According to the announcement, public hearings for examining the legislative initiative on advertising will be held on September 28. The text of the initiative is signed by Dumitru Alaiba, the representative of the Action and Solidarity Party.
The initiative transposes the text of the draft law on advertising voted in the first reading in October 2018. The document was drafted by the experts from the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) and registered as a legislative initiative by Andrian Candu who held the post of the speaker of the Parliament at that moment, and Vladimir Hotineanu and Corneliu Mihalache, two other deputies from the PDM faction. The project was not examined in the final reading.
The current Committee on Economy, Budget, and Finance rejected the 2018 project. “It is rather outdated and needs more ideas and amendments. Based on the relevant works and consultations, we will present another draft law with the new amendments and ideas which have appeared while we were working on it, because this project has been in progress since 2018. This time was not wasted – in a way, it was restarted, and an advanced draft has resulted,” Dumitru Alaiba, the chairman of the committee, explains.
The document regulates establishing and implementing the legal regime of messages of public interest, requirements for ensuring transparency on the advertising market, self-regulation in the sphere of advertising, political advertising during the extra-electoral period, etc.
It also regulates establishment and implementation of the legal regime of political advertising during the extra-electoral period, which is not currently regulated, lists entities which cannot offer political advertising, and indicates that political advertising services can be paid for only by bank transfer.
The draft law is part of a larger IJC campaign for amending the Law on Advertising and improving the legal framework regulating the media.
The European Parliament (EP) report on the implementation of the EU-Moldova Association Agreement issued in October 2018 mentions the importance of adopting a new law to regulate advertising. The 2020 EP report also appeals to the Moldovan authorities to “continue the media sector reform by greater involvement of civil society, in particular, in this process, and requests the Republic of Moldova to amend the Code of Audiovisual Media Services and to liberalize the advertising market in line with the European standards on media freedom and pluralism, as recommended by the Commission and the Venice Commission in order to ensure full transparency of ownership of the media and the advertising market.”