Implementing the Audiovisual Media Services Directive: A Case Study of Croatia’s Law on Electronic Media

McKenzie Ratner, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Abstract

Why is Croatia failing to implement its Law on Electronic Media? In 2013 Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union following a lengthy accession process that resulted in a transformation of the legislation governing media. This paper seeks to understand why has implementation and compliance with Croatia’s Law on Electronic Media been unsuccessful in spite of legislation that fulfills in language the EU wide Audiovisual Media Service Directive. The Law on Electronic Media has come under repeated attack for its failure to ensure transparency and to provide a regulatory framework capable of ensuring and maintaining everything from content controls to the independence of the Agency on Electronic Media. By examining the political, economic, and cultural barriers to implementation and compliance, I seek to understand what still impedes the Croatian media system, as a whole, as well as the nation's ability to sustain a fair and free press.