Media regulations: The Netherlands
THE MEDIA ACT
(Bulletin of Acts and Decrees of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Staatsblad van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) 1987, 249) as last published in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 1994, 386, and as subsequently amended by: (…)
1. The Media Authority shall allocate national broadcasting time to those political parties which gained one or more seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate of the States General at the last election.
2. The Media Authority shall allocate national broadcasting time to political parties which are standing in all constituencies in an election for the Senate of the States General, as well as to political parties in the Netherlands participating in an election for the European Parliament. Notwithstanding section 39c, subsection 3, this broadcasting time shall be allocated not on an annual basis, but only for such a period - to be determined by the Media Authority - as immediately precedes the day fixed for the relevant election in the Netherlands.
3. Notwithstanding subsections 1 and 2, if a political party has been ordered to pay an unconditional financial penalty under articles 137c, d, e, f or g, or article 429 quater of the Criminal Code, the Media Authority shall not allocate any broadcasting time to that political party for a period commencing on the day on which the order becomes irrevocable. This period shall last:
(a) one year, in the case of a penalty of less than NLG 2,500;
(b) two years, in the case of a penalty of between NLG 2,500 and NLG 5,000;
(c) three years, in the case of a penalty of between NLG 5,000 and NLG 7,500; and
(d) four years, in the case of a penalty of NLG 7,500 or more.
4. If, on the day on which the order referred to in subsection 3 becomes irrevocable, the political party in question has had no parliamentary seats allocated to it under the Elections Act (Kieswet), but is allocated one or more parliamentary seats on the basis of an election held within two years of the said day, the period during which that political party shall not be allocated any broadcasting time as referred to in subsection 1 shall commence on the day on which the said election is held.
5. After an order as referred to in subsection 3, the political party in question shall in any event and, where necessary, notwithstanding subsection 3 (a), not be allocated any broadcasting time as referred to in subsection 2 for a period of two years as from the day on which the order becomes irrevocable.
“The rules are worked out as follows:
The regular broadcasting time on radio is 10 minutes in 2 weeks for each party. The
regular broadcasting time on television is 3 minutes in 2.5 weeks for each party.
During election time the media authority allocates to each party 20 minutes (2 times X 10 minutes) for broadcasting on radio and 18 minutes (6 times X 3 minutes) for broadcasting on Television.
The Media Authority also determines the budget that political parties get for their transmissions. Besides the legal broadcasting time mentioned above political parties can also buy advertising time. Although in former times the national advertising organizations had the policy to refuse advertisements for political parties.”