New EU rules for media independence and pluralism enter into force

The European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), a new set of rules to protect media independence and pluralism, entered into force on Tuesday, 7 May, the European Commission has announced.

Commission VP for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, called on all member states to implement the new rules as soon as possible, and underlined that “for the first time ever, the EU has a law to protect media freedom”, as it recognises the role journalists play in democracies and the need for their protection.

The Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, pointed out that media companies “are confronted with falling revenues, threats to media freedom and pluralism and a patchwork of different national rules,” adding that under the EMFA “media companies will enjoy common safeguards at EU level to guarantee a plurality of voices and be able to better benefit from the opportunities of operating in our single market without any interference, be it private or public.”

The new legislation provides safeguards against political interference in editorial decisions and against surveillance of journalists. The Act also includes provisions to help media operate more easily in the internal market and online.

Additionally, the regulation also aims to secure the independence and stable funding of public service media, as well as the transparency of both media ownership and allocation of state advertising.

(Source: CNA)

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