News Media Europe

“Media Freedom Act must be amended to live up to its original intention”, say European publishers

Press releases , September 16, 2022

Brussels, 16 September 2022

The EU is proposing a “Media Freedom Act” to protect the independence of media in the wake of growing threats to their freedom across Europe. This is a legitimate and timely initiative. Yet too many of the proposed measures risk undermining press freedom, not protecting it. That is why this Act needs serious amendment.

We oppose harmonised restrictions on market concentrations.We must strike a balance that distinguishes between healthy concentration for media survival and sustainability – which is greatly needed – and concentration for media capture which we oppose. Also, the establishment of a European Media Board opens the way for state controls over the media and raises serious questions about independent enforcement. This must go.

Other points in the Act are helpful to media freedom, in particular measures seeking to protect independent media in countries struggling against unacceptable state interference and the power of oligarchies – for instance in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans. Where we can support those measures, we will. This includes measures to prohibit interference with editorial decisions and disproportionate intervention in media companies’ operations.

More broadly, we supportthe protection of newsrooms’ independence, safeguards against unreasonable content moderation by platforms and fair rules on state advertising.

Aurore Raoux, Policy Manager at News Media Europe, said: “We want this Act to achieve its ambition, particularly in countries where democracy and freedom are still very fragile. This is a very complex measure. We will play our full part in the detailed consultations ahead to ensure it achieves its original intentions of supporting democracy. But we will strongly oppose any measures which interfere with the vital freedoms of the media.”


Aurore Raoux, EU Policy Manager: