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Digital Agenda: Commission opens consultations on media freedom and
pluralism and audiovisual media regulator independence
The European Commission launches today two public consultations, open
until 14th June 2013.The consultations formalise a debate started by
recommendations made in January 2013 by an independent High Level Group (HLG) on
Media Freedom and Pluralism convened by the Commission.
The first and wider consultation
invites comments on issues such as the scope of the EU's competence to act in
order to protect media freedom, the respective roles of public authorities and
self-regulation or protection of journalistic sources in Europe.
The consultation's findings will allow the Commission to identify if
broad support exists for European or national action in areas covered by the EU
The second consultation
is specifically limited to the High Level Group's recommendation that
audiovisual regulatory bodies should be independent.
Audiovisual media are already subject to EU regulation.
The consultation asks whether independence could be better ensured if
Article 30 of the Audiovisual and Media Services (AVMS) Directive were revised.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President said:
"In the EU we face threats to our fundamental freedoms, such as media
freedom and pluralism across Europe.
The High Level Group sent a strong signal that we need to take decisive
action to ensure the freedom and pluralism of our media services in the future.
Media pluralism is an important part of democracy.
I urge you to give your views to these consultations."
The AVMS Directive (AVMSD) aims at a Single Market for audiovisual
media services and at legal certainty for Europe's TV and audiovisual industry.
It creates a level playing field for both broadcast and on-demand
audiovisual media services across frontiers;
it aims at preserving cultural diversity, at protecting children and
consumers, at safeguarding media pluralism and at combating hatred on grounds of
race, gender, nationality and religion.