Radio B92 Translating Team (by way of Drazen Pantic <>) on Mon, 9 Feb 1998 09:20:09 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> ANEM statement (for nettime) - URGENT

8th, 1998

	The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) deplores
that the federal authorities have once again resorted to solving the
problem of existance and operation of illegal radio and TV stations in a
temporary and legally contradictory manner.  It is obvious that the
federal authorities do not wish to introduce order in the domain of
telecommunitacions fully and in keeping with democratic principles through
new system laws and in cooperation with republic agencies.  Without
establishing any rules prior to this, the federal authorities have
reserved the right of absolute and discretionary decision as to who and at
what fee will get the temporary license.  ANEM believes that it is
unlikely that the Telecommunications Ministry will issue temporary
licenses to all stations that apply for one and meet all formal
requirements of the open bid until new system regulations have been
passed regardless of the fact that this would be the only right and
logical solution. 

	Not only is this open bid contradictory to the republic
regulations, which provide that republic governments will issue 10-year
frequency licenses in open bids, but it also in part runs counter to the
Law on the Basics of Communication Systems in cites.  Article 72 of that
Law does not oblige applicants to produce evidence on their court
registration at for radio-diffusion operation.  This requirement will
preclude many radio and TV stations from applying because they cannot meet
it (as economic courts in Serbia in most cases do not allow registration
for this sort of operation until the company produces evidence that it
already has a frequency license).  This once again introduces inequality
among stations and ultimately extends the status of legal insecurity of
their operation.  Namely, TV stations which get temporary frequency
licenses according to the requirements of this open bid will not be fully
legal according to republic regulations.

	Many elements of the open bid remain unclear and dubious.  The
fee that lincensees will have to pay is not stated.  Technical criteria
from the listed books of rules are not defined clearly enouth.  Radio and
TV stations will have difficulties obtaining the required technical
specifications.  Especially illogical is the immediate requirement of
building license and approval of the power-supply authorities, which
logically should be demanded subsequently, after the temporary frequency
license has been granted.  It is also unclear how this regulation would
apply to the region of the Republic of Montenegro, which has for years
been operating exclusively according to its own republic regulations and
on principle has not problems with a huge number of stations which do not
have complete documentation and legal status as is the case in the
Republic of Serbia.  

	ANEM fears that by calling this open bid the authorities are in
fact trying to vindicate and in a way legalise future closure of a huge
number of stations which shall be unable to meet the requirements to apply
for a temporary license and also of those which will be turned down
despite the fact that they applied for the bid.  It is obvious that after
the deadline for application for the open bid has expired, the ministry
intends to resume the process of closures, initiated in the summer of 1997
and temporarily suspended owing to the election campaign.  The pretext
will be the same old one of "introducing order into the domain of
electronic media," "struggle against piracy" and the like.

	Despite all this, ANEM calls on its members to apply for the
temporary frequency licenses rather than let the authorities win this
battle without struggle.  ANEM will in any way aid its members in their
efforts to prepare the required technical documentation for applying
within the set 30-day deadline of the publication of the bid.  For this
reason, we invite members to contact ANEM's technical service for
additional consultations and to follow ANEM's future announcements that
will inform and aid the members in preparing the required technical
documents and specifications.

	ANEM also calls all institutions and subjects engaged in
protection of the right to free information to exert their influence on
the authorities and do everything they can that the stations who apply for
this bit and meet its requirements are issued temporary licenses without
exception.  We also urge for additional pressure for passing of new system
regulations which would permanently order this domain on democratic

In Belgrade, 
February 8th, 1998

On behalf of ANEM, 

Veran Matic, Chair
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