In Belgium, the competencies regarding electronic communications (in the broad sense) are divided between the Federal State and the Communities. The Communities are responsible for the essential and technical aspects of audiovisual media services. Those services are defined as: “[...] the provision of programmes to the general public, by electronic communications networks, in order to inform, entertain or educate, or for purposes of audiovisual commercial communication”. The other forms of electronic communications fall within the cognizance of the Federal State.
The BIPT is the federal regulator for electronic communications.
At the regional level, the VRM, CSA, Medienrat and the BIPT are competent for the audiovisual services of respectively the Flemish Community, the French Community, the German-speaking Community and the bilingual Brussels-Capital Region.
In the light of the technological convergence that typifies the electronic communications sector, a cooperation agreement was concluded between the Federal State, the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-speaking Community on 17 November 2006, in order to organise the cooperation between those various bodies.
Knowing that media services can nowadays be provided over nearly all communications channels, decisions regarding such matters are always consulted on among the different regulatory bodies. During such a consultation it can be decided to submit a draft decision to the Conference of Regulators of the electronic communications sector (CRC), which unites the BIPT, the CSA, the VRM and the Medienrat. This means that the draft decision can officially be adopted by the CRC.
CRC decisions apply on a case-by-case basis to the entire national territory or to the territory of the Dutch-speaking, French-speaking or German-speaking Regions or to the bilingual Brussels-Capital Region, depending on the competence of the regulatory body that had submitted the draft decision to the CRC. Any CRC decision can be appealed against before the Brussels Court of Appeal.