Belgium

Stage of legislative progress 

Flemish Community: The preliminary draft decree transposing the AVMS Directive has been approved in principle by the Flemish Government at the end of June 2020. After advice from the Council of State on 16 December 2020 and advice from the Flemish Supervisory Commission on the processing of personal data of 26 January 2021, the preliminary draft decree has been submitted to the Flemish Parliament.

* Exception: Article 13 of the AVMS Directive has already been implemented (new article 157 of the Flemish media decree)

French Community: The new decree on audiovisual media services was adopted in the plenary session of the Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation in February 2021. The decree is available on the following link.

German-speaking Community: On 1 March 2021, the Parliament of the German-speaking Community adopted a decree on media services and  film screenings ("Dekret ├╝ber die mediendienste und die kinovorstellungen"), which transposes the AVMS Directive.

Federal level: On 15 January 2021, the Council of Ministers approved a draft law that aims to transpose the AVMS Directive. The draft has been sent to the Council of State for its opinion.

If known expected date of next step

N/A

National particular circumstances

Under Belgian law, the subject matter of audiovisual media qualifies as a cultural matter. Cultural matters are not dealt with at a federal level. They fall within the field of competence of the three Belgian Communities. The AVMS Directive will therefore be transposed into decrees of the respective Communities (i.e., the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-speaking Community). In Brussels, however, the federal state retains a residual power for audiovisual media services whose provider is established in the bilingual Brussels-Capital region, provided that the programmes broadcast are neither exclusively in French nor exclusively in Dutch.

On 23 November 2020, the EU Commission launched an infringement procedure against Belgium for failing to transposing the AVMS Directive into its national legislation by the end of the transposition deadline of 19 September 2020.There is no indication that Belgium has yet submitted its observations.