04 Oct, 2023

Renew Europe: Safeguard media freedom now

Renew Europe considers the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) as the European Union’s way to push back against the current rise in threats to free media and independent journalism. 

On Tuesday, the European Parliament adopted its position on the EMFA, introducing new rules on state advertising, transparency of ownership, audience measurement and protection of journalistic sources and communications. 

Media freedom and pluralism across the European Union are under pressure, hollowed out or actively undermined by certain political powers, with no member state being immune from danger. 

A prime example is the risk seen with the upcoming elections in Poland but numerous others can be identified in state buyouts, Pegasus spyware and direct threats to journalists.  

“It is our priority to give Member States the tools to fight disinformation. Unfortunately, there are still European companies who facilitate the spread of Putin’s propaganda in Europe and beyond. The European Media Freedom Act is crucial to eliminate this situation,” said Andrus Ansip MEP (Reformierakond, EE). 

“Free and independent media are a fundamental condition for the functioning of our democracies. In the last years we have seen serious deterioration in media freedom from both state actors and private owners. The Media Freedom Act will finally establish EU-wide basic principles and bring full transparency of the media market. Journalists and media will be protected and abuses will be prevented,” said Irena Joveva MEP (Gibanje Svoboda, SI). 

“The EMFA has to be a strong ally for free media. Independent journalists need a robust legal framework protecting their work, their sources, their freedom and securing their role as guardians of democracy. Every single politician waking up in the morning to look for quality news and correct information should know why free press needs to be strong,” added Ramona Strugariu MEP (REPER, RO). 

The EMFA’s scope ranges from protecting against interference in editorial decisions or the use of spyware, adequate funding for public service media and transparency of ownership and assessment of market concentrations in the private sector, as well as the establishment of a new European Board for Media Services comprised of national media authorities. 

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