The Portuguese Regulatory Authority for the Media (ERC – Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social) is an independent administrative body established by the law n. 53 of November 8th, 2005.
Through this act, the previous regulatory authority in Portugal, High Authority for the Mass Media (Alta Autoridade para a Comunicação Social) was abolished.
ERC performs the tasks entrusted by the Portuguese Constitution on media regulation and guides its work independently of any lines of approach on the part of political authorities.
ERC operates since February 17th, 2007, when its first Regulatory Board took an oath before the President of the Portuguese Parliament. On November 9th 2011, its second Regulatory Board took office.
ERC is established in Lisbon.
Composition of the board, mode of governance and organization of servicesERC encompasses the Regulatory Board, the Executive Directorate, the Advisory Council, and the Auditor.
The Regulatory Board, responsible for defining and implementing the regulatory activity of ERC, comprises the chairman, the vice-chairman and three board members. Four of the five members of the regulatory board are elected by the Parliament by a majority of two thirds of the deputies and the fifth member is co-opted by the previously elected four. The chairman and the vice-chairman are elected from amongst the five members of the board. All members shall take office before the President of the Portuguese Parliament.
The five members of the board have a 5-year term, not renewable, and remain in office until their effective replacement or termination of service.
The regulatory board meets once a week. Extraordinary meetings may be convened by the chairman, on his own initiative, or at the request by at least two of its members. The regulatory board decides by a majority of the votes cast, being required the vote in favour of at least three members.
The members of the regulatory board shall appear before the competent Committee of the Assembly of the Republic (Committee on Culture, Communication, Youth and Sport), to provide on request information or clarifications on their work.
ERC must inform the Portuguese Parliament of its decisions and activities, by means of a monthly report and also of an annual report on its regulatory activities, as well as the annual statement of accounts, for a debate, preceded of a hearing.
The members of the regulatory board are subject to the incompatibilities and impediments of holders of high public office. During their term of office, they are required to not retain interests of a financial nature or shares in companies that pursue mass media activities and carry out any other public function or professional activity, except with regard to part-time teaching duties in higher education. For two years following its termination, members aren’t allowed to hold any executive post in companies, unions, confederations or business associations of the mass media sector.
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The media’s role combating stereotypes about immigration in Portugal (text ERC- Portuguese Regulatory Authority for the Media)Available here.Texto de Paulo Barreto, Chefe de Gabinete do Conselho Regulador.