Parliaments involved in media policy.
The main legislatures in the field of the media policy are the Community Parliaments, i.e. the Flemish Parliament and the Parliament of the French Community. The majority of media-related legislation concerns audiovisual media, rather than the written press or the Internet. These rules on audiovisual media are passed by the Community Parliaments. The Federal Belgian Parliament is responsible for indirect state subsidies, copyright legislation and telecommunications policy (including satellite reception and terrestrial networks).
Executive state branches and media policy
The executive state powers for media policy rest with the Community Governments, i.e., on the Flemish side, the staff members of the personal cabinet of the responsible Minister and the ‘Flemish Ministry for Culture, Youth, Sports and Media’; and, on the French-language side, the personal cabinet of the responsible Minister...
The Belgian Act of 23 June 1961 on the right of reply grants a broad right of reply to any individual or corporation named or implicitly referred to in a newspaper or a magazine, and a more limited right of reply to any individual or corporation named or implicitly referred to in an audiovisual broadcasting (i.e., radio or television). The Act on the right of reply does not apply to electronic versions of newspapers and other internet-based media. Several legislative proposals aimed at applying similar rules to electronic media have failed so far, but journalistic self-regulation to some extent covers an electronic right of reply.
The right of reply on radio and television
In other words, there are distinct rules applicable to the right of reply depending on the type of media outlet. In the case of audiovisual broadcasts, the claimant must prove a personal interest in the reply and the right of reply consists only in the right...
The Parliament of the French Community of Belgium (also called the Parliament of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels) is currently holding its ‘States General of the Information Media’ (‘Etats généraux des médias d’information’), during which various media players and experts come together with politicians and policy makers, in order to identify the most urgent questions for the Belgian (French-language) media. The discussions focus on possible strategies to improve the economic situation of the media; the education, training and working conditions of journalists; and the regulatory framework on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The concluding report on freedom of expression and press freedom has just been published. The text of the report and the recommendations formulated by the experts is available for download here.
Bart Van Besien has testified before the Parliament's Committee and is referred to at various...
Shopping online offers you greater choice and savings. Under Belgian law (and EU law), you also enjoy a set of basic consumer rights. Here is an overview of your legal rights when you buy goods or services on the internet.
The "distance selling" rules apply not only to online shopping, but also to other purchases outside a traditional shop (e.g. by telephone or mail order). In essence, these rules protect consumers in their relation with professional traders. In other words, the protection rules apply if a consumer buys online from a professional supplier, but not if the buyer is a professional himself (if he or she uses the goods or services for professional purposes) or if the seller is not a professional (for instance, in case of second-hand goods bought from non-professional sellers). Also, specific (but similar) rules apply to particular goods and services such as contracts for financial services, contracts for the supply...