Flemish-speaking Belgium on the road to VICAM

Hilversum, 1 May 2006
The Media Council for Flemish-speaking Belgium is advising the introduction of a uniform classification system for the Flemish-speaking Belgian broadcasters, based on the Kijkwijzer model from the Netherlands. The Media Council recently issued this recommendation to the Minister for the Media of Flemish-speaking Belgium, Geert Bourgeois. A group of experts – the Kijkwijzer Working Party – that prepared the recommendation, proposes the establishment of VICAM (the Flemish-speaking Belgian Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media). 
The Kijkwijzer Working Party consulted the major TV suppliers in Flemish-speaking Belgium – VRT, VMMa, SBS Belgium, Belgacom and Telenet – which at present do not yet operate a uniform classification system. The majority of them appear to have an affinity with Kijkwijzer in the Netherlands. The Kijkwijzer classifications, for example for feature films, are already often used as a guide for their own classification. The broadcasters in Flemish-speaking Belgium told the Working Party that had received ‘positive echoes’ about Kijkwijzer from Dutch broadcasters and that their Dutch colleagues appreciated the added value given by the Kijkwijzer system.
The broadcasters in Flemish-speaking Belgium do not consider it necessary to reinvent the wheel by setting up their own system. Generally speaking, they consider it a more realistic option to affiliate one way or another to the Dutch Kijkwijzer. NICAM has promised to deliver support and know-how in any start-up in Flemish-speaking Belgium.
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