The extended panel of five judges of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (SACL) was hearing an administrative case No. eA-3170-662/2019 concerning the legitimacy of the refusal of the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania to exempt a satellite television service provider, which is established in another Member State (the claimant), from the obligation to retransmit the television program “LRT Culture” (new name of this programme – “LRT Plus”) through an artificial Earth satellite, as well as the legitimacy of the obligation for the claimant to retransmit the television program “LRT Culture” through an artificial Earth satellite. The above-mentioned obligation is laid down in the Law of Public Information.
While settling this dispute the expanded panel of five judges of the SACL has raised questions about the interpretation of some provisions of the Directive 2002/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (Framework Directive) and some provisions of the Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive). The panel of judges also questioned the compatibility of the above-mentioned obligation with the Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (freedom to provide services).
In this context, it has been decided to refer the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling.