following persons shall be ineligible for membership of the management board of the BNR or, respectively, the BNT:
1. any persons who have been sentenced to imprisonment for premeditated offenses at public law;
2. any sole traders, owners of the capital of commercial corporations, partners, managing directors, managerial agents or members of management and auditing bodies of commercial corporations and cooperatives;
3. any persons who have been on the full-time staff or part-time informers of the former State Security.

Article 60
(1) The term of office of the management boards of the BNR and the BNT shall be three years.
(2) A person may be elected to the management board of the BNR or to the management board of the BNT for not more than two terms of office.
(3) One and the same person may not be concurrently member of the management boards of the BNR and the BNT, or concurrently member of any of the said boards and of the Electronic Media Council.

Article 61
(1) The term of office of a member of the management board shall be terminated prior to the expiration of the said term by the Electronic Media Council on motion by the respective director general on the grounds applicable to early termination of the term of office of a member of the Electronic Media Council.
(2) (Repealed, SG No. 96/2001).

Article 62
The Management Board of the BNR and, respectively, the Management Board of the BNT, shall perform the following functions:
1. determine the basic guidelines for the development, scope and structure of the program service;
2. adopt rules for the structure and organization of operation, for wages, for payment of part-time contributors, for editing, for advertising, for the storage and use of stock material, and for external productions and co-productions;
3. decide on the establishment of expert and advisory boards, and establish the procedure for their work;
4. adopt the structure and staffing schedule of employees, the terms and a procedure for conclusion of contracts with part-time contributors and journalists;
5. adopt the draft budget and the national budget subsidy included in it and, after coordination with the Electronic Media Council, transmit the subsidy request to the Ministry of Finance for inclusion in the draft National Budget Act;
6. adopt the budget and its broadcasting, the staff size, the average wage, and the wage bill;
7. adopt the report on utilization of the budget;
8. pass, on motion by the directors general, upon the opening and closing of regional centers and determine their status, structure and management in coordination with the Electronic Media Council;
9. determine the occupational qualifications required from the categories of persons employed in radio and television broadcasting activities;
10. endorse the job descriptions of employees;
11. endorse all advertising and sponsorship contracts, as well as any other contracts for a value exceeding a level specified in the rules of organization and operation;
12. endorse the conclusion and termination of the contracts of employment of senior office holders at the BNR or, respectively, the BNT, and their divisions according to a list of positions specified in the rules of organization and operation of the BNR and the BNT;
13. address any other mattes falling within the scope of its competence.

Article 63
(1) The management boards of the BNR and the BNT shall be called to ? meeting by the director general:
1. on his or her own initiative, or
2. on the requisition of at least two of the board members.
(2) A notice of meeting shall contain a draft agenda of the meeting.
(3) For the valid transaction of business at any meeting, as many members shall have to be present thereat as shall be necessary for making decisions on the agenda as announced in advance.

Article 64
The management boards of the BNR and the BNT shall make decisions by a simple majority of all members.

Article 65
For the duration of performance of their functions, the members of the management boards shall receive a monthly remuneration from the BNR and, respectively, the BNT to an amount equivalent to three-quarters of the monthly remuneration of the members of the Electronic Media Council.

Article 66
(1) (Amended, SG No. 96/2001) To be eligible for the position of a director general of the BNR or, respectively, of the BNT, a person must possess the qualifications required for membership of the Electronic Media Council. To qualify for director general of the BNR, a candidate must have not less than five years of service in a radio station; to qualify for director general of the BNT, an applicant must have not less than five years of service in a television station.
(2) The term of office of the directors general of the BNR and, respectively, of the BNT, shall be three years.
(3) A director general of the BNR and, respectively, of the BNT, may not be elected to the same office for more than two successive three-year terms.

Article 67
(1) (Renumbered from Article 67, SG No.96/2001) The term of a director general of the BNR or, respectively, of the BNT, shall be terminated prior to the expiration of the said term:
1. on the grounds provided for early termination of the term of a member of the Electronic Media Council;
2. should it be established that the said director general commits or suffers others to commit gross or systematic violations of the provisions regarding the principles of pursuit of the broadcasting activities of radio and television operators.
(2) (New, SG No. 96/2001) Upon early termination of the term of a director general and until conduct of a new election, which must be held within three months, the management of the respective organization shall be entrusted to a person designated by the Electronic Media Council and possessing the qualifications required under Article 66.

Article 68
The director general of the BNR and, respectively, of the BNT, shall perform the following functions:
1. implement the programming policy;
2. exercise the day-to-day management of the BNR or, respectively, of the BNT, and of the property thereof;
3. nominate the members of the Management Board for endorsement by the Electronic Media Council and move the Electronic Media for the early termination of the term of any such member;
4. convene the meetings of the Management Board and preside over them;
5. conclude and terminate the contracts of employment of the employees;
6. exercise the rights of an employer under the Labor Code;
7. represent the BNR or, respectively, the BNT, in dealings with all natural and juristic persons in Bulgaria and abroad;
8. organize the preparation of the draft budget and submit the said draft to the Management Board for endorsement;
9. organize the implementation, balancing off and reporting of the budget,and submit it to the Management Board for adoption.

Article 69
The directors general of the BNR and the BNT shall receive a monthly remuneration equal to the remuneration drawn by a chairperson of a standing committee of the National Assembly.

Section IV
BNR and BNT Financing

Article 70
(1) The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall prepare, implement, balance off and report a self-contained budget.
(2) The management boards of the BNR and the BNT, within the limits of their budgets, shall endorse a budget or a budget account for the expenses of the regional radio and television centers and the other structural units.
(3) The following shall accrue in revenue to the budget of the BNR and the BNT:
1. financing from the Radio and Television Fund;
2. a national budget subsidy;
3. own revenue from advertising and sponsorship;
4. proceeds from additional activities related to radio and television broadcasting activities;
5. donations, legacies and bequests;
6. interest and other income related to radio and television broadcasting activities.
(4) The national budget subsidy shall:
1. be provided for the preparation, creation and broadcasting of national and regional program services; the amount of subsidy shall be determined per hour of programming on the basis of a standard endorsed by the Council of Ministers;
2. include an action grant for tangible fixed assets according to a list endorsed annually by the Ministry of Finance.
(5) The expenditure side of the budget shall be prepared according to the classification of national budget expenditure items.
(6) Any excess of revenues over expenditures at the end of the year shall be a balance brought forward and shall be incorporated into budget for the successive year.

Article 71
The Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television shall assist the creation and performance of the national audio and, respectively, audiovisual output, allocating funds for new productions as follows:
1. the Bulgarian National Radio shall allocate not less than 5 percent of the national budget subsidy and the financing from the Radio and Television Fund for creation and performance of Bulgarian musical and radio drama works;
2. the Bulgarian National Television shall allocate not less than 5 percent of the national budget subsidy and the financing from the Radio and Television Fund for Bulgarian films made for television.

Chapter Four
ADVERTISING, RADIO AND TELE-SHOPPING, AND SPONSORSHIP

Section I
General Provisions

Article 72
(1) Radio and television operators shall have the right to create and insert advertisements in their programs.
(2) Certa