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Making Europeans: Pan-European television and the European Community Theiler, Tobias 1993

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MAKING EUROPEANS: PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISIONAND THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITYbyTOBIAS THEILERB.A. (Honours), The University of Windsor, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Political Science)We accept the thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAMarch 1993© Tobias Theiler, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(SignatureDepartment of ^r)C The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate^p^ Ccir', 1/1^2Jf-^ )DE-6 (2/88)UABSTRACTIn the early 1980s, the European Community adopted the objective of com-plementing economic and political integration with the building of a nation-tran-scending "Europe of culture." This led to efforts to encourage pan-European televi-sion broadcasting through measures such as "Europa TV," the "Television WithoutFrontiers" directive and the MEDIA programme.The EC's interest in television was in part stimulated by technical innovationswhich facilitated the transmission of broadcast signals across national borders. Butabove all, Brussels subscribed to the notion advanced by many communication- andintegration models that communication in general and electronic mass media in par-ticular could help undermine ethnic consciousness and enhance the "identitivepower" of supranational institutions.A few years later, however, most pan-European television channels hadfloundered or redirected their services to a national or monolingual audience.The demise of pan-European broadcasting can partially be blamed on want-ing language skills, inadequate translation techniques and obstructionism by nationalgovernments. At the same time, it signifies that efforts to sway audiences towards adenationalized "European perspective" have remained futile, despite Brussels's claimthat an overarching European identity has its origins in a legacy of medieval cos-mopolitanism.Instead of guiding Europeans towards greater cultural unity and closeridentification with supranational institutions, the EC's cultural policies have causedanxieties among national governments and a wider public alike. While some gov-ernments resisted their formation and implementation (for example by limiting theCommunity's expenditures in the "cultural sector" and by obstructing the distributionof pan-European television signals on their territories), the ratio of Europeans whosense the preservation of their national identity incompatible with their country's in-volvement in European integration grew.111I conclude by arguing that the failure of pan-European television is but onesign that the EC's cultural policies in their current form are bound to do more harmthan they can hope to create stability. A consociational strategy, aimed at strength-ening the cultural autonomy of the EC's member states by assigning all powers in thecultural sphere to the national or sub-national domain, could better consolidate theEuropean project in its economic and political dimensions.ivTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract^ iiTable of Contents^ ivAcknowledgment viTWO PARADIGMS OF INTEGRATION^ 1The Conventional Paradigm 1Conventional Integration Models and Television^4Doubts Regarding Conventional Integration-and Communication Models^ 6The Consociational Approach 9The Consociational Model and Television^ 12ORIGINS OF THE EC'S TELEVISION POLICIES IN THE EARLY 1980S^15The Rise of Brussels's Cultural Ambitions^ 15Reasons for the Promotion of Pan-European Television^17Technical, Legal and Economic Developments Favouring theEuropeanization of Television^ 22MEASURES BY THE EC TO ENCOURAGE THE EUROPEANIZATIONOF TELEVISION AND THE RISE OF PAN-EUROPEAN BROADCASTERS^26"Television Without Frontiers"^ 26Europa TV^ 28Support for European Audiovisual Productions^ 29The Rise of Pan-European Broadcasters^ 31THE FAILURE OF PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISION 33The Fate of Europa TV^ 33Audience Ratings for CommerciallyOperated Pan-European Channels^ 34In Britain^ 34On the Continent 36Penetration of Private Satellite Dishes and Cable^ 38Satellite Dishes^ 38Cable^ 39The Decline of Pan-European Channels^ 41VWHY DID PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISION FAIL AND WHATARE THE PROSPECTS FOR A REVERSAL OF ITS FORTUNE?^44What Made it Fail?^ 44Cultural Barriers 44Linguistic Obstacles 45Resistance by National Governments^ 48Could Pan-European Television Come to be Watched?^50Prospects for Overcoming Language Barriers 50Chances of a Lowering of Political Barriers^ 51WHAT IF PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISION FOUND AN AUDIENCE?^54THE DANGERS OF THE EC'S CULTURAL POLICIES^ 58THE CONSOCIATIONAL MODEL AS AN ALTERNATIVETO THE EC'S CULTURAL POLICIES TO DATE^ 62Which Strategy is the EC Likely to Adopt? 65Questions on Consociationalism^ 67Bibliography^ 72viACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to thank Professor Jean Laponce for being my supervisor andProfessor Alan Siaroff for agreeing to be the second reader. I am grateful to Karin Al-bert, Lawrence Hanson, Kathy Lu, Petula Muller and many others whom I was fortu-nate to meet while studying at UBC.1TWO PARADIGMS OF INTEGRATIONModels which seek to delineate the formation and maintenance of integrativestructures between two or more national communities can be divided into two broadcategories. The first approach - I will call it the conventional paradigm - includes the"federal" model of Etzioni and, with some qualifications, the social communicationsmodel of Karl W. Deutsch. The second approach is represented by the consociationalmodel by Arend Lijphart.Both models entail very different conclusions about the role of communi-cations in general and television in particular in the context of inter-ethnic integration.As such they provide a framework to analyze the television policies of the EuropeanCommunity.THE CONVENTIONAL PARADIGMModels of integration which fall under the conventional paradigm presumethat two or more national communities can be integrated into a stable and lasting en-tity if processes of integration unfolding in the economic and political spheres areaccompanied by a parallel development in the socio-cultural realm. An at least partialmerger of identities among the populations affected by the integration process isdeemed necessary so as to support, on the one hand, a change of their attitudes to-wards each other - leading to the improvement of mutual perceptions, increased re-sponsiveness and the rise of communal sentiments - and, on the other hand, to atransfer of loyalties towards emerging supra-ethnic institutions, strengthening whatEtzioni calls their "identitive power" 1 and contributing to their legitimization.In its extreme, the demand for cultural integration culminates in a form of"nationalism at the regional level," 2 presuming the merger of two or more nationallAmitai Etzioni, Political Unification: A Comparative Study of Leaders and Forces,(New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965).2See Donald J. Puchala, "Of Blind Men, Elephants and International Inte-gration," Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1972.2communities into a single nationality, i.e. the complete eradication of all criteria uponwhich national differentiation may once have grounded. Most integration modelswhich fall under the conventional paradigm, however, acknowledge that collectivitiesand individuals can hold multiple identities - and are thus capable of reconciling loy-alty to supranational (or supra-ethnic) structures with the preservation of an identityrooted in a differentiated ethnic sub-group. They nevertheless presuppose, however,that processes of unification which unfold in the economic and political realms mustbe accompanied by some measure of socio-cultural integration so as to create andmaintain the over-arching loyalties necessary to secure the durability of the integra-tion project.Conventional theories of integration often traced the process of culturalunification to two sources. First, they predicted it to grow as a by-product of in-creased economic and social interaction between the national communities involved.Often influenced by a tradition of Marxist or liberal cosmopolitanism, they treatedethnicity as a "comparatively ephemeral phenomenon, to be shaped, and eventuallydestroyed, by the forces of modernization." 3 Social interaction and economic linkagesbetween different ethnic groups were seen to lead to "enhanced familiarity, re-sponsiveness and mutual identification, as well as emergent in-group/out-group con-sciousness."4The connection between social communication and ethnic assimilation wasexplored thoroughly in the writings of Karl W. Deutsch. 5 Distancing himself from thecrude equalization of economic modernization with the eradication of ethnic con-sciousness which characterized some other models within the conventional paradigm,3Saul Newman, "Does Modernization Breed Ethnic Political Conflict?" WorldPolitics, Vol. 43, No. 3. April 1991, pp. 453-454.4Puchala, "Of Blind Men," p. 271.5Karl W. Deutsch, Nationalism and Social Communication, (Cambridge: M.I.T.Press, 1966).3Deutsch emphasizes that the rate of assimilation depends on the maintenance of adelicate balance between social mobilization and the integrative capacities of supra-national and supra-ethnic institutions. For ethnic assimilation - rather than increaseddifferentiation - to occur, the rate of assimilation must not lag behind the pace of so-cial mobilization.At the same time, however, Deutsch points out that the process of unificationentails a constant "race between the growing rate of transactions among populations... and the growth of integrative structures and practices among them." 6 Rather thanseeing heightened amalgamation as necessarily leading to increased stability, Deutschargues that "it is the volume of transactions, political, cultural, or economic, whichthrows a burden upon the institutions for peaceful adjustment or change among theparticipating populations." 7 Consequently, a premature leap into a state of amalga-mation can be counterproductive to the establishment of stable integrative structures;"pluralistic security communities," within which the participating nationalities remainunamalgamated - and whose building and maintenance requires a lower transactionvolume - are often more stable than amalgamated entities, for their construction andmaintenance entails less danger of conflicts to emerge and imposes less stringent de-mands upon shared structures.Despite these qualifications, however, Deutsch's social communicationsmodel falls firmly within the conventional paradigm of integration. As did other ap-proaches, it traces the emergence of a communal identity in the long run to processesof economic transactions and social communications. Once initial functional linkagesbetween separate communities had been established, Deutsch envisions that such "tiesin trade, migration, mutual services ... generate flows of transactions between commu-nities and emesh people in transcommunity communications networks. Under ap-6Karl W. Deutsch, Political Community at the International Level: Problems ofDefinition and Measurement, (Garden City: Doubleday, 1954), p. 39.7Deutsch, Political Community, p. 40.4propriate conditions of high volume, expanding substance, and continuing reward,over extended periods of time, intercommunity interactions generate social-psy-chological processes that lead to the assimilation of peoples, and hence to their inte-gration into larger communities. Such assimilatory processes are essentially learningexperiences of the stimulus-response variety." 8The second impetus for cultural unification was perceived to emanate fromthe efforts of national elites to enhance and accelerate the emergence of common sen-timents among their subjects. On the one hand, it was believed that governmentscould advance assimilative tendencies indirectly: By promoting social and economicinteraction between different ethnic groups, they were seen to initiate a movementtowards greater integration in the cultural realm, as is discussed above. On the otherhand, it was postulated that governments could also aid the cause of cultural assimi-lation directly, by enlisting the tools of mass-education and communication in an ef-fort to undermine ethnic consciousness and promote loyalty to and identification withthe symbols and institutions of the multi-ethnic state.Conventional Integration Models and TelevisionBy noting the importance conventional theories of integration allocate to therole of elites in promoting the emergence of communal sentiments and loyalty shiftstowards supranational institutions, we have reached the subject of television.Throughout the 1950s and 60s, many writers accorded almost infinite powers to elec-tronic mass media in swaying the affections, identifications and allegiances of theiraudiences. Development models such as those advanced by Lerner and Schramm, forexample, claimed that electronic mass media could act as a "magic multiplier." By8Donald J. Puchala, "Integration Theory and the Study of International Rela-tions," in Richard L. Merritt and Bruce M. Russett (eds.), From National Development toGlobal Community: Essays in Honor of Karl W. Deutsch, (London: George Allan & Un-win, 1981), p. 156.5"replacing personal experience as the font of new ideas," 9 radio and television wereattributed the potential to promote economic development and social change in un-derdeveloped regions and accelerate the erosion of pre-modern ethnic ties while pro-moting loyalty shifts towards supra-ethnic institutions.But in some industrialized states, too, confidence in the metaphor that nationscan be united in front of their television sets led to attempts to use radio and later tele-vision as a nation-building tool. This, for example, has been the case in Canada wherethe Broadcasting Act of 1968 required that radio and television "actively [contribute]to the flow of exchange of cultural and regional information;" "contribute to thedevelopment of national unity and provide for a continuing expression of Canadianidentity" and "safeguard, enrich and strengthen the cultural, political, social and eco-nomic fabric of Canada." 1 ° To reinforce the role of broadcasting in bringing togetherthe two linguistic groups, the Canadian Radio-Television and TelecommunicationsCommission demanded that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation "maximize co-operation and exchange between relevant and appropriate programming between theEnglish and French television networks as a means of achieving the cultural objectiveof interchange between Canada's two founding cultures ...' ,11In Britain, likewise, the founders of the BBC wanted broadcasting to play a"fundamental role in promoting national unity at a symbolic level, linking individualsand their families to the centers of national life, offering the audience an image of it-self and of the nation as a knowable community, a wider public world beyond the9Robert L. Stevenson, Communication, Development, and the Third World, (NewYork: Longman, 1988), p. 21.10Quoted in Government of Canada, Report of the Task Force on BroadcastingPolicy, (1986), p. 165.11Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, CurrentRealities, Future Challenges: Decision CRTC 87-140 Renewing CBC television network li-cences, (23 February 1987). p. 86.6routines of a narrow existence, to which these technologies give symbolic access." 12Lord Reith, founding father of the British Broadcasting Corporation, even argued thatbroadcasting could "make the nation one man." 13Doubts Regarding Conventional Integration- and Communication ModelsBy the early 1970s, validity of the conventional paradigm of integration hadcome under substantial doubt. It was nourished above all by the observation that theattempt to confirm advances in the process of unification by means of detecting agrowth in communal sentiments among the affected populations often encounteredlittle success. Within the European Community, for example, the identity mergerspredicted and deemed necessary by conventional integration theories could, despite agrowing economic interconnectedness and the careful extension of supranationalstructures, not be ascertained - even as researchers, "convinced that assimilation sim-ply had to be a component of contemporary international integration, worded and re-worded survey questions until 'regional nationality' did at last emerge in poll results,irrespective of whether it existed in respondent's attitudes."14 As a "European iden-tity" failed to evolve, the expansion of EC beyond the stage of a common market wasoften held back by fears of a loss of national identity.Within many multiethnic states, too, the hypothesis that cultural assimilationis bound to follow the direction of unification processes in the political and economicspheres often became refuted by reality, as increased economic and social interactionbetween ethnic communities, and efforts "from above" to propel the emergence ofcommunal sentiments were frequently accompanied by a rise instead of a decline inethnic strive. Even where most tangible criteria of ethnic differentiation (such as lan-12David Moreley and Kevin Robbins, "Spaces of Identity: CommunicationsTechnologies and the Reconfigeration of Europe," Screen, Vol. 30, No. 4, Autumn 1989,p. 31.13Quoted in Moreley et al., "Spaces of Identity," p. 31.14Puchala, "Of Blind Men," p. 272.7guage) had disappeared - and where the process of assimilation thus seemed to havesucceeded - nationalist sentiments often resurfaced nevertheless, as they became"reinvented" to fuel secessionist demands.After conventional integration theories had proven unable to explain the per-sistence and/or the re-surfacing of ethnic sentiments on a national as well as on an in-ternational level, many critics sought to trace their failure to the manner in which theyhad approached the issue of ethnic identity. For one, they criticized traditionalintegration models for having treated ethnic identity - based on the insight that natio-nal differentiation often grounds on subjective criteria - as a dependent variable,bending to changing economic and political configurations and moldable by manip-ulative efforts of political elites. Furthermore, as most conventional theories had as-sumed that peoples would shift their loyalties to supranational institutions once it hadturned out that they could satisfy their welfare needs most efficiently, they appearedto have overestimated the role of material incentives in guiding human behaviour.It was not only the notion that material rewards and expanding economic andsocial interaction were bound to curb ethnic consciousness, however, which fell intodisrepute; questions were also shed on the ability of mass communication in general,and radio and television in particular, to serve as the assimilatory devices earlier inte-gration- and communication models had believed them to be: While the latter hadperceived electronic mass media as a "hypodermic needle" through which the culturalidentifications of viewers could be manipulated at will, newer theories no longer sawaudiences unprotected against manipulative ploys of electronic image providers. In-stead, they stressed that intertextual dynamics lead viewers to decode and demystifytelevision images in relation to other messages supplied through vernacular channelsof communication linking them to their own "interpretive communities" which pro-8vide a code of interpretation to guide the demystification process. 15 Especially iftransmitted in a trans-cultural context, the manner in which television images are de-coded by their recipients cannot be determined according to a simple stimulus-re-sponse model.Echoing prevailing doubts about the ability of mass media to alter the culturalidentifications of those exposed to them Walker Connor cautioned against attempts to"telescope" "assimilist time" through augmenting inter-cultural communication, and"analogizing from the fact that increased communications and transportation help todissolve cultural distinctions among regions within what is fundamentally a one-cul-ture state, to the conclusion that the same process will occur in situations involvingtwo or more distinct cultures."16 Accordingly, it "tend[s] to have one impact in a one-culture situation, and quite a different impact in a variegated culture area." 17Not only, however, was it discovered that exposure to electronic mass-media can failto have the assimilative impacts predicted by earlier models; in some instances it canresult in the pure opposite. As the "status of the viewer has been upgraded regularlyduring the course of communications research," 18 one came to the conclusion that15Rene Jean Ravault, "Defense de l'identite culturelle par les reseaux tradi-tionnels de 'Coerseduction,"' International Political Science Review. Vol. 7, No. 3, July1986, p. 277.A deviation from the "critical audience" approach places more emphasis onthe process whereby audiences seek gratification by bending "the text in any way[they] see fit - indeed, virtually to abolish the text ..." The gratification approach, how-ever, has come under criticism from both sides of the debate. From the social controltradition, it has been countered with the argument that the needs which viewers seekto gratify are, in the final analysis, determined by the media themselves. Those whofocus on the importance of vernacular messages in the decoding process, in contrast,could argue that viewer's needs are to a large extent conditioned by the "interpretivecommunities " to which they belong. See Tamar Liebes and Elihu Katz, On the criticalabilities of television viewers," in Ellen Seiter et al. (eds.), Remote Control: Television,Audiences, and Cultural Power, (London: Routledge, 1989), p. 204.16Walker Connor, "Nation-Building or Nation-Destroying?" World Politics,Vol. 24, No. 3, April 1972, p. 347.17Connor, "Nation-Building," p. 347.18Liebes et al., "On the critical abilities," p. 204.9"the media can be consumed oppositionally ... and not only hegemonically."19 Expo-sure to programmes can come to play a role of "provocation rather than seduction" 20and induce a "boomerang effect" which mobilizes those at the receiving end againstthe messages relayed to them - and ultimately against the source of transmission it-self. The conditions for such a backlash are especially favourable if a vernacular codeof interpretation leads to the branding of foreign messages as propaganda, or as partof a "cultural flood" perceived to threaten and violate the values and identities ad-hered to by the "interpretive community" in question.THE CONSOCIATIONAL APPROACHThe consociational model explored by Arend Lijphart21 grounds on twopremises. First, it recognizes that while the ethnic assimilation predicted and deemednecessary by conventional integration models is often unattainable, increased eco-nomic and social interaction between different national groups does not inevitablylead to renewed ethnic tensions either: While some multiethnic states did fall apart,others, such as Switzerland, seem to have secured a relatively conflict-free coexistenceof their nationalities.Second, the consociational approach differs from earlier integration models inthat it sees a high degree of economic integration - which goes well beyond the scopeof Deutsch's "security community" - compatible with an equally high extent of cul-tural separation; indeed, it purports that the granting of cultural autonomy to the na-tional communities embroiled in the unification process represents the condition fortheir willingness to participate in the maintenance of integrated economic and politi-cal structures. Assimilative pressures resulting from increased economic integration19Liebes et al., "On the critical abilities," p. 204.20Ravault, "Defense de ridentite culturelle," p. 276.21Arend Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies, (New Haven: Yale UniversityPress, 1977).10can be eased if each ethnic segment is granted a high degree of cultural autonomy,and if the cultural homogeneity within each ethnic group's territory is protectedthrough rigid and largely impermeable cultural boundaries. 22To protect ethnic segments from assimilative pressures, the consociationalmodel proposes a form of government which avoids dominance by one ethnic groupover another and by the center over the periphery. This can be accomplished throughan indirect - and thus less imposing - form of democracy, the granting of a mutualveto to each ethnic group and by applying the principle of proportionality in allocat-ing federal funds and governmental appointments.At the heart of the consociational model, thus, lies the principle of detachingthe cultural from the economic and political spheres. Unification processes which un-fold on a political and economic level should not, as was demanded by conventionalintegration theories, become replicated in the socio-cultural realm. As Lijphart ar-gues, the consociational model entails the likelihood "to make plural societies morethoroughly plural. Its approach is not to abolish or weaken segmental cleavages butto recognize them explicitly and to turn the segments into constructive elements ofstable democracy."23In many respects, the consociational model reflects neofunctionalist assump-tions regarding the centrality of elites in propelling the process of economic and po-litical integration and the potential for preserving cultural heterogeneity in the contextof growing economic and political interconnectedness. Instead of arguing that sharedcultural values on a broad popular level must be created so as to sustain overarching22The consociational model further presupposes that supranational structurescan be legitimized without the mergers of identity called for by conventional theoriesof integration, and that the emergence of cognitive loyalties towards supranational in-stitutions, which are stimulated by an instrumental cost/benefit analysis, is com-patible with a continuously close affective identification with demarcated and cul-turally separated national communities. This in turn implies that identity- and loyaltysentiments are more flexible and divisible than was presumed by conventional inte-gration theories and the conflict model alike.3Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies, p. 42.11economic and political structures, neofunctionlists envision that such structures canbe deepened and consolidated through a process of gradually expanding ties on anelite level which centre around economic and political issues. While their elites ad-vance the integration process, broader populations remain segmented and culturallyheterogeneous.The relationship between decentralization in the cultural sphere and inte-gration in the economic realm shines through in the comparison between Canada andSwitzerland. The former differs from the latter in that Switzerland accepts a decou-pling between nationality and citizenship. The federal constitution limits the culturalpowers of the central government to the provisions of Article 116, which argues to theeffect that "the recognition of a national language implies a guarantee of its continu-ance within the limits of its traditional terrain, and hence a corresponding federalpower to act for its preservation."24 Cultural policies outside the strictly defined taskof promoting minority cultures (and hence encouraging continued division ratherthan assimilation) fall under the jurisdiction of the cantons and localities.Whereas the Swiss federal government largely refrains from interfering inmatters of language and culture, its powers to intervene in the economic realm aregreater than is the case in Canada. Unlike its Canadian counterpart, it has succeededin keeping domestic trade barriers relatively low. The center's involvement in theeconomy, moreover, encounters little resistance by Switzerland's diverging cultural24When the central government does become involved in cultural matters, itmostly aims at strengthening cultural minority groups within their respective regions,mainly through grants to Italophone cultural projects in Ticino and Romanschinstitutions in Grisons. Such subsidies are either given to cantons which determinetheir allocation within the objective specified by the federal government, or directly tothe linguistic groups themselves. See Kenneth D. McRae, Switzerland: Example of Cul-tural Coexistence, (Toronto: The Canadian Institute of International Affairs, 1964), p. 52-56.12communities, for they sense their identities sufficiently protected by the principle ofcultural decentralization. 25The Consociational Model and TelevisionFrom the premises of the consociational model, finally, it flows that the role itallocates to mass communications in general and television in particular is fundamen-tally opposed to that envisioned by those models of integration which fall under thetraditional paradigm: While the latter prescribe a strategy of using television a tool tofoster cultural integration, the consociational model - in accord with its demand thatcultural separation between economically and politically integrated communitiesmust remain intact while cultural homogeneity within these units should be strength-ened - seeks to promote cultural cohesion among rather than between different ethnicgroups.There are few systematic enquiries into the media policy in consociationaldemocracies. A short glance at the practice of broadcasting in Switzerland and in Bel-gium, however, can provide some guidance: In accord with its overall strategy of fos-tering cultural separation, Switzerland strives to employ both radio and televisionbroadcasting to accentuate rather than homogenize cultural differences. Instead oftrying to use television to encourage cultural integration, it merely ensures that "threecomplete and equal programme services be offered."26 Accordingly, the three na-tional networks (one for each of the main linguistic regions) produce programmeswhich are kept separate in form and content, 27 and all three have a strong regional fo-25See Jean Laponce, "Canada, Switzerland and Talcott Parsons," Queen'sQuarterly, Vol. 99, No. 2, Summer 1992.26McRae, Switzerland, p. 43.The policy of linguistic separation was originally devised for radio broadcast-ing but it was extended to television with the arrival of the medium.27With the advent of cable, Swiss viewers watch more foreign broadcaststhan they spend time viewing broadcasters from other linguistic regions, if only forreasons of lacking language skills.13cus.28 This trend was further enhanced by the fact that the German-language net-work airs an ever-increasing share of its programmes in Swiss-German dialect, whichrenders them incomprehensible to most French- and Italian-speaking Swiss.In Belgium, likewise, increased linguistic decentralization was accompaniedby a heightened separation of broadcasting. In 1960, two separate broadcast institu-tions were created to serve the two major linguistic communities.29 Before the adventof cable television, the signals of both broadcasters could not be received outside theirlinguistic territories as they adopted two different television norms: Whereas Wallo-nia used the 819-line format which enabled it to receive channels from neighbouringFrance but not from Flanders, the latter adopted the 625-line norm which allowed re-ception of signals from the Netherlands, but which was incompatible with the normadopted by fellow Belgians across the cultural divide. 30In 1971, in the course of constitutional decentralization, television policy be-came subject to community parliamentary control. In 1979, the two regional govern-ments were granted exclusive control over most aspects of broadcasting.31 Mean-while, the installation of the world's most dense cable system permitted Belgians towatch each other's television channels, but the ratings for foreign channels (i.e. from28Swiss radio and television networks have resisted rare attempts by the fed-eral government to use broadcasting as a integrative device. During the SecondWorld War the central administration "issued a directive calling for a weekly broad-cast on the duties of patriotism," but the French service refused to comply, arguingthat "hardworking people had a right to a radio service of entertainment and relax-ation." At the same time, the French network was defending the principle of au-tonomy and non-intervention, preventing the federal government from using broad-casting for national objectives. McRae, Switzerland, pp. 45-46.29Radio Television Belge de la Communaute Francaise (RTBF) serves theFrench community, while Belgische Radio en Televisie (BRT) was instituted to servethe Flemish one. In addition, in 1977, a broadcast station was created for the smallGerman-language community in Belgium. See Eli Noam, Television in Europe, (NewYork: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 176.30George H. Quester, The International Politics of Television, (Lexington:Lexington Books, 1990), p. 211.31Noam, Television in Europe, p. 176.14France and the Netherlands respectively) are much higher within the correspondinglinguistic region than are those for each other's broadcasters. 3232In Belgium, the decentralization of broadcasting was not guided by culturalconcerns alone. Its impetus came from the "quest for absolute control over the broad-casting medium by the dominant political parties on either side of Belgium's culturalbarrier." See Jan Drijvers, "Community Broadcastin&: A Manifesto for the Media Pol-icy of Small European States," Media, Culture and Society. Vol. 14, 1992.15ORIGINS OF THE EC'S TELEVISION POLICIES IN THE EARLY 1980STHE RISE OF BRUSSELS'S CULTURAL AMBITIONSBetween the time of its founding and the early 1980s, the European Com-munity displayed few cultural ambitions. In 1973, the summit of Copenhagen re-ferred for the first time to a perceived need to foster the emergence of a European"cultural space,"33 but due to a lack of enthusiasm among member states the issuewas soon laid to rest. It surfaced again in 1977, when the European Commissioncalled for "Community action in the cultural sector." After the Council - preoccupiedwith economic aspects of integration - had even refused to examine the issue, 34 how-ever, the matter of complementing economic and political integration with a "culturaldimension" was postponed until the following decade.In the early-to-mid 1980s, Brussels's earlier lack of cultural ambitions was re-placed by a sudden activism. Its origins can be traced to the acceleration in the pro-cess of European integration in its economic and political dimensions, notably thesigning of the Single European Act in 1986, which committed Community members toestablish a common market for goods, services, capital and labour by the end of 1992.While the latter was still a primarily economic venture, it held out the prospect for thegradual extension of a political super-structure, reinvigorating the process of politicalunification which had slackened after the Luxembourg Compromise in 1966.Even before the Single Act had been concluded, the "Europhoria" which ac-companied the sudden acceleration of European integration spilled into the culturalrealm: In 1984, arguing that the "European Union which is being constructed cannothave economic and social objectives as its only aim, however important those objec-tives may be; [it] also involves new kinds of solidarity based on belonging to Euro-33Hugues Dumont, "Les competences culturelles de la Communaute Euro-peenne," in Jacques Lenoble and Nicole Dewandre (eds.), L'Europe au soir du siecle:1dentite et democratie, (Paris: Editions Esprit, 1992).34Dumont, "Les competences culturelles," p. 201.16pean culture ...,"34 the European Council established an ad hoc committee for a"people's Europe" (known as the Addonino Commission) to which it gave the task ofsuggesting "ways of strengthening the identity and improving the image of the Com-munity."36But although the European Commission declared the "relaunching of a cul-tural European Community" as "both a political and a socio-political necessity for thecompletion of the large internal market in 1992 and the development of the People'sEurope into a European Union," 37 the insistence of some members (mainly Denmarkand the UK) that cultural affairs should remain off-limits to Brussels caused many ofthe EC's measures in the "cultural sector" to be of largely symbolic character, com-plementing rather than replacing existing national cultural policies. They rangedfrom the designation of "European cities of culture," the financing of a pan-Europeansymphony orchestra, the sponsorship of joint European sports teams and "walks forEurope," to a common European symbol to be worn by athletes at the Olympic Ga-mes.38 In addition, the EC advanced European "unity symbols" by declaring May 9th"Europe Day," encouraging the frequent playing of the "European anthem" and, in1986, by adopting a European flag. Moreover, after it had taken "some ten years toagree on its colour and format" EC members finally began to issue a common Eu-ropean passport.39 By far the largest share of attention, however, came to be devotedto television.34Commission of the European Communities, "The European Communityand Culture," European File, 10, 1988, p. 3.36Ernest Wistrich, After 1992: The United States of Europe, (London: Routledge,1989), p. 86.37Commission of the European Communities, "European Community andCulture," p. 3.38Wistrich, After 1992, pp. 86-87.39Wistrich, After 1992, pp. 87-88. The "Europassport," however, is of onlysymbolic value for an internationally recognized European citizenship does not yet17REASONS FOR THE PROMOTION OF PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISIONAs will be argued, Brussels's focus on television as a primary instrument ofadvancing its cultural ambitions based on economic, political and technical con-siderations. But above all, it was grounded on two assumptions about the role ofcommunications in general and mass media in particular: First, the EC shared thefaith held by the "nation-builders" in Britain, Canada and many developing nationsthat communication could promote the cause of cultural integration. Seemingly con-vinced that "all that communicates is good," 110 the Commission even declared parts ofthe communications sector as prosaic as digital telephone lines and computer net-works as "new highways for the European market."41Second, Brussels's attraction to television was propelled by its belief that thealleged "national outlook" of conventional domestic media posed an obstacle to theemergence of a "European consciousness" among national audiences. For example,Pieter Dankert, president of the European Parliament, argued:For various reasons, an increasing need for European programmes exist.For European politics, it is of enormous importance to be represented byjournalists on Ta] European level and also to be able to present oneselfdirect [sic] to national audiences. But there are so many more interests -social and cultural - that are from a European standpoint, crying formore intensive and more extensive communication. ... There is a lot ofwork to be done, by politicians and journalists in the first place, as Eu-rope does not exist yet in the national publicity."42While Brussels insisted that enhanced communications in general and com-mon television channels in particular could "play an important part in developing andnurturing awareness of the rich variety of Europe's common cultural and historicalexist. As it specifies the nationality of its bearer, the document amounts to little morethan a national passport with a European symbol on its cover.40Dominique Wolton, Eloge du grand public: Line theorie critique de la television,(Paris: Flammarion, 1990), p. 233.41Commission of the European Communities, "Telecommunications: TheNew Highways for the European Market," European File, 15, 1988.42Quoted in George Wedell, "The Establishment of the Common Market forBroadcasting in Western Europe," International Political Science Review, Vol. 7, No. 3,July 1986. p. 295. (emphasis added).18heritage ... [and thus] do much to help the people of Europe to recognize the commondestiny they share in many areas,"43 there is little doubt that it wanted pan-Europeantelevision to do more than to teach Europeans that they were different from eachother: From the very outset, Brussels's "unity in diversity" rhetoric could not concealits fondness of equating Europeanization with denationalization. This, as will be dis-cussed below, surfaced in attempts to employ Europa TV not merely as a vehicle tomake Europeans from different countries watch more of each other's productions butinstead to diffuse programmes which mirrored a "non-national" (and thus supposedly"European") point of view. It also shined through in its fostering of audiovisualcoproductions between as many European countries as possible so as to stimulate theuse of and familiarity with a denationalized "European" format.But despite the EC's claim that pan-European television could "by appealingto a large audience ... help develop a peoples Europe through reinforcing a sense ofbelonging to a Community composed of countries which are different yet partake of adeep solidarity,"44 Brussels could not ignore that much of Europe's past had neitherbeen unified nor marked by deep solidarity. This meant that it had to "shift [its]historical perspectives back far ... to find shared European projects and identities un-spoiled by the inconvenient outbreaks of mass slaughter that have been so importanta part of European history since the Middle Ages." 45It was indeed the Middle Ages from which the EC's cultural projects came todraw their inspiration. They reflected a desire to return to a time when "horizontalstratifications were more important than vertical ones ... [when] religious, political,military and cultural elites circulated freely across the continent, sharing language,43Quoted in Moreley et al., "Spaces of Identity," p. 12.44Commission of the European Communities, "Towards a Large EuropeanAudio-Visual Market," European File. 4, 1988, p. 4.45Richard Collins, Television: Policy and Culture, (London: Unwin Hyman,1990), p. 209.19religion, ethnicity, in short the attributes of a nation."46 By invoking a medievallegacy as an inspiration for a future "Europe of culture," Brussels was in the traditionof some early founding fathers of the European movement who "tended to look backto the imperial myths of the Carolingian and Ottonian Holy Roman Empire and to themedieval urban civilization centered on the Rhine as their models of a 'golden age' ofEuropean Christendom."47Brussels's longing to recreate a "Europe of culture" along pre-Westhpalianlines shined through in efforts to forge a nation-transcending European identity notonly through a "Europe of viewers" but also through such initiatives as the designa-tion of "European cities of culture," the promotion of "sister cities" across national bor-ders and even, as part of the MEDIA programme, the sponsoring of a television serieson medieval pilgrimages. 48The EC's claim that Europe's cultural revival could base on its medievallegacy, and its insistence that "Europe's cultural dimension is there in the collectiveconsciousness of its people," 49 made the task of fostering an over-arching Europeanidentity appear more promising than if it had concluded that a "Europe of culture"would have to be constructed anew. Due to the notion that Europe had already beenunified before it became divided along national lines, that Europeans already shared a"rich heritage," a "deep solidarity" and a nation-state transcending "collective con-46Collins, Television, p. 209.47Anthony D. Smith, "National Identity and the Idea of European Unity,"International Affairs, Vol. 68, No. 1, 1992, p. 74.Not all "founding fathers" of European integration, however, embraced me-dieval cosmopolitanism as an example for a future integrated Europe. In The Progressof International Government David Mitrany argued that Europe's medieval unity "wasdispensed from above upon a world that was generally unconscious of it." See jaapDe Wilde, Saved From Oblivion: Interdependence Theory in the First Half of the 20th Cen-tury, (Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing Company, 1991), p. 192.48Collins, Television, p. 209.49Commission of the European Communities, "European Community andCulture," p. 3. (emphasis added).20sciousness," a coherent European identity would not have to be created but merely"relaunched."The second aspect of the EC's quest to encourage the Europeanization ofbroadcasting related to the first: Brussels perceived the "relaunching" of a "Europe ofculture" not only in terms of amalgamating national cultures within the confines ofthe Community but also as a task requiring the protection of a "European identity"from perceived cultural threats originating from the outside, primarily from audiovi-sual imports originating in the United States. Although US productions did not ac-count for more than 10% of combined European television programming,50 the EC'swarnings against the alleged cultural peril from overseas acquired an ever greater ur-gency throughout the 1980s, leading it to identify the creation of a pan-European pro-duction sector sufficiently strong to compete with American imports as "one essentialstep if the dominance of big American media corporations is to be counter-balanced."51While Brussels's "unity in diversity" rhetoric denied the potential for conflictbetween its pan-European ambitions and the cultural identities of smaller Communitymembers, it depicted the cultural standing of Europe vis-à-vis the outside world insheer Darwinian terms, a perception which was shared by some national govern-ments as well: As early as 1982, French Minister of Culture Jack Lang called for a cru-sade "against financial and intellectual imperialism that no longer grabs territory, orrarely, but grabs consciousness, ways of thinking, ways of living."52 In 1988, similarrhetoric was adopted by the European Commission which warned that "while satel-50Michael Tracy, "Popular Culture and the Economics of Global Television,"Intermedia, Vol. 16, No. 2, March 1988, p. 11.51Quoted in Collins, Television, p. 152.The fact that the quota debate occurred within the framework of the TWF Di-rective was also caused by the EC's fear that commercially operated non-nationalbroadcasters, eager to obtain inexpensive and popular programming input, wouldturn to American sources.52Quoted in Tracy, "Popular Culture," pp. 16-17.21lites are ready to overwhelm us with hundreds of new television channels, Europeruns the risk of seeing its own industry squeezed out and its market taken over byAmerican and Japanese industrialists and producers ... [given] the clear interaction be-tween technical progress, the opening up of frontiers and programme content, a Eu-ropean response is required ..." 53Brussels's warnings against American television imports often reflected, incontent and style, the arguments advanced on a national level in the decades before:While it had traditionally been British, French or Italian culture which became de-fended against an alleged onslaught of American influence by their national govern-ments, it was now a "European identity" whose survival was perceived to depend onBrussels's intervention. Just as national public service broadcasters had the mandateto further national cultural objectives, 54 the EC hoped that pan-European broadca-sters would do the same for "European culture." As will be discussed, even concretecultural policies pioneered on a national level, such as import quotas for foreign pro-gramme productions, government-sponsored film boards and television festivals be-came imitated by the Community.Finally, whereas the main motives behind the promotion of pan-Europeantelevision were cultural, these were often linked to economic objectives. In particular,the European Commission hoped that an integrated European television market,encompassing more than 300 million viewers, would help European electronicsindustries keep pace with their US and Japanese competitors in the development of anew high definition television standard (HDTV), programme digitization techniquesand a new satellite transmission norm.53Commission of the European Communities, "European Community andCulture," pp. 5-6.54For a comparison of national content requirements in several Europeancountries, see The European Institute for the Media, Towards a European Common Mar-ket For Television: Contribution to the Debate, Manchester, The European Institute for theMedia, 1987.22Calls to promote pan-European television as a means of strengthening Euro-pean electronics industries, too, were accompanied by dire warnings that Europe wasat danger of being overwhelmed by foreigners. In 1986, justifying the MEDIA pro-gramme discussed below, the European Commission contended that "[the] economicand cultural dimensions of communication cannot be separated. The gap between theprofilation of equipment and media and the stagnation of creative content productioncapacities is a major problem for the societies of Europe; it lays them open to domina-tion by other powers with a better performance in the programming content indu-stry. ,,55President Mitterrand's synthesis of economic and cultural dangers led him toeven direr warnings linking the future of television to the fate of the Community it-self: Expanding on his previous laments that a laissez-faire attitude by the EC wouldinevitably lead to the point where Europeans would be watching only American filmson Japanese-made television sets, he cautioned in 1989 that "American images, to-gether with Japanese technologies, greatly dominate the European market ... if we donot attack now, the cement of European unity will start to crumble." 56TECHNICAL, LEGAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS FAVOURING THEEUROPEANIZATION OF TELEVISIONWhile the progress in European integration and the EC's rising cultural ambi-tions prepared the stage for Brussels's promotion of pan-European television chan-nels, the latter would not have occurred without fundamental changes in the technicaland economic nature of television broadcasting itself. They promised to lead themedium towards denationalization and thus made it seem attractive as a vehicle forBrussels's cultural ambitions.55Quoted in Collins, Television, p. 207-208.56Quoted in R. Negrine and S. Papathanassopoulous, The Internationalizationof Television, (London: Pinter Publishers, 1990), p. 176.23For one, television broadcasting was affected by political decisions taken on anational level during the previous years: Throughout the 1970s and 80s, most ECmembers had undermined their traditional public service monopolies by allowingcommercial broadcasters to enter the market. 57 In 1980, the European Court of Jus-tice, in recognition of the commercial dimension television had acquired, declaredbroadcasting to meet the Treaty of Rome's criteria of a "service" and it required ECmembers to allow unhindered access to broadcasts originating from anywhere withinthe Community, provided these complied with the regulations prevailing in theircountry of origin.58Technical transformations, too, were expected to push television towardsEuropeanization: By the early 1980s improvements in transmission technology had ac-celerated at a fast pace. 59 The evolution of low, medium and high powered broad-casting satellites facilitated the diffusion of television signals over large geographicalareas, either for reception by private satellite dishes, whose size and price had de-dined sharply, or as feeders of local cable systems. 6° Once installed, cable was boundto facilitate the transmission of channels from abroad. 6157Exceptions to the public service monopoly model had been few: In Italy, aSupreme Court decision in the early 1970s legalized private television on local level.In Luxembourg, a monopoly was granted to a private broadcaster, while Britain, Fin-land and Monaco maintained public-private duopolies. The former two countries,however, imposed tight restrictions on private broadcasters so as to not endanger thedominant position of their public service competitors. For a comparative treatment ofdomestic broadcasting policies in Europe see Noam, Television in Europe.58Wedell, "Establishment of the Common Market," p. 288.59See Negrine et al., Internationalization.60Likewise, the refinement of cable technology helped overcome spectrumshortage, which had often served as a pretext to limit the number of television chan-nels.61Moreover, by the mid 1980s, optical fiber cable technology had replacedcopper cables, and it became possible to digitalize television signals which in turnmultiplied the number of channels that could be transmitted through cable lines. Thepotential to overcome terrestrial frequency shortages was further enhanced by con-verting some frequencies from military to civilian use and by utilizing frequencies inthe microwave spectrum. See Noam, Television in Europe, p. 43.24The new possibilities opening up in the technical field, combined with com-mercialization on a national level, subjected television broadcasting to a new economicdynamic which raised expectations that it would soon take on a pan-European dimen-sion: Commercial television is either financed through advertising revenues orthrough subscription fees, and the revenue obtained from either form of fundingtends to increase in proportion to the size of the audience a channel reaches. A profit-maximizing broadcaster expands the range of its signals until the marginal cost ofdoing so equals the marginal revenue it can attain from it. As broadcasting involvesno physical mass the incentive for channels to expand their geographical reach isstrong. Besides the need for stronger transmission equipment and higher costs ofprogramme input,62 reaching additional viewers entails no additional marginal ex-penditures.A further push towards Europeanization was expected from the fact that asthe number of entrants into the television market rises, so does their tendency to en-gage in programme differentiation, the endeavor to reach specific audience segmentsand to take advantage of previously neglected market niches through"narrowcasting," i.e. by creating "thematic" programme contents (e.g. all-news, all-music, or all-film). The more fragmented a channel's audience becomes, i.e. thesmaller the proportion of viewers to which it appeals, the greater its incentive to beamits signals across national borders, hoping to compensate for the loss of audience shareby increasing its audience reach.63 As a general rule, the more channels compete in agiven market, the higher is diversity of programming they offer, and the greater istheir incentive to target a larger audience by diffusing their signals over a wider geo-62The purchasing price of programme input usually increases propor-tionately to the number of viewers as given channel reaches.63For example, if a channel's audience share declines from 20% to 10% but thenumber of viewers able to receive its signals doubles, the channel's total audience size(i.e. the number of people actually watching it) remains constant, provided its appealdoes not diminish among the additional audience.25graphical area. In sum, in the absence of political, linguistic and cultural obstades,commercialization breeds Europeanization. 64These political, technical and economic dynamics coincided with the EC'squest to encourage cultural integration, and they were purported to justify its in-volvement in television broadcasting: On the one hand, the "de-culturization" of tele-vision introduced within some member states (in the form of commercialization)undermined the claim traditionally advanced by some member states that televisionbroadcasting was a cultural activity and should therefore remain off-limits to inter-vention by Brussels. It opened a niche for the EC to enter the realm of broadcastingpolicy under economic rather than cultural pretenses. On the other hand, the tech-nical ability to transmit signals across national boundaries, and the economic incen-tive to do so, gave rise to the EC's claim that signals which could be dispersed through-out the Community had to be regulated on a Community-wide basis as well. As itturned out, the EC's measures to regulate pan-European television aimed primarily atits promotion.64T'he internationalization of broadcasting in Europe was further expected tobenefit from the following factors: The invention of scrambling and decodingtechnologies created the potential to offer individual channels for a monthly fee(subscription television) or "charge admission" to single programmes (pay-per-viewor pay-per-minute television). This transformed television signals from a public (non-excludable) good into a private (excludable) good, and it gave broadcasters the oppor-tunity to exploit different demand elasticities through "segmental discrimination,' i.eby offering the same programme to different audiences at different times, through dif-ferent means of transmission and at different prices. This, in turn, benefits the spe-cialization of programming and therefore, as was discussed, the dispersion of broad-cast signals over wider geographical areas.The trend towards specialization (and thus internationalization) is enhancedas dearly defined audience segments are more attractive to advertisers and thus moreprofitable, and subscription and pay-per-view television channels are only likely to besuccessful if they specialize in types of programming which viewers cannot expect toobtain from "free" television airing more general programming formats. In the UnitedStates, the surge of thematic channels has demonstrated that commercialization, ifcombined with technologies which allow broadcasters to expand their geographicalreach and tab into alternate sources of funding (e.g. subscription television), can in-crease pluralism and diversity of programming: Although many U.S. cable and satel-lite channels appeal to only a minuscule proportion of the audience, they are eco-nomically viable nonetheless. On the economics of television broadcasting see Noam,Television in Europe.26MEASURES BY THE EC TO ENCOURAGE THE EUROPEANIZATION OFTELEVISION AND THE RISE OF PAN-EUROPEAN BROADCASTERSThe EC's efforts to promote pan-European television consisted of three com-ponents: First, Brussels sought to encourage "negative integration" (i.e. the removal ofobstacles to Europeanization) by eliminating barriers to the flow of television pro-grammes between member states. This, it hoped, would allow market- and tech-nology-induced forces towards Europeanization to fully unfold. The other two as-pects of the EC's television policy were of a "positive" nature, seeking to promote(rather than merely remove obstacles to) integration in the audio-visual field; they ledthe EC to support a non-commercial Europe-wide channel and to sponsor trans-Euro-pean audiovisual coproductions."TELEVISION WITHOUT FRONTIERS"In 1983, the Commission of the European Communities released a report tothe Council, titled Trends in Broadcasting in Europe: Perspectives and Options. It "markedthe starting point for involvement on part of the European institutions in audiovisualpolicy."65 It was followed, in 1984, by a green paper titled "Television Without Fron-tiers" and, in 1986, by a draft directive on broadcasting, known as the 'Television Wi-thout Frontiers Directive" (rwF).66T'WF's main objective was the removal of all barriers to the free flow of televi-sion signals within the Community so as to make way for market forces, propelled bytechnological inventions and economies of scale, to push television beyond the con-fines of the nation state. To deprive national governments of justifications to obstructthe reception of foreign signals on their territory, the Directive also sought to harmo-nize regulations pertaining to violent, racist and pornographic material 67 and it laid65Matto Maggiore, Audiovisual Production and the Single Market, (Luxembourg:Commission of the European Communities, 1990), p. 32.66Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 33.67Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 34.27down meticulously devised rules on advertising. Article 16 of the directive, for ex-ample, mandates that advertisements "shall not directly encourage minors to per-suade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised." 68TWF was designated as an economic measure so as to honour the EC's preclu-sion under the Treaty of Rome from intervening in the cultural affairs of its members.Brussels took little effort, however, to conceal that it promoted pan-European televi-sion channels with cultural objectives in mind: In 1985, Commission PresidentJacques Delors argued that since, under the Treaty of Rome, "the EC does not have themeans to impose a cultural policy, ... [it] will ... have to tackle the problem [of broad-casting] from an economic point of view." 69 Likewise, the European Parliament pro-claimed that the EC's involvement in broadcasting policy had to occur under aneconomic rather than cultural banner, for this could "set limits to the efforts of thoselawyers who might try to deny us any powers to act on it." 7°Due to its cultural dimension, TWF was disputed from the outset and it ma-naged to pass only with a qualified majority; Belgium and Denmark voted againstit.71 Denmark, the most consistent critic of the EC's cultural ambitions, argued thatAfter much controversy between member states, an original plan to imposebinding content quotas against non-European imports was dropped, mainly due tolobbying by Britain which feared trade retaliations by the United States. The final ver-sion of the Directive issued in 1989 merely demanded that preference be given toE.European productions "where practicable." Quoted in Negrine et al., Internationalization,90.Due to German pressure the definition of "European" was extended to allmembers of the Council of Europe (which included its "linguistic allies" in Switzer-land and Austria) and to productions from Eastern Europe. The Commission also ac-cepted France's contention that imports from Quebec should be considered European,too.68Council of the European Communities, "EC Directive on Broadcasting," (3.October 1989), reprinted in Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 171.69Quoted in Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 67.70Quoted in Wedell, "Establishment of the Common Market," p. 286.71Vincent Porter, "The Janus Character of television broadcasting," in GarethLocksley (ed.), The Single European Market and the Information and CommunicationTechnologies, (London: Belhaven Press, 1990), p. 62.28the EC should not interfere in the cultural affairs of its members, even if such inter-vention took place under the guise of economic liberalization. Belgium was anxiousthat it would lose its power to restrict the carriage of foreign programmes on its ex-tensive cable system. This, it feared, would damage its fragile domestic audiovisualindustries.EUROPA TVIn its efforts to encourage television channels with pan-European reach, theEC did not rely on market forces alone; in 1986, it participated in the launching of Eu-ropa TV, a publicly funded non-national channel. It was initiated by a consortium ofEuropean public service broadcasters from Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlandsand Portugal72 and it was financed through contributions from the EuropeanCommission, the Dutch government, participating broadcast organizations andthrough advertising revenues. 73Europa TV was pan-European not only with respect to its geographical reachbut also in its programming content. Its programming formula "was intended to meetthe following criteria: it had to be European, complementary, independent, universaland original ... and it was to "reflect European culture and [contribute] to it." 74 EuropaTV's mission was to create programmes in a "denationalized" format, i.e. to reportnews and current affairs not from a national but from a "European point of view." Eu-ropa TV's news team, for example, "was carefully structured to avoid the dominanceof any single national group," and a "non-national perspective was encouraged by allavailable means."7572Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 71.73The European Cultural Foundation and the European Institute for the Me-dia, Europe 2000: What Kind of Television? (Report of the European Television TaskForce), Manchester, The European Institute for the Media, 1988, p. 98.74European Cultural Foundation et al., Europe 2000, p. 99.75Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 71.29To overcome language barriers, Europa TV's visual image was transmittedalongside several sound channels, with simultaneous translation schemes enablingaudiences to receive the channel in their native tongue. Moreover, subtitles were pro-vided through teletext. 76After an initial phase during which Europa TV had only been available in theNetherlands, it expanded its reach to 4.5 million households across Europe, including1.5 million in Portugal where it was transmitted through terrestrial means. 77 Eu-ropa's initiators predicted that the channel would soon conquer a sizable trans-Euro-pean audience and expand its reach to more than 30 million homes, 78 therebydemonstrating the viability of trans-European broadcasting and inducing commerci-ally operated pan-European broadcasters to emerge. As is discussed below, however,the experiment was short-lived.SUPPORT FOR EUROPEAN AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTIONSThe second component of the EC's efforts to promote "positive integration" inthe audiovisual sector involved "consistent action in support of European programmeproduction."79 In 1985, the European Commission proposed a plan to help funddrama co-productions involving three or more producers from different membercountries. This, however, was rejected by the Council of Ministers "because of the op-position of certain countries [mainly Denmark] which refused to admit either thecompetence of the Community in the cultural sphere, or any systematic public in-volvement in the cultural industries." 8076European Cultural Foundation et al., Europe 2000, p. 99.77Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 176.78European Cultural Foundation et al., Europe 2000, p. 99.79Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 32.80European Cultural Foundation et al., Europe 2000, p. 89.30Despite such objections, Brussels managed to push through several initiativesto aid the emergence of a pan-European audiovisual market, most of which werelaunched under the umbrella of the MEDIA (Mesures pour encourager le developpe-ment de l'industrie audiovisuelle) 81 programme. MEDIA supported enterprises suchas BABEL (Broadcasting Across the Barriers of European Languages) to refine tech-nologies for dubbing and translation schemes; SCRIPT to promote the writing ofEuropean film scripts; EURO-AIM to support independent film producers; the Euro-pean Film Distribution Office (FDO) and even a fund to aid European cartoon pro-ductions. In 1988, moreover, the EC sponsored a "European Cinema and Televisionyear. ,,82Support for non-national broadcasters was not MEDIA's only objective as italso supported coproductions between domestic public service channels and the cir-culation of films shown in movie theaters. But as the EC deemed the fact that 80% ofall audiovisual productions in Europe never left their borders 83 an obstacle to thedevelopment of a audiovisual market sufficiently large to provide Europe-wide chan-nels with European-made programming content, it expected the enlargement of pan-European programme production to come to the aid of non-national broadcasters byfurnishing them with suitable (i.e. European-made) - and thanks to direct and indirectsubsidies cheaper and more plentiful - programming input. 84 Moreover, the EC81Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 7482Commission of the European Communities, "Towards a Large EuropeanAudio-Visual Market," p. 3.83Jean-Claude Burgelman and Caroline Pauwels, "Audiovisual Policy andCultural Identity in Small European States: The Challenge of a Unified Market," Me-dia, Culture and Society, Vol. 14, 1992, p. 176.84Furthermore, some MEDIA-initiatives were targeted at strengthening cul-tural industries in smaller European countries. Due the EC's eagerness to encourageproductions suitable for a Europe-wide audience, however, MEDIA's priority turnedout to be the funding of productions in larger countries in more widely spoken lan-guages. They had greater chances of appealing to a pan-European audience and ofcompeting internationally against US, South American and Japanese productions,31hoped that widespread exposure to European coproductions - even if initially shownmore in movie theaters and on domestic channels than on pan-European TV - wouldinduce viewers to adapt to a denationalized programming format whose acceptancewas essential for the success of pan-European channels.THE RISE OF PAN-EUROPEAN BROADCASTERSBy the mid-to-late 1980s, many obstacles to the Europeanization of televisionbroadcasting had thus been removed. The way seemed paved for economic forces,propelled by enthusiastic support by the European Community, to expel televisionfrom its national fold. The outlook for pan-European broadcasting was so favourablethat large publishing houses, encouraged by permissive anti-trust legislation on a na-tional as well as European level, began to invest large sums in non-national channels:In 1984, after it had secured cable transmission rights in Britain, Norway,Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, the UK-branch of the Murdoch publishinggroup set up Sky Television,85 which transmitted entertainment-oriented pro-grammes to viewers across Europe. In 1987, 14 British ITV companies launched ri-valling Super Channel, which beamed an equally entertainment-dominated farethrough cable and satellite across the continent. The inauguration of Sky Televisionand Super Channel was accompanied by the founding of several other channelswhich tried to conquer market niches by specializing in areas such as film, sportcoverage, financial news, "lifestyle reporting," the "women's market" and children'sTV. Even devotees to erotic fare were catered to by Dutch-based Radio TelevisionVeronique which beamed its signals via the Astra satellite.86thereby recovering parts of their production costs. See Burgelman et al., "AudiovisualPolicy," p. 176.85Noam, Television in Europe, p. 141.86Veronique's signals were originally unencrypted and could be received byall those whose satellite dishes were adjusted to receive Sky Television, which wasbeamed from the Astra satellite, too. After much lobbying by the British government,which argued that the channel violated British broadcasting regulations calling for the32Some pan-European channels were financed through advertising, othersthrough subscription fees or a combination of both. As for Sky Television and SuperChannel, their initiators hoped that advertisers, eager to seize the opportunity to dis-perse their messages to a Europe-wide audience, would provide a plentiful source offunding. The prospects for non-national broadcasters to earn sufficient advertisingrevenues to cover their operating costs and render a profit looked especially good asthe European advertising market had remained underdeveloped in comparison tothat of the United States, which shared comparable socioeconomic characteristics. 87Mirroring the optimism which prevailed among pan-European channels andadvertisers alike, the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi predicted that by 1995,"new powerful satellites will have become established with, we estimate, around 35per cent penetration of UK television households" and that "satellite broadcastingacross national frontiers - [plan European services ... will predominate and be the keydynamic in our business."88preservation of "taste and decency," Veronique began to encrypt its signals. See Ne-grine et al., Internationalization, p. 4.871n 1985, Europeans spent the equivalent of 5,000 million US-dollars (for acombined population of 355 million) on advertising, while American advertisers dis-persed more than $ 20,000 million to cover 240 million consumers. Moreover, sincemost public service monopolies had severely restricted television advertising or evenprohibited it altogether, European advertisers were expected to be eager to catch up toUS-levels once outlets for their messages had become available. See Negrine et al., In-ternationalization, p. 119.88Quoted in Collins, Television, p. 63.33THE FAILURE OF PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISIONNeither the advent of technical and economic conditions favourable to theEuropeanization of television, nor the efforts of the EC to promote it, led to its success.The extent to which non-national television failed to attract viewers becomes apparentby examining (1) the fate of Europa TV; (2) the popularity of commercial pan-Euro-pean broadcasters among audiences who could receive their signals; and (3) the paceat which the technical infrastructure necessary to transmit and receive pan-Europeanchannels grew.THE FATE OF EUROPA TVThe plight of Europa TV was among the earliest signs that non-national tele-vision would not encounter the success predicted and hoped for by the EuropeanCommunity. Despite early estimates that the channel was bound to conquer a sizabletransnational audience and soon attain financial self-sufficiency, it ceased operationsin November of 1987.Europa TV's short life was marked by political quarrels, such as Portugal's in-sistence that it should broadcast not only in English, German and Dutch but also inPortuguese. This caused expenditures for translation facilities and multiple sound-tracks to eat up half of Europa's budged. 89 Most of Europa's financial problems,however, reflected the channel's minuscule audience appeal and its resulting inabilityto attract advertising revenues. Even after Europa TV had begun to offer commercialslots free of charge to draw the attention of advertisers, the latter did not use it as anoutlet for their messages. 9° In the end, a 720.000 Pound emergency grant offer by theEC could not save the channe1. 9189Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 176.90Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 177.91Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 177.34In 1988, after Europa TV's demise, the European Commission ponderedwhether it should fund another Europe-wide broadcaster, "provided it combines thefollowing characteristics: a broadcasting organization which is multinational withinEurope, multilingual broadcasts; a multinational audience within a wide Europeanarea; European programme content."92 Moreover, Brussels toyed with the idea ofsponsoring a European News channel to counter US-based Cable News Network witha "European point of view."Until the launching of "Euronews" in January 1993, however, Europa TV's fi-asco had spelled an end to further attempts by the EC to set up non-national channels.Instead, the EC downscaled its ambitions to more modest endeavours; it established atraining center for European journalists 93 and it concentrated on initiatives to sponsorEuropean coproductions, mainly through the MEDIA programme. Yet Brusselscontinued to hope that the private sector would succeed in doing what it had failed toaccomplish on its own: to push television into the age of pan-Europeanization andcreate a "Europe of viewers."AUDIENCE RATINGS FOR COMMERCIALLY OPERATED PAN-EUROPEAN CHANNELSIn BritainContrary to expectations that market forces and technical inventions wouldprovide an irresistible pull towards denationalization, commercially funded pan-Eu-ropean channels fared as poorly as had Europa TV:Britain provides a clear illustration for the low popularity of pan-Europeanbroadcasters, especially so since the British market was considered the easiest forthem to penetrate: First, as pan-European channels operated primarily in English,language barriers posed no obstacles for British viewers. Second, most pan-European92Commission of the European Communities, "Towards a Large EuropeanAudio-Visual Market," p. 4.93Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, p. 72.35channels were based in Britain and carried a high proportion of British-made content.Although the latter were often deprived of a national context so as to make them ac-cessible for a transnational audience, the dominance of programmes made in the UKshould have caused cultural barriers to be lower in Britain compared to anywhere elsein Europe. Finally, since viewers in the UK had only a modest range of domesticchannels to choose from, and since Channel 4 and BBC 2 had the reputation of being"high culture" channels with limited mass appeal, British audiences were thought tobe receptive to the entertainment-oriented fare offered by pan-European broadcasters.The presence of circumstances favourable to the success of pan-Europeanbroadcasters in the UK, however, did not lead to their success. In December of 1987,British cable households watched Sky Television 7% of the time, while Super Chan-nel's rating was 1.5%. 94 Other non-national channels received even less attention bycable viewers: The Children's Channel attained 4.2%, and Screen Sport received 2.5%of all viewing time. The music channel MTV obtained a rating of 2.4%, while the Li-festyle Channel achieved 1.2%. 95 As pan-European satellite channels fared poorly,the traditional British terrestrial broadcasters, BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV and Channel 4, re-tained the lions share of viewing time with 71% combined among viewers in cablehouseholds.96It is important to note that the above ratings were measured in householdswhich had been willing to pay for cable connections in the first place and were thus morefavourably disposed to additional television channels. As in most other large WestEuropean countries, they represented only a minuscule proportion of the audience.94Richard Collins, "The Language of Advantage: Satellite Television in West-ern Europe," Media, Culture and Society. Vol. 11, No. 3, 1989, Table 4.950n1y the movie-channel Premiere achieved relatively high audience rat-ings. The latter, however, targeted a primarily British audience and can thus be clas-sified a domestic rather than pan-European programme provider.96The exact breakdown for terrestrial channels is as follows: ITV: 36.7%; BBC1: 25.1%; Channel 4: 4.8%; and BBC 2: 4.4%. See Collins, "Language of Advantage,"Table 4.36Had pan-European channels been accessible to a cross-segment of the population,their ratings would likely have been significantly lower.On the ContinentOutside the UK, the popularity of pan-European broadcasters was lower still:Even in countries with dense cable distribution and a high fluency rate in English(such as the Netherlands), the audience share of non-national broadcasters not onlyremained low but it even declined over time.In the Netherlands, whose competency rate in English is 44% and thus amongthe highest in Europe,97 Dutch terrestrial services received 78% of viewing timeamong those who had also access to satellite broadcasters in 1985, as opposed to 10%for satellite channels (not all of which were pan-European). The remainder of timewas spent watching domestic services from neighboring countries, mainly from Ger-many and the UK. One year later, in contrast, the novelty value of non-nationalbroadcasters had worn off, as only 7% of viewing time was still devoted to satellitetelevision, while 84% was spent switched back to Dutch terrestrial services.98 Thefact that pan-European channels failed to divert the loyalty of Dutch viewers awayfrom their national broadcasters demonstrated that "[anything] made in the Nether-lands [has] always [been] very popular. Dutch products always draw more viewersthan similar products from abroad." 99In larger European countries the popularity of pan-European channels waslower still. In Germany the viewing share in 1987 for all satellite channels combinedwas 30% among those who could receive them. But the lion's share of satellite view-97For statistics on language abilities in different European countries see PamMills, "An International Audience?" Media, Culture and Society, Vol. 7, No. 4, October1985, Tables 2 and 3.980f all satellite channels available in the Netherlands, Sky Television con-quered the lion's share of viewing, ranging from 6% to 8%. Collins, "Language ofAdvantage," pp. 359-360.99Quoted in Collins, Television, p. 217.37ing was devoted to SAT-1 and RTL-Plus, two German-language channels which targeta German-speaking audience in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and featuremainly imitations of US game-shows and low quality films. 100 Sky Television, incontrast, received only 2% of the viewing share whereas Super Channel secured only1%.101 In the 1988/89 period little had changed: German cable households spend61% of their viewing time with German domestic broadcasters and a further 34% withGerman satellite services. Only 5% of all viewing time was devoted to foreign lan-guage broadcasters of which only a fraction benefitted non-national (as opposed toneighbouring domestic) channels. 102While it varied slightly from one country to the next, the popularity of Eu-rope-wide broadcasters was equally low in France, Switzerland, Austria Italy, Spain,Portugal Belgium, Denmark and Greece. 103Towards the late 1980s, as cable penetration increased in some countries andsatellite dishes became smaller and more affordable, Europeans devoted more time toviewing satellite broadcasts. In Germany, RTL-Plus and SAT-1 further augmentedtheir audience share and became the most successful satellite broadcasters in Eu-rope.104 In France, Canal Plus (which is partially encrypted) and TF-1, a former pub-1000ollins, "Language of Advantage," Table 3.101Collins, "Language of Advantage," Table 3.102Negrine et al., Internationalization, p. 160.1030f all non-national broadcasters only the music channel MTV, whichspecialized in predominantly US-made music video clips, could boost some successamong European viewers: Its aggregated viewership tripled between 1989 and 1990.MTV's success was particularly striking in Germany, where its viewership increasedninefold within the same year. That achievement, however, seems more modest if oneconsiders that the channel's boost in absolute audience share (i.e. share of viewers ac-tually watching it) was accompanied by an increase in its penetration (i.e. the numberof households which had access to its signals) through a spread of cable connectionsand satellite dishes. Elena Bowes, "Europe's Satellite TV Viewers Soar," AdvertisingAge, Vol. 61, No. 38, Sept. 24, 1990, p. 39.104"Satellite TV on the Rise in Europe," Broadcasting, , August 21, 1989, p. 50.In parts of Germany, RTL-Plus is also transmitted through terrestrial means,which has further contributed to its success.38lic service channel privatized by the Chirac government, 105 could attain economic vi-ability. All the above channels, however, had in common that they catered to a singlelanguage community; the popularity of pan-European channels remained so low thatthe expected "take-off phase," during which more viewers could have attracted moreadvertising funds which could have bought more attractive programmes which inturn would have further boosted audience ratings never set in.PENETRATION OF PRIVATE SATELLITE DISHES AND CABLEAs suggested earlier, the audience ratings for pan-European channels providean inflated account of their popularity. They pertain only to those viewers willing toobtain cable or satellite reception equipment in the first place, often at considerableexpense, and were thus more receptive to additional channels than the averageviewer.Rather than merely examining the popularity of non-national broadcastersamong those who could access their signals (which in countries with low cable andsatellite dish penetration remained a small minority), the pace at which the infra-structure necessary to receive Europe-wide broadcasts (i.e. cable and satellite dishes)has spread depicts the popularity of non-national channels among European audien-ces more accurately.Satellite DishesIn markets with (1) a low fluency rate in foreign languages106 (and thus littledemand to watch domestic broadcasts transmitted from other countries via satellite);and (2) the absence of domestic broadcasters (or channels broadcasting in their ownlanguage) beamed through satellite, the desire to receive non-national channels is vir-105Since TF-1 is not transmitted through satellite, it does not qualify as a sa-tellite channel. But its status is equal to that of satellite-diffused "domestic" broad-casters such as SAT-1 and RTL-Plus.106For data on language abilities in Western Europe see below.39tually the only reason for viewers to obtain satellite dishes: In other words, the de-mand for the latter is nearly congruent with the desire to receive pan-European chan-nels.Throughout Western Europe, the penetration of private satellite dishes has re-mained low, despite the fact that their cost and size has declined sharply throughoutthe 1980s, and that many national governments have loosened restrictions on theirownership. By 1990, only 1.9% of all European households possessed a satellite dish,and even the most optimistic predictions foresee that by the year 1995, the number ofsatellite households will not have exceeded 11.2%.Not surprisingly, countries which relatively low cable penetration rates tendto have a higher share of satellite households: In 1990, Britain topped the list with asatellite ownership rate of 7.2%, followed by Norway with 6.5%. As will be shown,however, cable and satellite penetration are not always inversely related: While Italyhad a cable penetration rate of 0%, its share of satellite households was near zero,too. 107CableThe figures pertaining to cable penetration are more difficult to interpret.Many countries which installed extensive cable systems during the 1970s did so forreasons other than to receive pan-European broadcasters which, at that time, had not yetcome into being. Countries in the latter category share in common that they have (1)due to their small size and/or a fragmented domestic market a modest production ca-pacity; and (2) either a shared language with one or more neighbouring states (as inSwitzerland and Belgium) or a high competency rate in the language of a neighbourwhose signals can be received through cable (as in the Netherlands).In most larger predominantly monolingual countries with high domesticproduction capabilities and relatively low proficiency rates in foreign languages, in107Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, Table 1.1.7.40contrast, the extent of cable penetration mirrors the demand for non-national broad-casts more accurately, as the incentive to watch neighbouring channels is much lowerthan it is in smaller states:Following the above logic, cable penetration in 1990 was highest in thosecountries in which cable had been installed for reasons other than the reception of pan-European channels. In Belgium, 99.8% of all households were connected to cable, 108followed by the Netherlands with 79% and Switzerland with 75%. In larger countries,however, cable penetration rates remained modest: In the western part of Germanyonly 22.3% of all households were hooked up to cable, despite efforts by the federalgovernment and the German PTT to promote cable installations. In the UK, likewise,only 1.4% of all households had cable, notwithstanding the expectation of the Conser-vative government that deregulation would boost it. France did little better, with acable penetration ratio of 1.4%. For Italy, no statistics were available for 1990, but ca-ble penetration in that year likely resembled that of 1987 when it was close to zero.The forecasts for the growth of cable installations by 1995 are equally modest: InBritain it is not anticipated to exceed 7.1%; in France the projected percentage is9.5%.109 Only in Germany is the rate of cable penetration expected to rise to 56.1%due to massive financial commitments by the federal government.In sum, the high degree of cable distribution in countries with small domesticproduction capabilities and high proficiency rates in the languages used by neigh-bouring countries, and the correspondingly low rate of cable penetration in countrieswith a large domestic market and a low fluency rate in foreign languages suggeststhat rather than blaming an underdeveloped technical infrastructure for the poor108Jay G. Blumler "Vulnerable Values at Stake," in Jay G. Blumler (ed.), Televi-sion and the Public Interest: Vulnerable Values in West European Broadcasting, (London:Sage Publications, 1992), Table 3.2.The exact percentages for cable distribution vary somewhat between surveys,but these deviations are only within a few percentage points.109See Maggiore, Audiovisual Production, Table 1.2.3.41showing of pan-European broadcasters, the low demand by audiences throughoutEurope to receive non-national channels is largely responsible for the slow de-velopment of infrastructure required to receive them. If audiences in Germany,France, Italy and the UK had been as keen to obtain the signals of pan-Europeanbroadcasters as had their counterparts in smaller countries (such as Belgium, theNetherlands and Switzerland) had been eager to access neighbouring domesticchannels, the rate of cable development in the former would have resembled that inthe latter, assuming that governments and /or cable companies in larger Europeandemocracies are no less responsive to popular demand than are those in smaller ones.The sluggish development of the infrastructure necessary to receive the signals ofpan-European broadcasters is therefore another sign for their low popularity.THE DECLINE OF PAN-EUROPEAN CHANNELSBy the late 1980s, Europa TV was not the only pan-European broadcasterwhich had faltered: Due to a combination of low reach and low audience appeal, thetwo major commercially operated pan-European television channels had failed to at-tain economic viability. 110 In 1989, Super Channel lost 1 million Pounds per monthwith little prospect for improvement.111 Its major competitor fared equally poorly:By 1990, Sky Television had lost the equivalent of 600 million dollars (US)112 with lit-tle chances of attaining a sufficiently large audience to survive as a pan-Europeanchannel in the long run.110If one combines the above statistics on audience share on the one hand,and cable and satellite dish penetration on the other hand, the failure of pan-Europeanbroadcasters looks dismal indeed. In the UK for example, Super channel received anaudience rating of 1.5%, but only among a total potential audience (i.e. cable plussatellite households) comprising less than a tenth of the population (thus less than 6million people had access to cable or satellite television). In other words, SuperChannel scored not more than 0.15% of all viewing time combined.Inca,- ,- "Language of Advantage," p. 364.112Noam, Television in Europe, p. 142.42Consequently, both broadcasters have relinquished most of their pan-Eu-ropean aspirations and now target a primarily British audience. Although SuperChannel is still carried on most European cable systems, it has closed its advertisingsales offices on the Continent. 113 The Swiss-based European Business Channel,which had started operations in 1988 and specialized in providing financial news, en-countered an even harsher fate: In 1990, large financial losses forced it to close downpermanently. 114In sum, neither the efforts of the EC to help set up a non-national channel inthe form of Europa TV, nor the reliance on technical and economic drives towardstransnationalisation brought about the effect the EC had anticipated and hoped for.While the advent of satellite television and new technologies "undoubtedly provokedchanges in viewing behaviour, ... these are best understood within the terms of na-tional or, strictly, linguistic markets. The transnationalisation of television, dissolu-tion of national identities ... have yet to be realized. ... The future of satellite television113Collins, Television, p. 69. A lack of advertising revenues was the immediatecause for the faltering of commercially operated pan-European broadcasters. Despiteexpectations that the availability of pm-European advertising outlets (in the form ofpan-European channels) would entice advertisers to disperse their messages Europe-wide and notwithstanding predictions that the creation of a common European mar-ket would homogenize the tastes and preferences of Europeans sufficiently so as tolower the need to maintain differentiated product lines and tailor advertising cam-paigns to national or regional markets, the evolution of a common European advertis-mg market has been sluggish. As consumer preferences continued to diverge fromone country to the next, the number of "European products" (i.e. identical goods thatsell under the same name throughout Europe) remained low: Of over 2000 productsdistributed by the multinational Unilever corporation in Western Europe, for ex-ample, only 20 are distributed under the same label. As producers continue to tailortheir product lines and advertising campaigns to national and/or monolingual mar-kets, they choose national over pan-European advertising outlets. Consequently "weseem ... to be experiencing a form of revisionism among the advertisers .... in their re-trenchment to strategies more closely adopted the linguistic divisions across the conti-nent." See Petra HOfer, "Advertising in the Euro-market," World Press Review, Septem-ber 1991; Noam, Television in Europe, p. 300; Moreley et al., "Spaces of Identity," p. 28.114N0—am Television in Europe, p. 193.43is conditional on the nature of national (or monolingual) markets rather than a trans-national European market." 115115Collins, Television, p. 71. The trend observed in the area of television wasreplicated in the print-media sector as well: Apart from a few elite publications suchas the Economist and Le Monde, the circulation of journals and newspapers across Eu-ropean frontiers has remained modest and largely follows the pattern of televisionsignals: Small countries which limited domestic production capabilities import a rela-tively large amount of print material from neighboring countries with which theyshare a common language. For Europe as a whole, however, the transnational circula-tion of print-material is small. In the early 1980s The Economist sold 31,100 copies in15 European countries, compared to 68.600 in Britain where it is published. The inter-national edition of the French-based weekly L'Express sold 60.800 copies in 15 Euro-pean countries as opposed to 545.000 copies at home. Likewise, UK-based Women'sWeekly sold 17% of its copies outside Britain, while German-based Burda Moden made28% of its sales abroad. These numbers are heavily skewed as they include the pur-chases by tourists and foreign residents of publications originating in their homecountries. The only weekly specifically targeted at a pan-European audience, The Eu-ropean launched by the Maxwell group, experienced the same fate as did pan-Euro-pean channels: Due to a lack of readers, it teeters along the edge of bankruptcy. Ironi-cally, the European edition of Time outdistanced all its European competitors by sell-ing 400.000 copies in 16 European countries. See Claude-Jean Bertrand and MiguelUrabayen, "European Mass Media in the 1980s," in Everett M. Rogers and FrancisBalle (eds.), The Media Revolution in America and Western Europe, (Norwood: AblexPublishing Corporation, 1985), p. 41.44WHY DID PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISION FAIL AND WHAT ARE THEPROSPECTS FOR A REVERSAL OF ITS FORTUNE?WHAT MADE IT FAIL?Before pondering the significance of the failure of pan-European television forthe EC's cultural ambitions, it is worth exploring the reasons for why it did not suc-ceed. They can be separated into cultural, linguistic and political obstacles.Cultural BarriersThe daim that cultural barriers have contributed to the failure of pan-Euro-pean television amounts to somewhat of a truism. After all, if it had not been for pre-vailing cultural differences - i.e. if Europeans had been assimilated already - therewould have been little point in the EC's cultural initiatives in the first place. At anyrate, the demise of pan-European broadcasting suggests that its promoters un-derestimated the resistance of cultural obstacles and, conversely, that they had toomuch faith in the ability of television to help ensure its own viability by contributingto the cultural assimilation of its viewers.Audiences are often reluctant to accept programmes either produced for a for-eign market or, in case of many programmes shown by Europe-wide broadcasters,created in a "generic" and denationalized format so as to appeal to an internationalaudience. Such resistance led to the concept of "cultural discount" to illustrate how "aparticular programme, rooted in the culture, and thus attractive in that environment,will have diminished appeal elsewhere, as viewers find it difficult to identity with thestyle, values, beliefs, institutions and behavioural pattern of the material in ques-tion. ,,116Because of cultural barriers, Europa TV's endeavour to provide its audiencewith a non-national perspective carried little appeal; viewers found it hard to relate toa reporting style which was deliberately removed from national contexts and even116Quoted in Moreley et al., "Spaces of Identity," p. 27.45journalists "tended to retain their national point of view, and the news style was nothomogeneous."117Linguistic ObstaclesAlthough linguistic obstacles were not the only impediments to the success ofpan-European programmes (as is demonstrated by the low popularity of pan-Eu-ropean television in markets with a high fluency rate in English such as Britain andthe Netherlands), a short glance at the language abilities of West Europeans revealsthat the linguistic obstacles faced by pan-European broadcasters are substantial in-deed:Most West Europeans are not bilingual and they lack a lingua franca. Instead,French, English, German and Italian can claim roughly comparable numbers of native117mageore, Audiovisual Production, p. 71.It is di icult to establish why cultural screens pose less of an obstacle forsome kinds of programmes than for others, and why resistance by English as well asnon-English speaking European audiences to imports from other European countriesis often higher than for material produced in the United States; indeed, some have ar-gued that US producers have come closer developing a pan-European format thanany country in Europe. Conventional explanations trace the popularity of Americanprogrammes to the American "invention of a cultural form that is the closest totransnational acceptability of any yet contrived." In many instances, American im-ports have had a much longer time of exposure among European audiences thanthose from other European states. Instead of providing a satisfactory answer, how-ever, such explanations merely describe the symptom as they fail to explain whyAmerican cultural imports found such a degree of acceptance in the first place.More convincing reasoning focuses on the strength and relative diversity ofthe US domestic market which allows for the production of more attractive pro-grammes and, at the same time, forces US producers to make programmes whichcarry the widest possible cross-cultural mass appeal. Still other explanations empha-size the attraction American cultural imports have traditionally exercised for Euro-pean working class audiences which preferred US entertainment to the "elitist" and"educational" fare offered by domestic producers.Even the popularity of American imports, however, has often been overesti-mated, nourishing rhetoric by national governments and later by the EC as to an al-leged need to repel an "American flood:" In 1983, US imports represented the singlelargest share of programming imports in Europe, but since all imports combined -counted for only 30% of over-all programming, US imports made up for not morethan 10% of total transmission time. Overall, European audiences continue to prefernationally produced programmes above foreign productions, even if they come fromthe US. See Collins, Television, p. 215; Colin Hoskins and Rolf Mirus, "Reasons for theUS Dominance of the International Trade in Television Programmes," Media, Cultureand Society, Vol. 10, No. 4, October 1988; Moreley et al., "Spaces of Identity;" Tracy,"Popular Culture," p. 11.46speakers in Europe (although German has a substantial lead). English, however,dominates as a second language which explains why all Europe-wide channels to date(except Europa TV and Euronews which embraced a multilingual format) haveadopted English as their primary language of operation. 118While 88% of the inhabitants of Luxembourg can understand a television pro-gramme in a language other than Luxembourgese, 60% of Dutch viewers can com-prehend broadcasts in a language other than Dutch. 119 The percentage of the popu-lation able to understand more than one language is also high in the multilingualcountries of Belgium and Switzerland. In larger European countries, however, lan-guage capabilities are more modest: In Germany, only 20% of the population havesufficient knowledge of a second language to understand a foreign television pro-gramme. In France, the ratio is 26%, while it is 19% in the UK and 17% in Italy. 120Whereas the above figures pertain to proficiency in any second language, theproportion of Europeans able to understand English, the lingua franca of all non-na-118English is the most widely understood second language as 45% of all WestEuropeans living in the EC and EFTA member states speak English either as their firstor as a second language. French and German follow with 31% each, and Italian trailswith 19%). Reader s Digest Eurodata - Executive Summary, (New York: The Reader's Di-gest Association, 1991), p. 12.119Mills, "International Audience?" Table 2.120Mills, "International Audience?" Table 2. The percentages of language pro-ficiency vary between sources, depending on the criteria of measurement. Reader'sDigest Eurodata indicates that knowledge of English is generally higher (e.g. 58% forNorway, 44% for Germany, 31% for France). See Reader's Digest Eurodata, p. 12.Not surprisingly, knowledge of a second language is, on average, higheramong more educated Europeans as compared to the population as a whole: InFrance, 56% of the more educated population can follow a foreign language pro-gramme, as compared to 26% of the population combined. In the UK, the gap be-tween total population and more educated segments is 27%, followed by Germanywith 23% and Italy with 22%. For pan-European television channels, the correlationbetween education level and language proficiency is of ambiguous value: on the onehand it may be to their detriment as television consumption tends to be inversely re-lated to education level; on the other hand, better educated segments of the popula-tion wield, on average, higher disposable incomes. As advertising rates are determi-ned not only by the size of a channel's audience but also by their ability to spend,having a multilingual (and wealthier) audience may therefore come to a channel's eco-nomic benefit.47tional channels to date, is lower still: Norway is the only non-anglophone country inEurope where knowledge of English spans, with 52%, more than half of the popula-tion. Denmark and the Netherlands follow with 44% each while Sweden has 40%.Among the larger West European countries, Germany leads with an English com-petency rate of 19%, followed by France with 10%, Spain with 6% and Italy with2% . 121As discussed earlier the EC has sponsored initiatives to overcome languagebarriers in broadcasting through simultaneous translations schemes and it is possibleto have multilingual soundtracks accompany the same visual image. Moreover, pan-European broadcasters have recognized linguistic obstacles and specialized in typesof programming in which visual components overshadow linguistic ones (such assports and music). In its press package, Super Channel promised that it would "[take]into account that most viewers are not native English speakers. Presenters speakclearly, comedies and documentaries are selected for their visual content while musicand sports programmes have a universal appeal." 122Such solutions, however, have not compensated for the absence of a com-monly understood language, as was demonstrated by the low appeal of Europa TV'ssimultaneous translation services and by the fact that the need to lower languagebarriers by deemphasising linguistic elements has imposed severe limitations on thetype and quality of programming international channels can hope to specialize in.While programming subjects such as music, sports and pornography are more suit-able for consumption by multilingual audiences for they do not rely heavily onlinguistic elements, most other areas of specialization require a degree of languageproficiency which, in most parts of Europe, does not exist. 123121mills, "International Audience?" Table 3.122Quoted in Collins, "Language of Advantage," p. 365.123But even those viewers who have mastered the language of a foreign"thematic" subscription channel are less likely to subscribe to it than if the channel48Resistance by National GovernmentsCultural and linguistic obstacles were not the only factors which inhibited thesuccess of pan-European television. It was further hampered by the fervent resistanceof some national governments against the EC's cultural policies in general, and itstelevision initiatives in particular. As will be argued, their refusal to abandon theirrole as audio-visual "gatekeepers" denoted their apprehension towards the EC's use oftelevision as a cultural instrument.First, European governments raised the costs of entry and operation for non-national channels by curbing competition in the satellite market. For example, when aU.S.- Luxembourgian consortium (Coronet) sought to launch its own satellite, under-mining the de facto monopoly held by the PTT controlled European Telecommunica-tions Satellite Organization (Eutelsat), some European governments lobbied againstwhat the French minister in charge denounced as the "Coca Cola satellite" undermin-ing "our linguistic and cultural identity." 124 Eventually, French pressure became sostrong that Luxembourg was forced to abandon its joint venture with a non-Europeanpartner. Such resistance occurred despite the fact that some of the transponders of thenew satellite would likely have been leased out to European channels and that the re-sulting competition in the satellite market would likely have forced Eutelsat to lowerits transmission rates, possibly inducing new pan-European channels to enter themarket.125aired in their first language. Their decision as to whether to subscribe is determinedby two counteracting forces: On the one hand, if the channel's field of specializationappeals to them, and if no channel of equal or similar specialization is available intheir first language, they will be tempted to subscribe. On the other hand, the"thematic advantage" of the channel in question is partially offset by the "linguisticdiscount" attached to it (i.e. the depreciation of audience appeal it experiences by notbroadcasting in the viewer's first and preferred language). 1Whether a potential sub-scriber will pay to receive the signal depends on factors such as the availability ofsubstitute channels in his or her first language and the cost of subscription.124Quoted in Noam, Television in Europe, p. 302.125Some governments also obstructed the emergence of pan-European tele-vision channels by occupying scarce satellite frequencies for their own "cultural chan-nels," such as France's La Sept and the German-language 3-Sat, (a joint project of49Second, some cable companies (which are mostly operated by government-owned PTI's or otherwise subject to strict government supervision) extract "carriagefees" from foreign broadcasters. In Wallonia, for example, foreign channels are re-quired to contribute BFr. 10 million for each 100,000 viewers they reach. These rev-enues are then used to subsidize the local film industry. A similar rule was institutedin Flanders. The Belgian levies were imposed despite a ruling of the European Com-mission which declared them illega1. 126 The Netherlands had in place another formof "broadcast toll;" it required pan-European broadcasters to locate some of their pro-duction facilities to the Netherlands in exchange for gaining access to local cable sys-tems.Finally, many governments discouraged the operation of private satellitedishes by charging "licence fees" to their owners and by imposing arbitrary technicalnorms on satellite reception and decoding equipment.127Such efforts by national governments to circumvent the spirit and often theletter of the TWF-Directive disadvantaged pan-European channels by rendering theiroperations more expensive, thereby diverting resources they could otherwise haveused to offer more attractive programming and possibly lure more viewers. 128 Bydoing so, they helped prevent non-national broadcasters from experiencing a "take-off" phase during which more viewers could have attracted more advertising fundsGerman, Swiss and Austrian public service broadcasters). Besides a reputation foresoteric content and minimal audience appeal (3-Sat became famous for its week-longcoverages of poetry conventions), these channels have in common that they occupyscarce satellite transponders that would otherwise be available to pan-Europeanbroadcasters.126N0am Television in Europe, p. 182.127Many of these impediments, however, were gradually relaxed throughoutthe 1980s.128The fact that most countries prohibited private companies from competingwith national PTTs in uplinking a channel's signals to the satellite provided a furtherbarrier of entry for potential pan-European channels. So far, only the UK has intro-duced competition in this field, which is a major reason for why even non-English lan-page "regional" satellite channels are headquartered in Britain. See Collins,' Language of Advantage."50which could have bought more attractive programmes which in turn would haveboosted audience ratings. Moreover, measures which curtailed the reception of pan-European channels, (i.e. charging licence fees to owners of satellite dishes), reducedtheir chances of compensating for their lack of audience share by reaching more po-tential viewers, thus diluting the economic and technical thrusts towards Euro-peanization discussed earlier.Besides obstructing the implementation of the EC's television projects, na-tional governments also ensured that their financial backing remained modest.Whereas the supranational Commission pursued its cultural ambitions with greateagerness, the European Council and the Council of Ministers, forced to accommodatethe staunch resistance by some members (most frequently the UK and Denmark) toany form of cultural expenditures by the EC, often diluted the Community's culturalprojects or blocked them altogether. As a result, the EC's audiovisual initiatives re-mained underfunded compared to the financial backing enjoyed by domestic audiovi-sual industries and public service channels. For example, the complete operatingbudged of Euronews (which will be discussed below) is 50 million ECU - a fraction ofthe billions in licence revenues which accrue to public service broadcasters in Britain,Germany and France on an annual basis.COULD PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISION COME TO BE WATCHED?Prospects for Overcoming Language BarriersHaving explored why pan-European television fared so poorly, it is time toinvestigate the chances for a reversal of its fortunes. Before considering the potentialfor a lowering of cultural barriers, I will focus on the prospects for linguistic and po-litical obstacles to recede.Language barriers, it was noted, are difficult to overcome. The EC has initi-ated several programmes to encourage language learning within the Community(such as the Lingua programme). Just as its television initiatives, however, these pro-51grammes encountered resistance by some member states and have so far remainedrelatively modest in scope. At any rate, their impact could only become tangible inthe long run. If pan-European channels want to attract a larger audience in the fore-seeable future, they will thus have to improve the quality of their translation tech-niques.An example of what may well prove a more successful strategy of luringmultilingual audiences is represented by Euronews, the latest pan-European televi-sion project supported by the EC. Headquartered in Lyon and operated by (mostlypublic) broadcasters from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Belgium, Finland,Monaco, Cyprus and Egypt, Euronews reaches a potential audience of more than 40million households through satellite and cable. 129Euronews's chances of survival look more promising than that of its predeces-sors for it seeks to avoid many of the mistakes which led to the downfall of Europa TVand which hampered the pan-European ambitions of commercial broadcasters. Forone, rather than repeating Europa TV's failed strategy of seeking to cover nationalevents from an elusive "European point of view," Euronews limits itself primarily tofeaturing original productions contributed by participating broadcasters which aredubbed in each of the channel's languages. Own productions are aired only if theypertain to the coverage of European institutions.Second, Euronews refrains from using simultaneous translation techniquesi.e. it does not show the same visual image accompanied simultaneously by differentaudio channels. Instead, programmes are produced separately for each language.This eliminates the discrepancy between visual and acoustic images that had provenso unpopular with Europa TV and adds a "national feel" to Euronews's emissions.129It has a budget of 50 million ECU of which about 20% is to be provided bythe European Community, 55% from participating broadcasters, 25% from advertisingand sponsoring. It broadcasts 20 hours a day in English, French, German, Spanishand Italian. At a later date Euronews is also expected to begin broadcasting in Arabic.See "'Euronews' Gestartet," Neue Ziircher Zeitung, January 8, 1993, p. 23.52Chances of a Lowering of Political BarriersIn the political realm, too, many obstacles which spoiled earlier attempts toestablish pan-European television channels are likely to recede. First, with the con-tinued expansion of supranational structures and the corresponding decrease in pow-ers by national governments, the latter are bound to lose much of their former capac-ity to undermine the implementation of the EC's cultural initiatives. Thus, their abil-ity to act as cultural "gatekeepers" and "shield" their populations against Brussels'scultural measures is bound to decline.Second, a tipping of the balance of power between the (supranational)Commission and the European Parliament on the one hand, and the (multilateral) Eu-ropean Council and the Council of Ministers on the other hand in favour of the formerwould likely enable the Commission and/or an invigorated European Parliament tochannel more resources into the "cultural sector." Such a tendency could become rein-forced if the EC adhered to the principle of a "two-track" strategy of integration con-trived in the context of the Maastricht Treaty and its aftermath: While granting re-luctant members such as Denmark and the UK further opting out provisions, thiswould also weaken the opposition of the two members most skeptical towards theEC's cultural policies and clear the way for Brussels to impose its cultural ambitionsall the more vividly on those member states which remained on the "fast track."Regarding television the EC could, for example, attempt to come to the aid ofpan-European broadcasters by pressuring national governments to provide for theirtransmission through terrestrial means in addition to cable and/or satellite distribu-tion (thereby increasing their audience reach). This is the case with Arte, a bilingualFranco-German "culture channel" whose signals are transmitted terrestrially inFrance.13°130Hervê Michel and Anne-Laure Angoulvent, Les Televisions En Europe,(Paris: Presse Universitaires de France, 1992), p. 39.53In sum, judging the potential of pan-European television to find an audiencein the future would require one to isolate the contributions of cultural and linguisticbarriers from the significance of political obstacles. Since it is possible that the reduc-tion of political impediments (which would express itself, for example, in betterfunding) and an improvement in translation techniques could enhance the attrac-tiveness of pan-European channels even if cultural and linguistic obstades remainedinitially the same, it is appropriate to enquire into the potential ability of television toassimilate and, by extension strengthen the "identitive power" of the European Com-munity if it were to find an audience.54WHAT IF PAN-EUROPEAN TELEVISION FOUND AN AUDIENCE?This section will examine two questions. First, if pan-European television it-self came to attract larger audiences, would it further the cause cultural integration asis presumed by the European Community? Second, if such a gradual culturalhomogenization were to transpire, would it strengthen loyalties to and identificationwith pan-European institutions?Evaluating the potential of pan-European television to assimilate Europeansrequires above all a separation of cause and effect: While the EC values the mediumfor its alleged ability to lower cultural barriers, a scenario in which it came to bewatched more widely would also seem to indicate that cultural barriers already hadbeen reduced. As was suggested, however, other factors such as better funding andmore sophisticated translation techniques could enhance the attractiveness of pan-Eu-ropean channels in the short run - even in the absence of an a priori lowering of cul-tural or linguistic barriers.Little is known how widespread exposure to cultural imports in general andtelevision programmes in particular affect the cultural identifications and loyalties ofthose exposed to them. While it is clear that mass-media can be consumedoppositionally, i.e. that the stimulus-response model advanced by earlier com-munication- and integration models is inadequate, it is also evident that exposure tomedia imports does not always result in a "boomerang effect:" A large share of Ameri-can imports hardly triggered a rise in widespread anti-American sentiments.Different explanations were advanced to account for such varying possibleoutcomes: Karl W. Deutsch, as was argued, focuses on the transaction-integrationbalance; others (e.g. Connor) 131 hold the pace at which a strategy of assimilation ispursued as the determining factor: The slower and more unnoticeable a strategy ofethnic homogenization is implemented, the likelier is it to achieve its goal withoutprovoking backlashes which lead to increased differentiation rather than assimilation.131 ^Connor, 'Nation-Building."55Finally, if one conceives of integration as a primarily elite-driven process, or if oneadheres to the notion that mass-attitudes towards integration are ultimately shapedby elite preferences, one would have to evaluate the impact of pan-European televi-sion on the formation of elite attitudes regarding the EC.In order to relate these models to the possible impact of transnational televi-sion in Europe, one would have to identify the impact of the medium on the transac-tion-integration balance and the over-all volume of interaction. Moreover, it wouldlikely depend on a multitude of other exogenous variables - such as the strength ofcultural affinities, the pertinence of shared historical memories prone to become "re-activated" and so forth.It is on the latter count that the prospects for pan-European television to suc-ceed in its cultural mission appear more doubtful still. As Anthony Smith points out,the task facing the European Community is not comparable to that of governments inmulti-ethnic states which seek to assimilate diverging ethnic groups into an already ex-isting dominant culture. Instead, the emergence of a pan-European identity would re-quire the merger of diverging national cultures into a larger whole.The paradoxes arising from the attempt to "create" a denationalized pan-Euro-pean culture, however, resemble those that confront the emergence of any culture notanchored in a specific national context: The latter "must be consciously, even artifi-cially constructed out of the elements of existing national cultures. But existing na-tional cultures are time-bound, particular and expressive. They are tied to specificpeoples, places and periods. They are bound up with definite historical identities.These features are essentially antithetical to the very nature of a truly cosmopolitanculture."132The difficulty which stands in the way of the EC's cultural ambitions, then, isthat appeals to a medieval heritage as a basis for a shared nation-transcending iden-132Smith, "National Identity," pp. 66-67.56tity could not compensate for the lack of unifying myths and experiences on whichsuch an identity would have to ground. The legacy of a few decades of a commonmarket, preceded by generations of fervently pursued national differentiation, havenot furnished a basis which could sustain the EC's cultural ambitions. As the Com-munity lacks "a pre-modern past - a 'prehistory' which can provide it with emotionalsustenance and historical depth" it has not been able to "combine 'affect with in-terest.'" 133 In this sense, the wanting appeal of pan-European television is but oneillustration that, despite the "absurd spectacle of a retreat to the middle ages for a co-herent vision of European identity," 134 a pan-European culture, apt to rival andeventually supersede those that have emerged in a national context has remained anelusive concept.The second possibility to consider is that even if the EC could manage to as-similate Europeans in terms of eradicating tangible criteria of differentiation such aslanguage, religion, customs and consumption patterns through television and othermeans (for example by using television as a tool to influence elite attitudes which inturn would gradually reflect onto a consciousness-level of a wider population), theemergence of increased cultural conformity could be accompanied by rising instead ofdeclining ethnic anxieties.As was argued, the eradication of discernible criteria of ethnic differentiationdoes not necessarily stimulate increased identification with and loyalty shifts towardssupra-national institutions. Even where differences in language and/or customs havelargely disappeared - and where assimilation thus seems to have taken hold -nationalist sentiments often resurfaced nevertheless (i.e. Scotland).What engenders a re-creation of ethnic identities in the absence of tangible cri-teria of differentiation is not clear. While some writers focus on the distribution of133Smith, "National Identity," p. 62.134Collins, Television, p. 219.57economic resources and the potential for emerging elite rivalries, others emphasizepsychological factors.135 At any rate, as is the case with the claim that increasedcommunication would inevitably lead to heightened assimilation, there is little tosuggest that a culturally homogenized Europe would automatically be a politicallymore stable one; even if European television programmes came to be watched bylarge segments of the population, and even if this led in the long term to a gradualhomogenization of consumption patterns, customs and - in the very distant future -even language, it is far from certain whether the Community itself would experiencean increase in its "identitive power" as a result. 136Having proposed that the possible benefits of the EC's cultural policies areuncertain at best, it is worth exploring whether the risks they entail could be greaterthan their potential rewards.135 Newman, "Does Modernization Breed Ethnic Political Conflict?"136Conversely, of course, the Swiss model suggests that supra-ethnic in-stitutions can acquire a high "identitive power" under conditions where assimilationhas not only been absent but even discouraged. This weakens Brussels's contentionthat some measure of cultural integration is indispensable to secure the persistence ofEuropean Unification in its economic and political dimension.58THE DANGERS OF THE EC'S CULTURAL POLICIESWhereas the potential of pan-European television to find a viewership andassimilate Europeans is hard to estimate for it depends on a multitude of exogenousvariables, evaluating the impact of the EC's cultural policies in general and its televi-sion initiatives in particular on popular attitudes towards European unification facessimilar obstacles. To some degree, the shift in public opinion described below couldhave been caused by heightened awareness of the existence and the significance of theEuropean Community in the wake of the publicity generated by the Single EuropeanAct and Maastricht.Moreover, establishing a link between the EC's cultural ambitions and itsstanding in popular opinion is rendered difficult because some of the Community'smost controversial "cultural policies" were not devised for the "cultural sector" at all.The proposal to create a common currency, for example, became disputed not onlybecause of its economic relevance but due to the emotional attachment felt towardsthe national currency in many member states. Likewise, Brussels's fondness for stan-dardizing national norms into "Euronorms" was, although motivated by economicconsiderations, often perceived to aim at the heart of "national culture."Political, economic and cultural policies are thus often hard to separate; theEC's cultural policies cannot be treated in isolation to its economic and political ac-tions. Even if the EC renounced all its cultural ambitions as they relate to the strictlydefined "cultural sector," European integration would in many regards remain a cul-tural undertaking; some apprehensions would prevail.Despite these qualifications there is little doubt that the EC's cultural aspira-tions - in the broad sense of the term - did not reflect well on popular attitudes to-wards it: As the EC became more visible and outspoken on its ambitions to comple-ment economic integration with a "cultural dimension," (a desire of which its televi-sion initiatives were but one manifestation) it triggered increasing apprehensions and59experienced a decline in its popular standing. 137 Such tendencies manifested them-selves in two ways:First, as many national governments undermined the EC's cultural initiativeswith great fervour and ingenuity (as was demonstrated, for example, by their resis-tance against Brussels's television policies) they not only acted as "cultural shields"which reduced the exposure of their subjects to the Community's cultural measures.Such governmental resistance must also be understood as an expression of broaderpopular anxieties towards the EC's cultural aspirations. Indeed, it is unlikely thatgovernmental obstructionism could have been sustained had it not reflected deeperapprehensions on a popular level.In the case of Denmark, governmental opposition towards the EC's culturalpolicies proved to reflect popular attitudes towards the Community accurately. Afterthe Danish government had voted against the TWF-Directive on grounds that culturalaffairs should remain off-limits to the EC, similar anxieties played a major role inleading Danish voters to reject the Maastricht Treaty some three years later. The samecongruence between popular attitudes and governmental behaviour can be observedin the UK.138Second, growing popular resentments towards the EC also expressed them-selves directly: Beginning in the mid-1980s, the Community's standing in opinionpolls began to decrease.137There is evidence that many Community-citizens are capable of dif-ferentiating the functions they wish the EC to assume from those which they want tosee fall under the jurisdiction of national governments. While 78% want the EC to bein charge of cooperation with developing countries, 73% of science and technologyand 69% of environmental protection, only 41% want Brussels to be involved mbroadcast and press regulation and only 34% in education policy. Eurobarometer, No.36, December 1991, pp. 28-31.1381n France, by contrast, popular resistance against Maastricht was moresurprising. The French government had often been at the forefront of promoting anddefending the EC's cultural ambitions. In Germany, too, a generally approving stanceat the governmental level towards the EC's cultural ambitions contrasts with risingpopular skepticism regarding the EC.60As late as 1988, 85% of Community citizens responded positively to the ques-tion laire you in general for or against efforts being made to unify Western Eu-rope."139 In Germany, it were 73%, in Italy 83% and 58% in the UK. But between1983 and 1988, the popularity of the EC had already begun to stagnate on average:While support had been up from 5 years previously in France and Italy, it had de-dined in Germany and Britain.Whereas in 1988 the perception of European integration in general was relativelyfavourable, opinion of the EC itself was significantly lower. In France, 48% of thepopulation indicated that they would feel either "indifferent" or even "relieved" if theywere "told tomorrow that the European Community ... had been scrapped." The num-bers were similar in West Germany (52%) and Italy (49%). They were highest in theUK where 76% wouldn't have mourned the EC's demise. 140As skepticism towards the European Community rose, so did the convictionthat it would threaten one's national identity. In 1990 26% of Germans feared their"germanness" threatened by the European Community; two years later, 47% had be-come anxious. 141 An increase in the proportion of those who sense European inte-gration and national identity as incompatible was registered throughout the Com-munity. As early as between 1987 and 1988, the percentage of Europeans who fearedthat if "one day the countries of Europe were really united, this would mark the endof our national historic, cultural identity ..." increased, while the share of those who139Joseph I. H. Janssen, "Postmaterialism, Cognitive Mobilization and PublicSupport for European Integration," British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 21, page 450.140Janssen, "Postmaterialism," page 451.Some of the discrepancies between support for European integration in gen-eral and the European Community in particular can be explained with widespread ig-norance regarding the EC and its functions. But they nevertheless indicate that whilepublic support for European integration per se remained relatively high, regard for theEuropean ommunity itself declined on average from the late 1980s onwards; not allopposition against the EC derived from a rejection of European integration in general.141Dieter Wild, "Europa Patria," Der Spiegel, Vol. 46, No. 44, October 26, 1992,p. 36.61purported that the "only way of protecting our national historic cultural identities ... isfor the countries of Europe to [become] truly united" diminished during the same pe-riod. 142While the EC's cultural ambitions caused anxieties and lowered its standingin popular opinion, there is no evidence that either pan-European television or anyother cultural initiative succeeded in instilling a "European consciousness" into thecitizens of the Community. When asked in 1988 "[does] it ever occur to you that youare not only (nationality) but also a European?" only 16% answered that they "often"considered themselves European while 44% "never" felt that way. Since 1988 thesenumbers have remained relatively constant. In 1989, 14% felt European often, com-pared to 15% in 1990 and 16% in 1991. 143 Whereas the share of "Europeans" in 1991was highest in Spain (24%), France (21%) and Germany (20%) they were rarest inBritain where only 11% felt European "often" while 69% "never" did so.142Eurobarometer, No. 29, June 1988, p. 10.143Eurobarometer No. 33, June 1990, p. 2; Eurobarometer No. 36, December1991, p. A 27.62THE CONSOCIATIONAL MODEL AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE EC'SCULTURAL POLICIES TO DATEThe uncertain foundations of the EC's cultural policies and their potentiallydamaging impact provide the backdrop for exploring the consociational model as analternative to the strategy of cultural Europeanization which the EC has pursued sofar. As it turns out, subjecting the EC to consociational principles would entail morethan the reversal of the Brussels's cultural policies as such; it would also impact onhow the Community came to be contrived in the political and economic realms.As was argued earlier, the consociational model differs from earlier integra-tion approaches in that it considers a high extent of economic integration compatiblewith an equally high degree of cultural separation. The granting of cultural au-tonomy to the national communities affected by the unification process sustains theirreadiness to participate in the maintenance of integrated economic and political struc-tures, and assimilative pressures resulting from increased economic integration can bereduced if each ethnic segment is granted a high degree of cultural autonomy and ifthe cultural homogeneity within each ethnic group's territory is protected throughrigid and largely impermeable cultural boundaries.If the EC adopted a consociational strategy, it would thus above all entail thepursuit of policies aimed at strengthening rather than eroding the cultural autonomyof its member states. Concretely, it would require the following measures:First, the EC would exempt all goods and services which fall into the "culturalsector" from its free trade provisions. National (or subnational) governments wouldbe allowed to subsidize and otherwise promote national cultural "industries" at theirpleasure, and they would retain the authority to restrict the inflow of "cultural im-ports," including foreign television programmes, in any way they saw fit.Second, a consociational strategy would mandate the territorialization of allmatters relating to language and culture. As have Swiss cantons, nation-states wouldretain exclusive jurisdiction in determining the extent of cultural pluralism encour-aged on their territory (a power which they could in turn delegate to their ethnic sub-63units). As long as these decisions conformed to basic norms of human rights andfreedom of expression (i.e. the European Human Rights Convention), they would notbe subject to overrule by supranational political or judicial bodies.The only conceivable exception to the Community's ban from entering thecultural realm would enable the EC to aid minority cultures in danger of bowing tothe assimilatory pressures that occur as a byproduct of economic integration. Suchaid would preferably be given indirectly i.e. channeled via state or regional govern-ments which would then determine their ultimate allocation (for example to nationalor subnational television channels). This could preempt the impression that the ECused the pretext of backing minority cultures to pursue cultural ambitions on agrander scale (as was the case with the MEDIA programme).As the cultural realm interacts with the political and economic fields, adopt-ing a consociational strategy would have effects beyond the narrowly defined"cultural sector;" it would impact on how the Community came to be constituted in itspolitical and economic dimensions:First, a consociational Community would be an inconspicuous one: Ratherthan seeking to strengthen its "identitive power" by assuming a high visibility and en-tering the lives and consciousness of as many Community-citizens as often as possible- be it through European commemorative days, flags, anthems or television channels -European institutions would seek to act discreetly so as to not interfere with the roleof national governments as the primary units of political identification for their citi-zens. To the same end, they would execute their powers mainly through national orsub-national governments rather than parallel to them.While a consociational EC would hence abstain from pursuing policies aimedat enhancing its "identitive" power, this would not preclude the emergence of sharedsymbols. The Swiss example illustrates that common political and economic in-stitutions can come to draw affective loyalties and acquire "symbolic value" even ifthey remain limited in scope, assume a low visibility and are organized around the64principle of cultural separation. As they are drawing affective loyalties, such institu-tions can become associated with derived symbols such as flags, anthems, rituals andmemorial days.The utility of shared symbols in the European Community, however, is con-ditional on two factors. For one, the degree to which they could strengthen cohesionamong different national communities depends on their complementarity to nationalidentities, i.e. that they not be perceived as threatening. Furthermore, for shared sym-bols to acquire the status as broadly accepted (rather than merely designated) symbolsin the first place, they must emerge parallel to and in step with the deepening ofintegrative structures; as was argued earlier, they must be embedded in a contextwhich provides them with significance and meaning. Attempting to "create" and dis-perse symbols "from above" - be it through television or other means - in the hope thatpolitical and economic integration will automatically benefit as a result would thus beto put the cart before the horse; in order to be "effective," European symbols wouldhave to arise parallel to the political and economic structures for which they stand.Second, a shift in the balance of power away from the (multilateral) EuropeanCouncil and the Council of Ministers to the (supranational) European Commissionand/or an invigorated European Parliament would only be permissible if it strength-ened the latter's competences in securing the free flow of goods and services and inenforcing compliance with other Community provisions pertaining to the economicrealm. Likewise, the assurance of a mutual veto to each member state - as opposed tomajority (or qualified majority) rule - would help minimize national anxieties of being"ruled by Brussels" as well as fears by smaller members of domination by larger ones.It flows that modeling the Community's governing structures more closelyafter those of the nation-state (e.g. by instituting the office of a popularly elected Eu-ropean prime minister or president) would be incompatible with the consociationalimperative of consensus rule and low visibility for supranational institutions. More-over, the emergence of an over-arching political culture required in such an under-65taking (e.g. in form of pan-European political parties) could be purported by the EC tojustify its entering the cultural realm once again, arguing - perhaps rightly so - thatstate-transcending political traditions sufficiently strong to sustain Community-widemajority rule can neither emerge nor be maintained outside a socio-cultural context.But even if the limitation of the Community's powers and the granting of cul-tural autonomy to its member states could minimize cultural apprehensions, aconsociational EC would have to remain one of compromise; such would be requirednot only between competing levels of government but also in addressing the diverg-ing demands of the economic and cultural realms: As many decisions affect the cul-tural, political and economic spheres alike, a consociational EC would have to recon-cile economic needs of abolishing boundaries and ensuring permeability with culturalimperatives that these borders remain secure and impenetrable.Addressing the needs of the cultural sphere without jeopardizing thedevelopment of the Community in its economic dimension would be not always beeasy. For example, it would require the separation of "goods and services" that are ofa cultural nature - and are thus exempted from all free trade provisions - from thosethat are not. Moreover, the Community would be called upon to modify many eco-nomic policies so as to minimize their cultural repercussions. Regarding the proposalto establish a common currency, for instance, a solution which might be able to ad-dress economic and cultural needs simultaneously would be to introduce a single Eu-ropean currency but retain different names for it.WHICH STRATEGY IS THE EC LIKELY TO ADOPT?There is little to suggest that the EC is about to reverse its cultural policies todate in favour of adopting a consociational strategy. For one, new projects such asEuronews - and the continuation of established ones such as the MEDIA programme -imply that Brussels has not abandoned its cultural ambitions.66If the Maastricht Treaty is taken as a guide to the EC's cultural intentions onearrives at the same conclusion: Employing the EC's customary "unity in diversity"rhetoric, the treaty states that "La Communaute contribue a l'epanouissement des cul-tures des Etats membres dans le respect de leur diversite nationale et regionale, touten mettant en evidence l'heritage culturel commun." 144 Concretely,L'action de la Communautê vise A encourager la cooperation entre Etatsmembres et, si necessaire, a appuyer et completer leur action dans lesdomaines suivants: L'amelioration de la connaissance et de la diffusionde la culture et de l'histoire des peuples europeens; la conservation et lasauvegarde du patrimoine culturel d'importance europeenne, lesechanges culturels non commerciaux; la creation artistique et litteraire, ycompris dans le secteur de l'audiovisue1.145While the above passages imply that the EC has remained unwilling to assignthe "cultural sector" to the exclusive domain of national governments, other provi-sions of the treaty could be taken to suggest that the Community's cultural ambitionshave lost some of their earlier fervour. Accordingly, a new section 3 d was added toarticle 92 of the Treaty of Rome, specifying that, under some conditions, state subsi-dies for cultural products can be exempted from section 1 of the same article whichprohibits governments from engaging in unfair competition by granting state subsi-dies to industries. 146 Exempt from the Community's free trade and anti-subsidy pro-visions are "les aides destinees a promouvoir la culture et la conservation du patri-moine, quand elles n'alterent pas les conditions des echanges et de la concurrencedans la Communaute dans une mesure contraire a 'Inter& commun." 147The treaty does not elaborate, however, at which point the common interestwill override the legality of exempting cultural goods from free trade principles and it144Conseil des Communautes Europeennes, Commission des CommunautesEuropeennes, Traite sur l'Union Europeenne, (Luxembourg: Office des publications offi-cielles des Communautes europeennes, 1992), p. 48.145Conseil des Communautes Europeennes et al., Traite, p. 49.146Dumont, "Les competences culturelles," p. 217.147Conseil des Communautes Europeennes et al., Traite, p. 22.67does not define cultural goods in any more detail (it remains unclear, for example,how it would pertain to the audiovisual sector). Article 94 merely states thatinterpretation of Article 92 is to occur with a qualified majority by the EuropeanCouncil upon proposal by the Commission and after consultation with the EuropeanParliament. 148Their artful ambiguity renders the EC's policy statements of limited value inreckoning the . course of the Community's cultural policies in the future. This, more-over, is nothing new; even the MEDIA programme was justified with the aim ofstrengthening minority cultures. Therefore, rather than taking the EC by its word, itsbehaviour in the future will reveal more accurately whether Maastricht represents achange in direction or merely a verbal concession to appease widening cultural anxi-eties.QUESTIONS ON CONSOCIATIONALISMThe most potent argument for adopting a consociational strategy in Europe isthat it likely represents the less harmful alternative to the policy of cultural integrationwhich the EC has pursued so far: If it were carried on, it would be bound to inflictmore damage than it could hope to cause stability. And yet, it would raise new ques-tions too:While the consociational model emphasizes the need for elite cooperation, noconsociational arrangement can be upheld in the absence of broader overarchingloyalties towards shared political structures - regardless of how limited and invisiblethey are (a fact which is also acknowledged by Lijphart). Such sentiments are nour-ished by the desire of diverging groups to sense themselves part of a larger nation-transcending community or, to use Charles Taylor's term, to form one moral agent.As he argues, "pour qu'un projet democratique reussisse, que les gens y mettent duleur, qu'ils acceptent une discipline, et les sacrifices qui souvent leur sont imposes, it148Conseil des Communautes Europeennes, et. al., Traite, p. 22.68faut que ils se sentent lies dans une projet commun, avec une certain solidarite con-crete avec certaines gens et pas avec d'autres." 149In Switzerland, as Schmid 15° has shown, a strong sense of "Swissness" istransmitted early in the process of political socialization and encompasses all culturalgroups to an almost equal extent. It does not suffer in strength from the fact that thecondition of "being Swiss" likely carries different connotations depending on the cul-tural community to which one belongs. Indeed, if the loyalties of Swiss citizens to-wards their shared institutions would mirror those held by Community citizens to-wards common structures so far, the prospects for the country to remain an exampleof successfully practiced consociational democracy would look bleak.But whereas the Swiss example suggests that overarching loyalties canemerge in the absence of cultural integration - indeed, that they may have neverarisen if such a strategy had been pursued - it gives little indications as to whether andhow they could take hold in the European Community. Although the consociationalmodel purports that the granting of cultural security represents a condition for thewillingness of diverging national groups to remain politically and economically inte-grated, common bonds between them are unlikely to emerge merely because they arekept culturally separate. Likewise, crediting economic motives alone with generatingshared sentiments would be to follow conventional integration theories in exagger-ating the impact of material incentives on human behaviour. In the unlikely eventthat the emergence of such sentiments could be attributed merely to the passing oftime, finally, adopting the Swiss formula of waiting several hundred years wouldlikely exceed Brussels's patience.149Charles Taylor, "Quel principe d'identite collective?" in Jacques Lei*leand Nicole Dewandre (eds.), L'Europe au soir du siecle: Identite et democratie, (Paris: Edi-tions Esprit, 1992), p. 60.150Carol L. Schmid, Conflict and Consensus in Switzerland, (Berkeley: Univer-sity of California Press, 1981).69To account for the emergence of shared bonds between different groups, onemust thus likely venture beyond the scope of the integration models invoked so far.According to Taylor, the process by which diverging communities come to see them-selves as part of the same moral agent has its origins in their mutual recognition, aprinciple which lies at the heart of individual and collective identity alike. If suchrecognition is absent or insufficient, or if a group perceives itself recognized as lessthan equal by others, it will seek to disengage from a common political undertakingwith those communities by which it feels ill-recognized.At the same time, just as the formation and sustenance of identities can onlyunfold in relation to others,151 their mutual recognition, too, cannot occur in isolation;by definition, it grounds on dialogue. For individuals and communities alike, the"dialogical relationship" with others is "the key loci of self-discovery and self-af-firmation"152 and - as recognition can only emerge through dialogue and mutualawareness - it is essential to generate and sustain their willingness to participate in ashared political project.In this context, Brussels's declared objective to employ television as a meansof making Europeans more aware and appreciative of their cultural differences is wellconceived. It has been weakened, however, by the fact that many of the Community'scultural policies so far have aimed more at eradicating cultural divisions than at pro-moting awareness of them.At any rate, encouraging an inter-cultural dialogue is not a task which theCommunity should take upon itself: Just as efforts to cultivate a "European con-sciousness" "from above" - be it through television or other means - have remained fu-tile, there is little to suggest that Brussels could "make" Europeans recognize each151As Taylor puts it, we "define our identity always in dialogue with, some-times in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us." CharlesTaylor, "The Politics of Recognition," in Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition,(Amy Gutmann, ed.), (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 33.152Taylor, "Politics of Recognition," p. 36.70other; there is, moreover, no applicable model which could guide it in this effort. In-stead, the impetus for such a process would have to emanate primarily from the na-tional and subnational communities themselves.In strengthening national identities against the assimilative repercussions ofeconomic integration while, at the same time, enhancing mutual awareness betweenthem, television, too, could play its part. While the medium should remain a tool ofnational expression, it could - on a European-wide scale - provide a forum for the ex-change (rather than the merger) of national viewpoints. To that end, for example, na-tional governments could encourage the transmission of foreign programmes in asubtitled instead of a synchronized format so as to preserve the notion of foreignnessattached to them outside the cultural environment in which they were created. 153Also, Euronews's strategy of providing a forum for the exchange of national perspec-tives rather than (as did Europa TV) for the promotion of an artificial "European"point of view could be a step in the right direction. 154But maintaining the balance between strengthening national cultures againstassimilative tendencies emanating from the economic realm while, at the same time,promoting a process of inter-cultural awareness and recognition necessary to sustainthe European project in its political dimension will not be easy: Especially withinsmaller Community members, fears that a cultural interchange could heighten as-similative pressures will likely remain strong. As was argued, these apprehensionshave been aggravated by the EC's cultural policies, as they combined verbal affirma-tions of the need to strengthen cultural diversity with measures aimed at eroding it.In this light, the arguments for adopting a consociational strategy in Europeseem all the more persuasive: Once the European Community has renounced its in-tentions to act as a "nation-builder," abandoned references to a "medieval heritage"153Wolton, Eloge, p. 300.154As discussed, however, the channel resembles Europa TV in that it is pan-European.71and delegated all cultural powers - including those pertaining to television - to the ex-clusive domain of national or subnational governments, the cultural anxieties it hascaused will likely recede. Its members could then consolidate their union withoutfears of sacrificing their identities in the process. 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