On August 27, 2013 the law creating the Luxembourg Independant Audiovisual Authority (l’Autorité luxembourgeoise indépendante de l’audiovisuel or the ALIA) was passed (the ALIA Act), and several laws were amended. The ALIA Act entered into force on December 2, 2013.
The ALIA Act aims to simplify and improve the law of 27 July 1991 on electronic media (and as amended from time to time) (the Media Act) by establishing a supervisory body at national level that is empowered to monitor the audiovisual sector and, in some cases, impose sanctions for violations of the ALIA Act and Media Act.
The ALIA is an independent public administrative body with legal personality. It has administrative and financial autonomy, reporting to the minister in charge of the media policy. The ALIA is made up of a board of directors composed of 5 members, a director, and a consultative committee.
The tasks of ALIA are, inter alia, the following:
- to grant or withdraw broadcast permits;
- to ensure that persons with a visual or hearing disability have access to audiovisual programmes;
- to monitor the Luxembourg service providers’ compliance with Luxembourg law and Grand-ducal regulations;
- to stimulate on-demand audiovisual media service providers to promote and distribute European works;
- to encourage audiovisual media service providers to develop codes of conduct concerning the broadcast of inappropriate junk food & beverage audiovisual commercials that are aired before, after, or during children’s programmes.
The ALIA is vested with the power to impose sanctions in certain situations. These sanctions include (i) issuing warnings, (ii) issuing warnings with the imposing of a duty to read an announcement on air, (iii) imposing fines from EUR 250 to EUR 25,000, and (iv) suspending transmission temporarily or withdrawing any broadcast permit permanently.
Natural or legal persons, whether or not they are residents of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, may submit to the ALIA written complaints concerning any service provider or broadcaster’s non-compliance with the ALIA Act, the Media Act, and any obligations attached to the permits. The ALIA may initiate legal proceedings, and any decision made by the ALIA may be challenged before the administrative courts of Luxembourg.