New proposals to simplify the licensing process for broadcasters across the European Union were rejected March 15 by members of the European Parliament and broadcast representatives at a special heari

BRUSSELS (The Hollywood Reporter) -- New proposals to simplify the licensing process for broadcasters across the European Union were rejected March 15 by members of the European Parliament and broadcast representatives at a special hearing here.

The MEPs said the plans to end the rules restricting the right of national broadcasters to establish themselves in other EU countries were too complicated and should be considered separately.

"There was a clear consensus in the hearing to call for the withdrawal of the proposal," German MEP Ruth Hieronymi said. "We feel that the best way to address the issue of the right of establishment for broadcasters is to deal with it in the Television Without Frontiers directive, where 80% of EU audiovisual rules are covered."

The Television Without Frontiers directive sets rules clarifying which country is responsible for licensing a broadcaster and how a licensed television channel can transmit its services throughout the rest of the EU. Hieronymi said the directive already covered issues such as the country of origin, cultural diversity and the protection of minors.

The European Commission -- the EU's executive body -- has sought to cut red tape with a new proposal to amend the country of origin principle. The proposal would allow companies to offer services across Europe under their more favorable home country legislation rather than the one where they are providing their service.