On January 27 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution on honoring of obligations and commitments by Armenia. The report on the matter, developed by the appropriate CE Committee, was publicized on January 12 (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 8-16, 2004).
The resolution said that “Armenia has recently made considerable efforts to honor the obligations and commitments entered into”. At the same time PACE notes that the monitoring procedures would not be ended at this stage, until “Armenia has made further substantial progress on the outstanding commitments and notably has proved that it is able to organize the next presidential and parliamentary elections in compliance with international democratic standards”.
Paragraph 19 of the resolution, devoted to the freedom of expression and media pluralism, concern is expressed “at developments in the audiovisual media in Armenia” along with “serious doubts as to pluralism in the electronic media”. PACE states with regret that “the vagueness of the law in force has resulted in the National Television and Radio Commission being given outright discretionary powers in the award of broadcasting licenses, in particular as regards ‘A1+’ TV channel”. The document also notes the adoption of RA Law “On Mass Communication” and amendments to the RA Law “On Television and Radio” in December 2003.