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14 January 2022

European Commission Vice President: Media Is Pillar of Democracy

The European Commission has warned that increased attacks on the media by authoritarian regimes are causing a "pillar of democracy" to crack, as the Commission launched a consultation on new rules to protect media freedom.   

Launching a consultation on the upcoming European Media Freedom Act, Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová said: “Media are a pillar of democracy. But today this pillar is cracking, with attempts by governments and private groups to put pressure on the media.

“This is why the Commission will propose common rules and safeguards to protect the independence and the pluralism of the media. Journalists should be able to do their work, inform citizens and hold power to account without fear or favour.

“We are now consulting broadly to come with the best proposal.”

The Act, designed to safeguard the pluralism and independence of the media in the EU internal market, was announced last year by Commission President von der Leyen.

The consultation, which closes on 21 March, will collect views on the functioning of the internal media market, various types of media interference, and economic trends, the Commission said, as well as focussing on transparency and independence as well as on fair allocation of state resources. 

The Commission plans to adopt the Act in the third quarter of 2022.