RPR calls on the Verkhovna Rada to ensure proper financing of the public broadcasting

December 20, 2016

The Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR), reminding of Ukraine’s obligations and commitments before the the Council of Europe and in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement on the necessity to establish public broadcasting, calls on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to complete the institutional reform of the state broadcasting and ensure proper financial foundation for the further establishment of the Public Broadcaster.

RPR recognizes the significant contribution by the Verkhovna Rada to ensuring the foundation for the public broadcasting existence and the Verkhovna Rada’s quick responses to the problems that kept arising in the course of the reform. In addition, parliamentary factions nominated the candidates to the Supervisory Broad of the Public Joint-Stock Company “National Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of Ukraine” (PJSC NPBU)  in a timely and responsible manner.

However, the efforts of the last three years may not lead to the desired results since nowadays complete financing of the public broadcasting is in question. At the same time, providing financial stability is crucial for successful completion of the reform and implementation of its results.

The Law on Public TV and Radio Broadcasting envisages that Public broadcaster shall receive 0,2% of expenditures of the general fund of the state budget for the previous year. It means that the PJSC NPBU should have received UAH 1,28 billion (around EUR 48 million) for 2017. But the draft state budget for 2017 foresees that PJSC NPBU will receive only UAH 953 million, which creates UAH 300 million of deficiency at the outset of the reorganization.

Therewith, according to the estimation of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), on average financing of European public broadcasters amounts to 0.39% of the state budget, therefore, it should have been more than UAH 2 billion in Ukraine.  For example, the amount spent on public broadcasting in Croatia is EUR 182 million, Poland – EUR 290 million, and Romania – EUR 215 million.

We would like to stress that due to the budgetary restrictions, the National Television Company of Ukraine was able to spend only 3% of money on the creation of programme product in 2016.

Existing rigid legal status of the state institution does not allow proceeding either with technical modernization or with staff optimization. It will be possible only in the newly created PJSC NPBU and given that sufficient financing is allocated.

Consequently, the Reanimation Package of Reforms calls on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to ensure the financing of the PJSC NPBU in 2017 in the full amount envisaged by the Law on Public Television and Radio Broadcasting – i.e. 1,28 billion UAH.