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Lithuania's parliament has opened discussions in the requirement submitted by the opposition conservatives, suggesting that at least 90 percent of rebroadcast television content should be dubbed or subtitled in languages of the European Union (EU), however, voted down the amendment to earmark half of television air to European production.
A Soviet film
A Soviet film
© Stopkadras

On 28 March, the parliament approved for discussion the change that rebroadcast television content in official EU languages should make at least 90 percent of the packages offered to users, with the exception of specialized (theme) packages.

According to the proposal, television programs rebroadcast in non-European languages is equaled to a content rebroadcast or distributed online in the official language of the European Union, if translated into the official EU language or broadcast with subtitles in the language.

In an effort to fight hostile propaganda, analogous amendments were proposed by President Dalia Grybauskaitė during the 2012-1016 parliamentary term, however, the changes were then rejected.

However, the parliament overruled on Tuesday the bid that half of television content would consist of European production.

The provision is currently stipulated in the Law on Provision of Information to the Public, however, with a clause that it is only required when possible. The conservatives had suggested excluding it from the law, only leaving the direct obligation on the share of European production.

The opposition party maintains that there has been a considerable increase in the amount of Russian production in past years. In 2007, Lithuanian channels broadcast 79 hours of Russian content in one week in January, as compared to 151 hours in 2016 and 198 hours this year, and this is mainly TV series produced in Russia.

People behind the bill suggest that Russia uses television as an instrument of "soft power", which is of utmost importance in the context of information warfare – by forming certain identity elements through television production, Russia ties viewers of the content to its cultural and information media.

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