BETA


2011/2246(INI) EU Charter: standard settings for media freedom across the EU

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead LIBE WEBER Renate (icon: ALDE ALDE) MARINESCU Marian-Jean (icon: PPE PPE), GÖNCZ Kinga (icon: S&D S&D), TAVARES Rui (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), KIRKHOPE Timothy (icon: ECR ECR), DE JONG Dennis (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), CLAEYS Philip (icon: NA NA)
Committee Opinion CULT MIGALSKI Marek Henryk (icon: ECR ECR) Ivo BELET (icon: PPE PPE), Marie-Christine VERGIAT (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 052

Events

2013/05/21
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2013/05/21
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

Parliament adopted by 539 votes to 70 with 78 abstentions, a resolution on the EU Charter: standard settings for media freedom across the EU.

Parliament recalls that freedom of the media is a cornerstone of the values enshrined in the Treaties and that freedom of expression in the public sphere has been shown to be formative of democracy and the rule of law itself. Accordingly, Member States and the European Union must respect, guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information as well as media pluralism. They must refrain from exerting threats to media freedom such as trying to unduly and politically influence or pressure and impose censorship on the media in the service of private or political interests.

In order to achieve this, legally binding procedures and mechanisms must be put in place for the selection and appointment of public media heads to ensure professionalism, integrity and independence in the media in terms of representing the entire political and social spectrum.

Application of the Charter on Fundamental Rights : recalling that the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights protects media pluralism, Parliament calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States guarantee proper implementation of the Charter. It underlines the fundamental role of a genuinely balanced European dual system, in which private and public service media play their respective roles, as requested by Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Europe.

Public service media : Parliament recalls the important role of public service media, funded by citizens through the state, as well as their institutional duty to provide high quality, accurate and reliable information. It also recalls the specific and distinctive role of public service media, which is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to preserve media pluralism. Public service media have a social, educational, cultural and democratic role that must be guaranteed even in times of financial crisis and budget cuts.

Regulation and competition thresholds : Parliament stresses that measures to regulate the access of media outlets to the market through broadcast licensing and authorising procedures , rules on the protection of state, national or military security and public order and rules on public morality and child protection should not be abused for purposes of imposing political or partisan control or censorship on the media . A proper balance needs to be ensured in this respect, and should not be threatened by the influence of specific interest groups, economic actors, or religious groups. The Commission and Member States are asked to apply competition and media rules, to address and prevent dominant positions, possibly through setting lower competition thresholds in the media industry than in other markets.

It also stresses that the existence of press groups owned by enterprises that have the power to award public procurement contracts represents a threat to media independence and call on the Commission to assess how existing competition rules relate to the increasing concentration of commercial media in Member States.

Avoiding misuse of dominant position : Parliament calls for rules to ensure that conflicts of interest such as those resulting from the amalgamation of political office and control over media outlets are properly addressed and resolved. It calls for the effective implementation of clear rules to ensure transparent and fair procedures for media funding and state advertising and sponsoring allocation.

Parliament highlights the fact that market power in the media industry arises not only from monopoly pricing power, but also from political influence leading to regulatory capture, making dominant positions more difficult to dismantle once they are established. It recalls that the Commission has on several occasions been asked about the possibility of introducing a legal framework to prevent concentration of ownership and abuse of dominant positions. It calls on the Commission to propose concrete measures to safeguard media pluralism, including a legislative framework for media ownership rules introducing minimum standards for Member States .

Journalistic independence : Parliament underlines the importance of ensuring the independence of journalists in the face of external pressure. It highlights the fact that the right of access to public documents and information is fundamental for journalists and citizens, and calls on the Member States to establish a solid and extensive legal framework with regard to freedom of governmental information and access to documents of public interest. Journalists must also be protected from pressures, intimidation, harassment, threats and violence. Members recall the particular role of investigative journalists. They call on Member States to adopt legislation so as to prevent the infiltration of newsrooms by intelligence officers . They stress that an increasing number of journalists find themselves employed under precarious conditions, and call for the improvement of the working conditions of media professionals (often employed under atypical contracts).

Codes of conduct and ethical rules : Parliament calls for the promotion ethical journalism in the media. In an oral amendment adopted in plenary, it calls upon the Commission to propose an instrument (e.g. by means of a recommendation) to ensure that the Member States invite the media sector to develop professional standards and ethical codes which include the obligation to indicate a difference between facts and opinions in reporting, the necessity of accuracy, impartiality and objectivity, respect for people's privacy, the duty to correct misinformation and the right of reply. This framework should provide the establishment by the media sector of an independent media regulatory authority – operating independently from political or other external interference – that can treat complaints about the press based on the professional standards and ethical codes, and that has the authority to take appropriate sanctions.

At the same time, Parliament calls on all Member States where defamation is a criminal offence to decriminalise it

Internet: Parliament stresses that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media is not only reserved for traditional media, but also covers social media and other forms of new media on the internet. It emphasises the growing importance of news aggregators, search engines and other intermediaries in the dissemination of and access to information and news content on the internet and calls on the Commission to include these internet actors in the EU regulatory framework when revising the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Monitor media pluralism : Parliament underlines the importance and urgency of annually monitoring media freedom and pluralism in all Member States and reporting on a yearly basis on the matter, in liaison with all stakeholders both institutional and others.

Parliament believes that the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and/or the EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom must carry out this task and publish an annual report with the results of the monitoring. That report should be presented to Parliament and the Council and proposals made for any actions arising from conclusions on the report.

Parliament considers that the EU has the competences to take legislative measures to guarantee, protect and promote freedom of expression and information, media freedom and pluralism, in as much as it has competences in relation to the protection of minors and of human dignity, cultural diversity, citizens' access to information about and/or the coverage of important events, promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, consumer protection in relation to commercial communications. It believes that non-legislative initiatives, such as monitoring, self-regulation and codes of conduct, as well as the activation of Article 7 TEU when appropriate, must be pursued, and bearing in mind that some of the most striking threats to media freedom in some Member States come from newly adopted legislation.

Parliament considers that the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and/or the EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom must publish an annual report with the results of the monitoring. That report should be presented to Parliament and the Council and proposals made for any actions arising from conclusions on the report.

Review the current legislative framework : recalling EU competences to take legislative measures to guarantee media freedom and pluralism, Members believe that any regulation should take place on the basis of a detailed and careful analysis of the situation in the EU and Member States.

Parliament notes it has repeatedly expressed concern about media freedom, pluralism and concentration, and has called on the Commission, as guardian of the treaties, to take appropriate measures, inter alia by proposing a legislative initiative on the matter. Non-legislative initiatives , such as monitoring, self-regulation and codes of conduct, should be pursued.

Parliament repeats its call on the Commission to review and amend the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and extend its scope to minimum standards for the respect, protection and promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, and to ensure that the national regulatory authorities are fully independent, impartial and transparent.

The directive's objective is to:

· create an area without internal frontiers for audiovisual media services whilst ensuring at the same time a high level of protection of objectives of general interest, and enforce the related jurisprudence on positive obligations in the field of media and putting in place an appropriate legislative and administrative framework to guarantee effective pluralism;

· ensure that the national regulatory authorities have appropriate sanctioning powers to ensure that their decisions are implemented;

· should include provisions on transparency on media ownership, media concentration, conflict of interest rules to prevent undue influence on the media by political and economic forces, and independence of media supervisory bodies.

The National Regulatory Authorities, for their part, are asked cooperate and coordinate at EU level on media matters, for instance by establishing a European Regulators’ Association for audiovisual media services.

Parliament makes other recommendations, such as:

taking appropriate, timely, proportionate and progressive measures where concerns arise in relation to freedom of expression, information, media freedom and pluralism in the EU and the Member States; ensuring that criteria based on media pluralism and ownership are included in every impact assessment undertaken for new initiatives on legislative proposals; ensuring transparency in media ownership and management and to take initiatives in this field, so as to allow identification of the beneficiary and ultimate owners and co-owners of media outlets; monitoring whether public funds destined by Member States to the public service media are used transparently; ensuring the effective access to broadband Internet for all European citizens.

Documents
2013/05/21
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2013/05/20
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2013/03/25
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Renate WEBER (ADLE, RO) on the EU Charter: standard settings for media freedom across the EU. Members recall that freedom of the media is a cornerstone of the values enshrined in the Treaties and that freedom of expression in the public sphere has been shown to be formative of democracy and the rule of law itself. Accordingly, Member States and the European Union must respect, guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information as well as media pluralism. They must refrain from exerting threats to media freedom such as trying to unduly and politically influence or pressure and impose censorship on the media in the service of private or political interests.

In order to achieve this, legally binding procedures and mechanisms must be put in place for the selection and appointment of public media heads to ensure professionalism, integrity and independence in the media in terms of representing the entire political and social spectrum.

Application of the Charter on Fundamental Rights : recalling that the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights protects media pluralism, Members call on the Commission to ensure that Member States guarantee proper implementation of the Charter. They underline the fundamental role of a genuinely balanced European dual system, in which private and public service media play their respective roles, as requested by Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Europe.

Public service media : Members recall the important role of public service media, funded by citizens through the state, as well as their institutional duty to provide high quality, accurate and reliable information. They also recall the specific and distinctive role of public service media, which is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to preserve media pluralism. Public service media have a social, educational, cultural and democratic role that must be guaranteed even in times of financial crisis and budget cuts.

Regulation and competition thresholds : Members stress that measures to regulate the access of media outlets to the market through broadcast licensing and authorising procedures , rules on the protection of state, national or military security and public order and rules on public morality and child protection should not be abused for purposes of imposing political or partisan control or censorship on the media . A proper balance needs to be ensured in this respect, and should not be threatened by the influence of specific interest groups, economic actors, or religious groups. The Commission and Member States are asked to apply competition and media rules, to address and prevent dominant positions, possibly through setting lower competition thresholds in the media industry than in other markets.

They stress that the existence of press groups owned by enterprises that have the power to award public procurement contracts represents a threat to media independence and call on the Commission to assess how existing competition rules relate to the increasing concentration of commercial media in Member States. They also call for concrete measures to prevent excessive media concentration.

Avoiding conflicts of interest : Members call for rules to ensure that conflicts of interest such as those resulting from the amalgamation of political office and control over media outlets are properly addressed and resolved. They call for the effective implementation of clear rules to ensure transparent and fair procedures for media funding and state advertising and sponsoring allocation.

The report highlights the fact that market power in the media industry arises not only from monopoly pricing power, but also from political influence leading to regulatory capture, making dominant positions more difficult to dismantle once they are established. Members recall that the Commission has on several occasions been asked about the possibility of introducing a legal framework to prevent concentration of ownership and abuse of dominant positions. They call on the Commission to propose concrete measures to safeguard media pluralism, including a legislative framework for media ownership rules introducing minimum standards for Member States .

Journalistic independence : the committee underlines the importance of ensuring the independence of journalists in the face of external pressure. It highlights the fact that the right of access to public documents and information is fundamental for journalists and citizens, and calls on the Member States to establish a solid and extensive legal framework with regard to freedom of governmental information and access to documents of public interest. Journalists must also be protected from pressures, intimidation, harassment, threats and violence. Members recall the particular role of investigative journalists. They call on Member States to adopt legislation so as to prevent the infiltration of newsrooms by intelligence officers . They stress that an increasing number of journalists find themselves employed under precarious conditions, and call for the improvement of the working conditions of media professionals.

Codes of conduct and ethical rules : Members ask the Commission to propose a legal instrument (e.g. by means of a recommendation) to ensure that the Member States oblige the media sector to develop professional standards and ethical codes which include the obligation to indicate a difference between facts and opinions in reporting, the necessity of accuracy, impartiality and objectivity, respect for people’s privacy, the duty to correct misinformation and the right of reply. They call on all Member States in which defamation is a criminal offence to decriminalise it and to set up self-regulatory bodies of the media, such as complaints commissions and ombudspersons.

Internet: the report stresses that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media is not only reserved for traditional media, but also covers social media and other forms of new media on the internet. It emphasises the growing importance of news aggregators, search engines and other intermediaries in the dissemination of and access to information and news content on the internet and calls on the Commission to include these internet actors in the EU regulatory framework when revising the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Monitor media pluralism : Members underline the importance and urgency of annually monitoring media freedom and pluralism in all Member States and reporting on a yearly basis on the matter, in liaison with all stakeholders both institutional and others. They believe that the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and/or the EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom must carry out this task and publish an annual report with the results of the monitoring. That report should be presented to Parliament and the Council and proposals made for any actions arising from conclusions on the report.

Review the current legislative framework : recalling EU competences to take legislative measures to guarantee media freedom and pluralism, Members believe that any regulation should take place on the basis of a detailed and careful analysis of the situation in the EU and Member States. Non-legislative initiatives , such as monitoring, self-regulation and codes of conduct, should be pursued.

The committee repeats its call on the Commission to review and amend the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and extend its scope to minimum standards for the respect, protection and promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, and to ensure that the national regulatory authorities are fully independent, impartial and transparent. The Commission should also institutionalise EU-level cooperation and coordination, for instance by establishing a European regulators’ group for audiovisual media services, and streamline and strengthen the status and role of the national regulatory authorities.

The National Regulatory Authorities, for their part, are asked cooperate and coordinate at EU level on media matters, for instance by establishing a European Regulators’ Association for audiovisual media services.

The committee makes other recommendations, such as:

taking appropriate, timely, proportionate and progressive measures where concerns arise in relation to freedom of expression, information, media freedom and pluralism in the EU and the Member States; ensuring that criteria based on media pluralism and ownership are included in every impact assessment undertaken for new initiatives on legislative proposals; ensuring transparency in media ownership and management and to take initiatives in this field, so as to allow identification of the beneficiary and ultimate owners and co-owners of media outlets; monitoring whether public funds destined by Member States to the public service media are used transparently; ensuring the effective access to broadband internet for all European citizens.

Documents
2013/02/21
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2012/11/28
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2012/10/08
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2012/06/21
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2011/11/10
   EP - MIGALSKI Marek Henryk (ECR) appointed as rapporteur in CULT
2011/10/13
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2011/10/11
   EP - WEBER Renate (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE

Documents

Activities

Votes

A7-0117/2013 - Renate Weber - Résolution

2013/05/21 Outcome: +: 539, 0: 78, -: 70
FR DE PL RO IT HU EL GB PT ES BE AT BG DK SK IE LT FI CZ NL SI LV SE EE CY MT LU
Total
70
87
46
32
63
20
20
69
18
46
22
19
16
12
12
10
11
11
20
25
8
8
18
6
6
6
5
icon: S&D S&D
168

Bulgaria S&D

2

Finland S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Slovenia S&D

2

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1
icon: PPE PPE
245

Czechia PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
2

Malta PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

3
icon: ALDE ALDE
76

Greece ALDE

1
3

Slovakia ALDE

For (1)

1

Lithuania ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Latvia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
55

Greece Verts/ALE

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Portugal Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Latvia Verts/ALE

1
3

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
32

Greece GUE/NGL

3

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

4

Spain GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

2

Latvia GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
50

Hungary ECR

For (1)

1

Belgium ECR

For (1)

1

Denmark ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Abstain (1)

1
icon: NI NI
28

France NI

2

Spain NI

1

Belgium NI

Against (1)

1

Bulgaria NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2
icon: EFD EFD
32

France EFD

Against (1)

1

Greece EFD

1

Belgium EFD

Against (1)

1

Denmark EFD

1

Slovakia EFD

For (1)

1

Lithuania EFD

2

Finland EFD

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands EFD

For (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
273 2011/2246(INI)
2012/04/13 CULT 74 amendments...
source: PE-486.079
2012/11/28 LIBE 199 amendments...
source: PE-500.572

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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date
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rapporteur
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events/2/docs/0/url
Old
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New
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activities
  • date: 2011-10-13T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2011-11-10T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: ECR name: MIGALSKI Marek Henryk body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: MARINESCU Marian-Jean group: S&D name: GÖNCZ Kinga group: Verts/ALE name: TAVARES Rui group: ECR name: KIRKHOPE Timothy group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis group: NI name: CLAEYS Philip responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2011-10-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: WEBER Renate
  • date: 2013-02-21T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2011-11-10T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: ECR name: MIGALSKI Marek Henryk body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: MARINESCU Marian-Jean group: S&D name: GÖNCZ Kinga group: Verts/ALE name: TAVARES Rui group: ECR name: KIRKHOPE Timothy group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis group: NI name: CLAEYS Philip responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2011-10-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: WEBER Renate
  • date: 2013-03-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-117&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0117/2013 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20130520&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2013-05-21T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22772&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-203 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0203/2013 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
commission
  • body: EC dg: Communications Networks, Content and Technology commissioner: KROES Neelie
committees/0
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EP
associated
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committee_full
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
committee
LIBE
date
2011-10-11T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: WEBER Renate group: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe abbr: ALDE
shadows
committees/0
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CULT
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rapporteur
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committees/1
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rapporteur
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docs
  • date: 2012-06-21T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE483.722&secondRef=02 title: PE483.722 committee: CULT type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2012-10-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE496.665 title: PE496.665 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2012-11-28T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE500.572 title: PE500.572 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
events
  • date: 2011-10-13T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2013-02-21T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2013-03-25T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-117&language=EN title: A7-0117/2013 summary: The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Renate WEBER (ADLE, RO) on the EU Charter: standard settings for media freedom across the EU. Members recall that freedom of the media is a cornerstone of the values enshrined in the Treaties and that freedom of expression in the public sphere has been shown to be formative of democracy and the rule of law itself. Accordingly, Member States and the European Union must respect, guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information as well as media pluralism. They must refrain from exerting threats to media freedom such as trying to unduly and politically influence or pressure and impose censorship on the media in the service of private or political interests. In order to achieve this, legally binding procedures and mechanisms must be put in place for the selection and appointment of public media heads to ensure professionalism, integrity and independence in the media in terms of representing the entire political and social spectrum. Application of the Charter on Fundamental Rights : recalling that the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights protects media pluralism, Members call on the Commission to ensure that Member States guarantee proper implementation of the Charter. They underline the fundamental role of a genuinely balanced European dual system, in which private and public service media play their respective roles, as requested by Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Europe. Public service media : Members recall the important role of public service media, funded by citizens through the state, as well as their institutional duty to provide high quality, accurate and reliable information. They also recall the specific and distinctive role of public service media, which is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to preserve media pluralism. Public service media have a social, educational, cultural and democratic role that must be guaranteed even in times of financial crisis and budget cuts. Regulation and competition thresholds : Members stress that measures to regulate the access of media outlets to the market through broadcast licensing and authorising procedures , rules on the protection of state, national or military security and public order and rules on public morality and child protection should not be abused for purposes of imposing political or partisan control or censorship on the media . A proper balance needs to be ensured in this respect, and should not be threatened by the influence of specific interest groups, economic actors, or religious groups. The Commission and Member States are asked to apply competition and media rules, to address and prevent dominant positions, possibly through setting lower competition thresholds in the media industry than in other markets. They stress that the existence of press groups owned by enterprises that have the power to award public procurement contracts represents a threat to media independence and call on the Commission to assess how existing competition rules relate to the increasing concentration of commercial media in Member States. They also call for concrete measures to prevent excessive media concentration. Avoiding conflicts of interest : Members call for rules to ensure that conflicts of interest such as those resulting from the amalgamation of political office and control over media outlets are properly addressed and resolved. They call for the effective implementation of clear rules to ensure transparent and fair procedures for media funding and state advertising and sponsoring allocation. The report highlights the fact that market power in the media industry arises not only from monopoly pricing power, but also from political influence leading to regulatory capture, making dominant positions more difficult to dismantle once they are established. Members recall that the Commission has on several occasions been asked about the possibility of introducing a legal framework to prevent concentration of ownership and abuse of dominant positions. They call on the Commission to propose concrete measures to safeguard media pluralism, including a legislative framework for media ownership rules introducing minimum standards for Member States . Journalistic independence : the committee underlines the importance of ensuring the independence of journalists in the face of external pressure. It highlights the fact that the right of access to public documents and information is fundamental for journalists and citizens, and calls on the Member States to establish a solid and extensive legal framework with regard to freedom of governmental information and access to documents of public interest. Journalists must also be protected from pressures, intimidation, harassment, threats and violence. Members recall the particular role of investigative journalists. They call on Member States to adopt legislation so as to prevent the infiltration of newsrooms by intelligence officers . They stress that an increasing number of journalists find themselves employed under precarious conditions, and call for the improvement of the working conditions of media professionals. Codes of conduct and ethical rules : Members ask the Commission to propose a legal instrument (e.g. by means of a recommendation) to ensure that the Member States oblige the media sector to develop professional standards and ethical codes which include the obligation to indicate a difference between facts and opinions in reporting, the necessity of accuracy, impartiality and objectivity, respect for people’s privacy, the duty to correct misinformation and the right of reply. They call on all Member States in which defamation is a criminal offence to decriminalise it and to set up self-regulatory bodies of the media, such as complaints commissions and ombudspersons. Internet: the report stresses that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media is not only reserved for traditional media, but also covers social media and other forms of new media on the internet. It emphasises the growing importance of news aggregators, search engines and other intermediaries in the dissemination of and access to information and news content on the internet and calls on the Commission to include these internet actors in the EU regulatory framework when revising the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Monitor media pluralism : Members underline the importance and urgency of annually monitoring media freedom and pluralism in all Member States and reporting on a yearly basis on the matter, in liaison with all stakeholders both institutional and others. They believe that the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and/or the EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom must carry out this task and publish an annual report with the results of the monitoring. That report should be presented to Parliament and the Council and proposals made for any actions arising from conclusions on the report. Review the current legislative framework : recalling EU competences to take legislative measures to guarantee media freedom and pluralism, Members believe that any regulation should take place on the basis of a detailed and careful analysis of the situation in the EU and Member States. Non-legislative initiatives , such as monitoring, self-regulation and codes of conduct, should be pursued. The committee repeats its call on the Commission to review and amend the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and extend its scope to minimum standards for the respect, protection and promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, and to ensure that the national regulatory authorities are fully independent, impartial and transparent. The Commission should also institutionalise EU-level cooperation and coordination, for instance by establishing a European regulators’ group for audiovisual media services, and streamline and strengthen the status and role of the national regulatory authorities. The National Regulatory Authorities, for their part, are asked cooperate and coordinate at EU level on media matters, for instance by establishing a European Regulators’ Association for audiovisual media services. The committee makes other recommendations, such as: taking appropriate, timely, proportionate and progressive measures where concerns arise in relation to freedom of expression, information, media freedom and pluralism in the EU and the Member States; ensuring that criteria based on media pluralism and ownership are included in every impact assessment undertaken for new initiatives on legislative proposals; ensuring transparency in media ownership and management and to take initiatives in this field, so as to allow identification of the beneficiary and ultimate owners and co-owners of media outlets; monitoring whether public funds destined by Member States to the public service media are used transparently; ensuring the effective access to broadband internet for all European citizens.
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20130520&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2013-05-21T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22772&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2013-05-21T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-203 title: T7-0203/2013 summary: Parliament adopted by 539 votes to 70 with 78 abstentions, a resolution on the EU Charter: standard settings for media freedom across the EU. Parliament recalls that freedom of the media is a cornerstone of the values enshrined in the Treaties and that freedom of expression in the public sphere has been shown to be formative of democracy and the rule of law itself. Accordingly, Member States and the European Union must respect, guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information as well as media pluralism. They must refrain from exerting threats to media freedom such as trying to unduly and politically influence or pressure and impose censorship on the media in the service of private or political interests. In order to achieve this, legally binding procedures and mechanisms must be put in place for the selection and appointment of public media heads to ensure professionalism, integrity and independence in the media in terms of representing the entire political and social spectrum. Application of the Charter on Fundamental Rights : recalling that the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights protects media pluralism, Parliament calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States guarantee proper implementation of the Charter. It underlines the fundamental role of a genuinely balanced European dual system, in which private and public service media play their respective roles, as requested by Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Europe. Public service media : Parliament recalls the important role of public service media, funded by citizens through the state, as well as their institutional duty to provide high quality, accurate and reliable information. It also recalls the specific and distinctive role of public service media, which is directly related to the democratic, social and cultural needs of each society and to the need to preserve media pluralism. Public service media have a social, educational, cultural and democratic role that must be guaranteed even in times of financial crisis and budget cuts. Regulation and competition thresholds : Parliament stresses that measures to regulate the access of media outlets to the market through broadcast licensing and authorising procedures , rules on the protection of state, national or military security and public order and rules on public morality and child protection should not be abused for purposes of imposing political or partisan control or censorship on the media . A proper balance needs to be ensured in this respect, and should not be threatened by the influence of specific interest groups, economic actors, or religious groups. The Commission and Member States are asked to apply competition and media rules, to address and prevent dominant positions, possibly through setting lower competition thresholds in the media industry than in other markets. It also stresses that the existence of press groups owned by enterprises that have the power to award public procurement contracts represents a threat to media independence and call on the Commission to assess how existing competition rules relate to the increasing concentration of commercial media in Member States. Avoiding misuse of dominant position : Parliament calls for rules to ensure that conflicts of interest such as those resulting from the amalgamation of political office and control over media outlets are properly addressed and resolved. It calls for the effective implementation of clear rules to ensure transparent and fair procedures for media funding and state advertising and sponsoring allocation. Parliament highlights the fact that market power in the media industry arises not only from monopoly pricing power, but also from political influence leading to regulatory capture, making dominant positions more difficult to dismantle once they are established. It recalls that the Commission has on several occasions been asked about the possibility of introducing a legal framework to prevent concentration of ownership and abuse of dominant positions. It calls on the Commission to propose concrete measures to safeguard media pluralism, including a legislative framework for media ownership rules introducing minimum standards for Member States . Journalistic independence : Parliament underlines the importance of ensuring the independence of journalists in the face of external pressure. It highlights the fact that the right of access to public documents and information is fundamental for journalists and citizens, and calls on the Member States to establish a solid and extensive legal framework with regard to freedom of governmental information and access to documents of public interest. Journalists must also be protected from pressures, intimidation, harassment, threats and violence. Members recall the particular role of investigative journalists. They call on Member States to adopt legislation so as to prevent the infiltration of newsrooms by intelligence officers . They stress that an increasing number of journalists find themselves employed under precarious conditions, and call for the improvement of the working conditions of media professionals (often employed under atypical contracts). Codes of conduct and ethical rules : Parliament calls for the promotion ethical journalism in the media. In an oral amendment adopted in plenary, it calls upon the Commission to propose an instrument (e.g. by means of a recommendation) to ensure that the Member States invite the media sector to develop professional standards and ethical codes which include the obligation to indicate a difference between facts and opinions in reporting, the necessity of accuracy, impartiality and objectivity, respect for people's privacy, the duty to correct misinformation and the right of reply. This framework should provide the establishment by the media sector of an independent media regulatory authority – operating independently from political or other external interference – that can treat complaints about the press based on the professional standards and ethical codes, and that has the authority to take appropriate sanctions. At the same time, Parliament calls on all Member States where defamation is a criminal offence to decriminalise it Internet: Parliament stresses that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media is not only reserved for traditional media, but also covers social media and other forms of new media on the internet. It emphasises the growing importance of news aggregators, search engines and other intermediaries in the dissemination of and access to information and news content on the internet and calls on the Commission to include these internet actors in the EU regulatory framework when revising the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. Monitor media pluralism : Parliament underlines the importance and urgency of annually monitoring media freedom and pluralism in all Member States and reporting on a yearly basis on the matter, in liaison with all stakeholders both institutional and others. Parliament believes that the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and/or the EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom must carry out this task and publish an annual report with the results of the monitoring. That report should be presented to Parliament and the Council and proposals made for any actions arising from conclusions on the report. Parliament considers that the EU has the competences to take legislative measures to guarantee, protect and promote freedom of expression and information, media freedom and pluralism, in as much as it has competences in relation to the protection of minors and of human dignity, cultural diversity, citizens' access to information about and/or the coverage of important events, promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, consumer protection in relation to commercial communications. It believes that non-legislative initiatives, such as monitoring, self-regulation and codes of conduct, as well as the activation of Article 7 TEU when appropriate, must be pursued, and bearing in mind that some of the most striking threats to media freedom in some Member States come from newly adopted legislation. Parliament considers that the Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency and/or the EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom must publish an annual report with the results of the monitoring. That report should be presented to Parliament and the Council and proposals made for any actions arising from conclusions on the report. Review the current legislative framework : recalling EU competences to take legislative measures to guarantee media freedom and pluralism, Members believe that any regulation should take place on the basis of a detailed and careful analysis of the situation in the EU and Member States. Parliament notes it has repeatedly expressed concern about media freedom, pluralism and concentration, and has called on the Commission, as guardian of the treaties, to take appropriate measures, inter alia by proposing a legislative initiative on the matter. Non-legislative initiatives , such as monitoring, self-regulation and codes of conduct, should be pursued. Parliament repeats its call on the Commission to review and amend the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and extend its scope to minimum standards for the respect, protection and promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, and to ensure that the national regulatory authorities are fully independent, impartial and transparent. The directive's objective is to: · create an area without internal frontiers for audiovisual media services whilst ensuring at the same time a high level of protection of objectives of general interest, and enforce the related jurisprudence on positive obligations in the field of media and putting in place an appropriate legislative and administrative framework to guarantee effective pluralism; · ensure that the national regulatory authorities have appropriate sanctioning powers to ensure that their decisions are implemented; · should include provisions on transparency on media ownership, media concentration, conflict of interest rules to prevent undue influence on the media by political and economic forces, and independence of media supervisory bodies. The National Regulatory Authorities, for their part, are asked cooperate and coordinate at EU level on media matters, for instance by establishing a European Regulators’ Association for audiovisual media services. Parliament makes other recommendations, such as: taking appropriate, timely, proportionate and progressive measures where concerns arise in relation to freedom of expression, information, media freedom and pluralism in the EU and the Member States; ensuring that criteria based on media pluralism and ownership are included in every impact assessment undertaken for new initiatives on legislative proposals; ensuring transparency in media ownership and management and to take initiatives in this field, so as to allow identification of the beneficiary and ultimate owners and co-owners of media outlets; monitoring whether public funds destined by Member States to the public service media are used transparently; ensuring the effective access to broadband Internet for all European citizens.
  • date: 2013-05-21T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
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  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/connect/index_en.htm title: Communications Networks, Content and Technology commissioner: KROES Neelie
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  • date: 2011-10-13T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2011-11-10T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: ECR name: MIGALSKI Marek Henryk body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: MARINESCU Marian-Jean group: S&D name: GÖNCZ Kinga group: Verts/ALE name: TAVARES Rui group: ECR name: KIRKHOPE Timothy group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis group: NI name: CLAEYS Philip responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2011-10-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: WEBER Renate
  • date: 2013-02-21T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2011-11-10T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: ECR name: MIGALSKI Marek Henryk body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: MARINESCU Marian-Jean group: S&D name: GÖNCZ Kinga group: Verts/ALE name: TAVARES Rui group: ECR name: KIRKHOPE Timothy group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis group: NI name: CLAEYS Philip responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2011-10-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: WEBER Renate
  • date: 2013-03-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-117&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0117/2013 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2013-05-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20130520&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2013-05-21T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22772&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2013-203 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0203/2013 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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  • body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2011-11-10T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education rapporteur: group: ECR name: MIGALSKI Marek Henryk
  • body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: MARINESCU Marian-Jean group: S&D name: GÖNCZ Kinga group: Verts/ALE name: TAVARES Rui group: ECR name: KIRKHOPE Timothy group: GUE/NGL name: DE JONG Dennis group: NI name: CLAEYS Philip responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2011-10-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs rapporteur: group: ALDE name: WEBER Renate
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/connect/index_en.htm title: Communications Networks, Content and Technology commissioner: KROES Neelie
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LIBE/7/07291
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2011/2246(INI)
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EU Charter: standard settings for media freedom across the EU
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Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
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Procedure completed
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