Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, University of Münster; Manfred Protze, German Press Council; Dr. Frederik Ferreau, University of Cologne; interpreter Dr. Khatia Kikalishvili, representative of the Media Development Foundation; lawyer Thomas Wierny; Tobias Brings-Wiesen, University of Cologne; Amalia Wuckert, IRZ; Prof. Vaja Vardidze,  Rector of the Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani University in Tbilisi (from left to right)
Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, University of Münster; Manfred Protze, German Press Council; Dr. Frederik Ferreau, University of Cologne; interpreter Dr. Khatia Kikalishvili, representative of the Media Development Foundation; lawyer Thomas Wierny; Tobias Brings-Wiesen, University of Cologne; Amalia Wuckert, IRZ; Prof. Vaja Vardidze, Rector of the Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani University in Tbilisi (from left to right)
Georgia

The media regulation event marked the conclusion of the “@Media Societies – Georgia 2018” project” and was the last intervention by the IRZ in Georgia last year. The event, which took place from 14 to 17 December 2018 in Tbilisi, was targeted at representatives of the Georgian media scene. The project was supported by the German Foreign Office.

Under the scientific supervision of Thomas Wierny and Tobias Brings-Wiesen, three German media experts led workshops covering the following topics:

  • Manfred Protze (German Press Council): Self-regulation in the press and broadcasting sector;
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel (University of Münster): Regulating social media;
  • Dr. Frederik Ferreau (University of Cologne): Revised guidelines for audiovisual media services.

Before starting to work in groups, there was a joint half-day opening event, which helped participants to familiarise themselves with the subject and in particular to gain a deeper understanding of the basic objectives and principles of liberal media regulation. The German experts then went on to explain the European regulations. Georgian experts took over for the presentation of the legal and market situation in Georgia.

During the course of the workshops, each working group documented the existing problems, worked on practical and regulatory approaches to finding solutions and developed recommendations together. The documents produced in this way should act as guidelines for the Georgians in their future work on the political and legislative process.

As a member of the Council of Europe, Georgia is governed by the mandatory provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). The country is also aiming to become a member of the European Union. The Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia, which came into force on 1 July 2016, includes some regulations on European media law to be implemented. In view of these objectives, the timing and contents of the workshop were particularly poignant.