Regulatory authorities

The reform of the regulatory framework implied the creation of a new media regulation entity in 2005 with reinforced power and tasks, the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (Portuguese Media Regulatory Authority - ERC).

The new media regulator initiated its functions in March 2006, in articulation with Autoridade Nacional das Comunicações (National Autority on Communication - ANACOM) and Autoridade da Concorrência (Market and Competition Authority). The reform of the regulatory framework implied the extinction of Alta Autoridade para a Comunicação Social (Media High Council - AACS) and of Instituto da Comunicação Social (Institute for Social Media - ICS).

ERC is a public agency independent from the government and whose board members are elected by Parliament. It pursues the assurance of the following structuring principles: pluralism and diversity, freedom of information, citizens’ fundamental rights, protection of more sensitive publics and audiences (such as children and elderly people), accuracy and reliable nature of information, transparency of the media. One of ERC’s main tasks is to avoid an excessive media property concentration affecting principles such as pluralism and diversity; the media regulator watches over the attempts of economic and political power to influence and jeopardise media independence. In addition, ERC should promote co-regulation and encourage self-regulatory mechanisms.