France Abolishes Broadcasting Fees: Yes, But…

France abolishes license fees. But there is one important change from the original plan.

The abolition of broadcasting fees has cleared the final hurdle in France: the Senate, the second chamber of the French parliament, has now voted in favor of abolition. This is reported, among other things, by the Tagesschau. 196 senators voted in favor of abolition and 147 voted against.

VAT revenue replaces broadcasting fees

However, public service broadcasting will not disappear from France, but will be financed by taxes in the future. In concrete terms, revenue from VAT should be used for this purpose.

Senate passes amendment

However, the Senate changed the motion so that this new regulation only applies until the end of 2024. By then, the government should come up with “a real reform of the sector, accompanied by an appropriate allocation of resources”. Because critics fear that the new tax-based financing will make public broadcasting dependent on politics.

At the end of July, the National Assembly, as the first chamber of the French parliament, had already approved the abolition of broadcasting fees: France is abolishing broadcasting fees – so it goes on.

President Emmanuel Macron prevailed and kept one of his campaign promises. Employees of the French public broadcaster took to the streets to prevent the abolition after all: strikes against the abolition of the license fee in France.

The French have always paid 138 euros in the autumn of each year. In 2021, the public broadcasters received 3.2 billion euros.

Different situation in Germany

In Germany, the license fee for financing public service broadcasting is controversial and there are proposals to reform public service broadcasting and criticism of the use of funds. However, unlike in France, an abolition of the broadcasting fee is not up for discussion in Germany.

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