Seimas orders at least 90% of TV content in EU languages
Content in the official languages of the European Union (EU) should make at least 90 percent of rebroadcast television content offered in every package of programs, according to a bill approved by the Lithuanian parliament on Thursday.
The amendments, submitted by opposition conservative MPs Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Žygimantas Pavilionis, Paulius Saudargas and Vytautas Kernagis, were supported by 66 parliamentarians, while three were against and five abstained.
"Currently, up to 30 percent of content rebroadcast in Lithuania is in the Russian language," said Kasčiūnas.
Under the amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public, rebroadcast television content in official EU languages should make at least 90 percent of the packages offered to users, with the exception of specialized (theme) packages offered for an additional fee.
The law suggests that television programs rebroadcast in non-European languages is equaled to a content rebroadcast or distributed online in the official language of the European Union, if translated into the official EU language or broadcast with subtitles in the language.
"This is our way of promoting the use of the official language and other official languages and reduce the dependence on the information from the Kremlin," Kasčiūnas said.
After analyzing the content on Lithuanian channels on March 6-12, the Lithuanian Commission for Radio and Television concluded that Russian-made production made 38 percent of the content on Lietuvos Ryto TV, including film and program previews. On BTV, Russian shows and films accounted for 35.5 percent of air time, taking over 7 percent on TV6 and about 2 percent on TV3 and TV8.