Europe: Portugal

Current Status: active

Press Council: Portugal

Entidade Reguladora para a Comunica ão Social, Regulatory Entity for Social Communication 

Carlos Magno Castanheira (president)

Dr. Alberto arons Braga de Carvalho (vice president)

Address: Avenida 24 de Julho, n.º 58 1200-869 Lisboa

Tel: +351210107000

Fax: +351210107019



The Regulating Entity for Social Communication (ERC) was created  in February 2006.

In order to achieve its primary objective, the supervision of all entities pursuing activities of social communication in Portugal, the ERC was established as a legal institution of public law, with administrative and financial autonomy, with independent administration.

In organic terms, the ERC is made up of the Regulatory Board, responsible for supervision: the Executive Director, the Advisory Council, and the Statutory Auditor.


Updated: 17/08/2017




Alta Autoridade Para a Comunicaçao Social, High Authority for the Mass Media

Mr Armando Torres Paulo (President); José Garibaldi (Vice-President)

Av. D. Carlos I, 130 - 6°

1200 Lisbon

Tel: 351 1 392 91 30

Fax: 351 1 395 14 49




The AACS - Alta Autoridade para a Comunicação Social (High Authority for the Mass Media) is an independent constitutional body for the regulation of the media in Portugal and it operates alongside the Assembly of the Republic. ??According to article 39 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, AACS:

  • Ensures the right to information, the freedom of the press and the independence of the mass media from political and economic powers
  • Safeguards the possibility for different currents of opinion to be expressed and debated
  • Guarantees the exercise of the right to broadcasting time, the right of reply and the right of political argument

The AACS was created by the Law nº 15/90 of 30 June 1990. In 1998, Law nº 43/98 of 6 August revoked Law nº 15/90 and is nowadays the main legal act that regulates the activities of the AACS.

The AACS is competent for assuring the basic rights of information through the mass media, including pluralism, the respect of human dignity and the right to reply. It must also monitor the independence of the media, ensure the compliance of radio and TV services with the relevant legislation and classify periodicals according to categories established by law. ??The assignment of broadcasting licenses both to public and private operators is another of the responsibilities of the AACS.

Its role in assuring the independence and pluralism of public service broadcasting should also be mentioned. The opinion of the AACS regarding the nomination of the program and information directors of public service broadcasters is mandatory. ??Law nº 10/2000 of 21 June assigns to the AACS competence in the regulation of opinion surveys and polls whose subject is directly or indirectly related to political matters and are object of publication or broadcasting through the media.

Any citizen or legal person which considers that its rights have been harmed by a violation of the laws applicable to the mass media may complain to the AACS. The process is entirely free. The AACS may also act appropriately, by its own initiative, within the framework of its legal competence and responsibilities. The AACS decisions may be appealed to a regular court. ??The AACS draws up compulsory recommendations, published in or broadcast by the medium they refer to, as well as generic application directives which, having a broader scope, are therefore published in Diário da República, the Portuguese official journal. In some situations established by the law, it may also apply fines and, in extreme cases, suspend or withdraw broadcasting licenses.

Decisions are taken by the AACS on the occasion of ordinary (weekly) as well as extraordinary meetings, by vote at the simple majority of those present. The minimum quorum is seven members. ??The AACS is composed of 11 members, irremovable, appointed for a period of four years:

  • One judge, appointed by the Superior Magistrature Council, acting as president
  • Five members elected by the Parliament
  • ?One member appointed by the government
  • Four members representative of public opinion, the media and the culture, among whom 3 appointed respectively by the National Council of Consumers, the professional association of journalists and the organisations of media employers — the fourth being co-opted by the AACS members from a list of experts in the cultural and scientific areas.

Last Update - Aug 2006