New Flemish Legislation recognises Community Radio

On May 2014, the Flemish parliament adopted with a large majority of 70 against 29 a number of amendments to the media legislation. One of these creates a specific legal status for community radios. With this vote, Flanders implements a 2008 resolution of the European Parliament asking to support and recognise community media.

Radio Scorpio and Radio Centraal, Flander’s last two independent publicity-free radios, are happy with the outcome, for which they lobbied and work really hard. In June 2011 they had issued a call to implement the European Parliament recommendations by creating a separate status for community radios, as had already been done in French speaking Belgium in 2009.

The recognition of community radios and other amendments to the media decree that were voted into legislation, such as more strict controls on the concentration of local radios into networks, are steps in the right direction to fight the homogenization of the radio landscape in the Flemish region.

Radio Scorpio and Radio Centraal hope that after the elections, the new administration would continue on this path by being vigilant against frequencies commercialisation and unjust frequency allocations to radio networks and the reinforcement of the regulator.

AMARC Europe would like to congratulate Radio Scorpio and Radio Centraal for their efforts and their success in ensuring that new genuinely local radio initiatives will once again be able to start up and bring about the so much called for diversification of the radio sector in their country.