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Parliament votes in favour of the new Media Freedom Act

Today the European Parliament has voted in favour of a new regulation to guarantee the fundamental principles of democracy and free speech with the introduction of the new European Media Freedom Act. The position of the European Parliament on this groundbreaking legislation, passed with the overwhelming support of the chamber, seeks to fortify and safeguard the rights of journalists and media organizations across the continent.
 
The European Media Freedom Act demonstrates the EurParliament's unwavering commitment to preserving and promoting the freedom of the press and expression in the face of increasing challenges and threats. In a world marked by the rapid evolution of media landscapes and the rise of digital communication, this act is poised to be a beacon of hope for journalists, media professionals, and citizens who rely on a free and vibrant media ecosystem.
 
Some of the key provisions of the European Media Freedom Act:
  • Protection of Journalists: The act reaffirms the EU's commitment to ensuring the safety and security of journalists and media workers. It establishes mechanisms to address threats, harassment, and violence against media professionals.
  • Media Pluralism: To prevent media concentration and promote pluralism, the act introduces measures to monitor and regulate media ownership and control.
  • Whistleblower Protection: The act provides strong protections for whistleblowers within the media industry, ensuring that those who expose corruption and wrongdoing can do so without fear of retaliation.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Media outlets will be required to adhere to enhanced transparency standards regarding their ownership and funding sources. Additionally, mechanisms for addressing conflicts of interest among media owners and editors will be put in place.
  • Protection of Sources: The legislation reinforces the confidentiality of sources, a cornerstone of investigative journalism, ensuring that journalists can operate without fear of exposing their sources.
  • Support for Journalism: To support high-quality journalism, the act includes provisions for financial assistance, training programs, and research initiatives to strengthen the media sector's resilience.
 
Diana Riba i Giner, Greens/EFA Shadow Rapporteur on the file and CULT coordinator, said:
 
“Today, this Parliament takes an unequivocal step towards protecting democracy in Europe. Because as Kofi Annan said "No democratic society can exist without a free, independent and pluralistic press". “
 
“In recent years we have seen public media becoming a propaganda weapon of populist governments, media monopolies masquerading as plurality, governments spying on critical journalism, and the spread of disinformation and noise that the far right thrives on. “
 
“But diagnosing the risks is only useful if we have the political will to face the challenge and find the solutions, so we celebrate that today this file has passed and we will guarantee freedom for our Media”
 
“In spite of the big wins we have achieved as a group during the negotiations, the text regretfully does not include a complete ban on the use of spyware against journalists. We are also concerned about the privileged treatment some media outlets will enjoy as it may distort the market creating different categories of media outlets and may also open the door to abuses in the form of dissemination of disinformation on social media. The Greens/EFA Group will keep pushing to find solutions to these weaknesses in order to ensure a more transparent and plural media system in the EU.”

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European Parliament Building Strasbourg © European Union 2017 - Source : EP
European Parliament Building Strasbourg © European Union 2017 - Source : EP
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Diana Riba i Giner
Diana Riba i Giner
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