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EU Commission: European Media Freedom Act. Rules to protect pluralism and independence of information

Vĕra Jourová (photo SIR/European Commission)

Today, the European Commission passed a European Media Freedom Act, a new set of rules to “protect pluralism and independence of the media within the Union”. Such bill of law also includes protective measures against political interference with publishers’ decisions and against surveillance. As explained in a notice from Brussels, this “focusses on the independence and steady funding of public service media, as well as the transparency of ownership of the media and allocation of advertisements. In addition, it lays down measures to protect the publishers’ independence and unveil any conflict of interest. Finally, “the act will deal with the matter of concentration of media ownership and will create a new European independent council for media services, composed of national media authorities”. Věra Jourová, deputy president, states: “in the last few years, we have witnessed many different forms of pressure on the media. The time has come to take action. Clear principles need to be laid down: no journalist should be spied because of his or her work; no public media should be turned into a channel of propaganda. This is what we are proposing today for the first time ever: common protective measures to defend freedom of the media and pluralism in the European Union”.

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