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Certainly, one of the most salient reasons for the lack of success of both the public service and commercial pan-European satellite television channels were the different tastes, languages and habits—cultures in short—of European television viewers. But there can be no doubt that many of the public service broadcasters, and the EBU’s, initiatives were directed towards the creation and dissemination of a common European culture. And European unionists saw in the EBU the perfect instrument for fostering the shared European collective cultural identity they thought necessary for the consolidation and deepening of European union.

10 The Committee appointed Hahn as rapporteur and received his Report on Radio and Television Broadcasting in the European Community (European Parliament 1982) which was subsequently submitted to the Parliament on February 23rd 1982. Hahn identified the mass media, and television in particular, as instruments through which the Community could become a genuine ‘political community’. The Hahn Report stated ‘Information is a decisive, perhaps the most decisive factor in European integration’ and argued that ‘[t]he instruments which serve to shape public opinion today are the media.

The freedom of one (or some) may be diminished, or extended, in consequence of the actions of others. Berlin’s distinction between positive and negative liberty is helpful in that it highlights the one-sidedness of the conceptions of liberty which inform European political institutions. In both the European Community8 and the Council of Europe, doctrines of negative freedom predominate, and are at best neutral, at worst hostile, to the positive freedom which informs the institutions and practices of European public service broadcasting, and to the development and self-realisation of viewers and listeners Technological and cultural determinism Two related presumptions were put forward consistently in discussions of broadcasting and audio-visual policy during the early 1980s.

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