Home > State support > Belgium > 2009-05-26 - Council of State, asbl radio Sallam c. CSA, n. (...)

2009-05-26 - Council of State, asbl radio Sallam c. CSA, n. 193512

State support · Belgium · Media · Public funding

Public licensing of Arabic-Muslim broadcasting programs and cultural diversity

Key facts of the case - The Public Agency in charge of granting broadcasting licences sorted applications into several categories including the category "Community", including faith-based radios. The plaintiff "Radio Salam" is deprived of the license because "Arabic or Moroccan culture or origine" are already the subject of a Community licence to another radio (Al Manar/Al Markaziya) (as also the Jewish community and Christian community). Other Muslim projects were also excluded.

Main reasoning of the Court - The Following a call for tenders of the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (“CSA” – Superior Council of radio and television) for the assignation of eleven radiofrequencies, one of them – the applicant – which does not receive the license introduces a petition for nullity of the assignation decision (an administrative act) before the Council of State. The applicant maintains that the decision in not lawfully motivated: only two rejected "Arabic" candidates are mentioned and compared with the candidate who receives the permission – the intervenient party.
The Council of State considers on the contrary that the motivation of the controversial act « contains essentially a comparison with the project [of the intervenient party] and those of two other candidates, but also compared to other candidates, including the applicant. A factual analysis of technical criterias was made by the CSA that reasonably show that another candidate has better advantages. The administrative act is well lawfully motivated and the applicant does not indicate how the comparison would be insufficient or erroneous.