Parliament Okays Creation of Slovak Television and Radio

Parliament Okays Creation of Slovak Television and Radio
Culture Minister Martina Simkovicova shakes hands with House Vice-chair Andrej Danko after the passing of the STVR bill in Parliament on June 20, 2024 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 20 (TASR) - The existing Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS) will transform into the Slovak Television and Radio (STVR), with its director to be elected by a 9-member council staffed by four nominees of the Culture Ministry and the remaining five by Parliament, it follows from the bill on STVR passed by Parliament on Thursday.

Several amending proposals tabled by coalition lawmakers were approved along with the bill.

The legislation was passed by 78 out of 78 present lawmakers, with the opposition not taking part in the vote.

The STVR bodies will consist of the council and the general director. The council will have nine members as before, but the way that it will be constituted is changing. The culture minister will nominate four members of the council on the basis of a selection procedure, while the remaining five will be elected by Parliament. These five members will include experts in the fields of television broadcasting, radio broadcasting, law, economics and, for the first time, information technology. The term of office of members of the council will remain at six years.

The council will have the power to elect the STVR general director on the basis of a public hearing of the candidates. The council will also have the power to remove the director if the relevant provisions of the act for this are met. The general director will appoint two deputies, one for Slovak Radio and one for Slovak Television.

The tenure of current RTVS general director Lubos Machaj will end on the date on which the proposed new law comes into effect. The same will apply to the mandates of the members of the current RTVS council.

When it comes to financing STVR, the new law respects the status quo, with the primary source of funding a claimable contribution of at least 0.12 percent of GDP.