BETA


2017/2209(INI) Media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead LIBE SPINELLI Barbara (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL) MELO Nuno (icon: PPE PPE), CHINNICI Caterina (icon: S&D S&D), JUREK Marek (icon: ECR ECR), PAGAZAURTUNDÚA Maite (icon: ALDE ALDE), TERRICABRAS Josep-Maria (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), MEUTHEN Jörg (icon: EFDD EFDD), ZIJLSTRA Auke (icon: ENF ENF)
Committee Opinion CULT MALTESE Curzio (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL) Damian DRĂGHICI (icon: S&D S&D), María Teresa GIMÉNEZ BARBAT (icon: ALDE ALDE), Helga TRÜPEL (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Committee Opinion JURI HAUTALA Heidi (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE) Jens ROHDE (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2018/09/21
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2018/05/03
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2018/05/03
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 488 votes to 43, with 114 abstentions, a resolution on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union.

Members recalled that media freedom, pluralism and independence are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression. However, recent political developments in various Member States, where nationalism and populism are on the rise, have led to increased pressures on and threats against journalists.

Parliament called on the EU institutions to guarantee full implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all their decisions, actions and policies, as a means to thoroughly uphold media pluralism and media freedom from undue influence from national public authorities.

Increased funding : Parliament called on the Member States to take appropriate measures, including ensuring adequate public funding , to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape. It asked the Commission and the Member States to promote and elaborate new socially sustainable economic models aimed at financing and supporting quality and independent journalism and to strengthen financial support to public service providers and investigative journalism while refraining from involvement in editorial decisions.

Violence and threats against journalists : in order to prevent crimes and deadly attacks against journalists and media professionals in the Member States because of their activities, Members urged Member States to set up an independent and impartial regulatory body to report violence and threats against journalists and to ensure the protection and safety of journalists at national level. They stressed the importance of ensuring efficient legal recourse procedures for journalists whose freedom to work has been threatened, so as to avoid self-censorship.

The Commission is invited to propose an anti-SLAPP Directive (strategic lawsuit against public participation) that would protect independent media from vexatious lawsuits aimed at silencing or intimidating them in the EU.

Fake news and cyberbullying : Members recognised that the new digital environment has exacerbated the problem of the spread of disinformation, or so-called ‘fake’ or ‘false’ news. In this regard, they encouraged social media companies and online platforms to develop tools to enable users to report and flag potential fake news in order to facilitate prompt rectification and to allow for review by independent and impartial certified third party fact checking organisations.

Parliament reiterated that cyberbullying, revenge porn and child sexual abuse material are a growing concern in our societies and can have extremely serious impacts, especially on young people and children. The resolution encouraged all Member States to draw up forward-looking legislation to address these phenomena, including provisions for detection, flagging and removal from social media of content which is manifestly harmful to human dignity.

Whistleblowers : Members reiterated their call on the Commission and the Member States to set up and implement an adequate, advanced and comprehensive framework for common European legislation to protect whistleblowers. They also called for journalists to be given proper tools to inquire and receive information from EU and Member States’ public administration authorities, according to Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents, without facing arbitrary decisions denying such right of access.

Media ownership : Member States are called on to adopt and implement a media ownership regulation in order to avoid horizontal concentration of ownership in the media sector and indirect and cross-media ownership, and to guarantee transparency, disclosure, and easy accessibility for citizens to information on media ownership, funding sources and management. Members stressed the need to have in place independent monitoring mechanisms to assess the situation of media freedom and media pluralism in the EU.

The Commission is called on to:

allocate permanent and adequate funding in the EU budget to support the Media Pluralism Monitor at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, and to create an annual mechanism for the assessment of the risks to media pluralism in the Member States; monitor and collect information and statistics on media freedom and pluralism within all Member States and to closely analyse cases of the infringement of the fundamental rights of journalists.

Lastly, Members stressed the need to abolish geoblocking of information media content, thereby allowing EU citizens to access online, on-demand and replay streaming of other Member States’ television channels.

Documents
2018/05/03
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2018/05/02
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2018/04/12
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Barbara SPINELLI (GUE/NGL, IT) on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union.

The Committee on Culture and Education, exercising its prerogative as an associated committee in accordance with Article 54 of the Rules of Procedure, also gave its opinion on the report.

The report noted that media freedom, pluralism and independence are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression. The media play an essential role in democratic society. The scope of such a role should be enlarged to encompass online and citizen journalism, as well as the work of bloggers, internet users, social media activists and human rights defenders, in order to reflect today’s profoundly changed media reality while respecting the right to privacy.

Moreover, fake news, cyberbullying and revenge porn represent growing concerns for our societies, especially among young people.

Recent political developments in various Member States, where nationalism and populism are on the rise, have led to increased pressures on and threats against journalists, which show that the European Union must ensure, promote and defend media freedom and pluralism.

Increased funding : Members called on the Member States to take appropriate measures, including ensuring adequate public funding , to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape.

Violence and threats against journalists : expressing deep concern at the abuses, crimes and deadly attacks still being committed against journalists and media workers in the Member States because of their activities, Members called on the Member States to do their utmost to prevent such violence, to ensure accountability and avoid impunity and to guarantee that victims and their families have access to the appropriate legal remedies. They also called on Member States to set up an independent and impartial regulatory body , in cooperation with journalists’ organisations, for monitoring, documenting and reporting on violence and threats against journalists and to deal with the protection and safety of journalists at national level.

Members also expressed concern over the deteriorating working conditions for journalists and the amount of psychological violence that journalists witness and called on the Member States to set up national action plans , in close cooperation with journalist organisations, to improve the working conditions of journalists and to ensure that journalists will not be victims of psychological violence.

In particular, the report highlighted the state of media freedom in Malta following the assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017, who was also subjected to harassment, including precautionary warrants freezing her bank accounts, and threats made by multinational companies. Members welcomed the decision to name the European Parliament’s press room and an annual prize for investigative journalism after her.

The report also underlined the importance of ensuring adequate working conditions for journalists and media workers.

Digitalisation and cyberbullying : Members recognise that the new digital environment has exacerbated the problem of the spread of disinformation, or so-called ‘fake’ or ‘false’ news. In this regard, they encouraged social media companies and online platforms to develop tools to enable users to report and flag potential fake news in order to facilitate prompt rectification and to allow for review by independent and impartial certified third party fact checking organisations.

Reiterating that cyberbullying , revenge porn and child sexual abuse material are a growing concern in our societies and can have extremely serious impacts, especially on young people and children, Members encouraged all Member States to draw up forward-looking legislation to address these phenomena, including provisions for detection, flagging and removal from social media of content which is manifestly harmful to human dignity.

Whistleblowers : Members reiterated their call on the Commission and the Member States to set up and implement an adequate, advanced and comprehensive framework for common European legislation to protect whistleblowers. They also called for journalists to be given proper tools to inquire and receive information from EU and Member States’ public administration authorities, according to Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents, without facing arbitrary decisions denying such right of access.

Member States are called on to adopt and implement a media ownership regulation in order to avoid horizontal concentration of ownership in the media sector and indirect and cross-media ownership, and to guarantee transparency, disclosure, and easy accessibility for citizens to information on media ownership, funding sources and management.

The Commission is called on to:

allocate permanent and adequate funding in the EU budget to support the Media Pluralism Monitor at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, and to create an annual mechanism for the assessment of the risks to media pluralism in the Member States; monitor and collect information and statistics on media freedom and pluralism within all Member States and to closely analyse cases of the infringement of the fundamental rights of journalists.

Lastly, Members stressed the need to abolish geoblocking of information media content , thereby allowing EU citizens to access online, on-demand and replay streaming of other Member States’ television channels.

Documents
2018/03/27
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2018/03/05
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2018/03/01
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2018/01/30
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2017/12/08
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2017/10/11
   EP - SPINELLI Barbara (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in LIBE
2017/10/09
   EP - HAUTALA Heidi (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2017/10/05
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2017/10/05
   EP - Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
2017/09/29
   EP - MALTESE Curzio (GUE/NGL) appointed as rapporteur in CULT

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0144/2018 - Barbara Spinelli - résolution 03/05/2018 11:48:17.000

2018/05/03 Outcome: +: 488, 0: 114, -: 43
DE FR ES IT RO PL BG PT SE NL CZ AT BE GB LT IE FI HR SI SK EL LU DK HU EE CY LV MT ??
Total
84
64
39
58
27
48
16
18
17
24
18
18
20
59
10
9
12
9
8
13
17
6
10
16
5
6
6
5
1
icon: PPE PPE
189

United Kingdom PPE

For (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

Abstain (1)

3

Luxembourg PPE

3

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Cyprus PPE

1

Latvia PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
156

Netherlands S&D

3

Czechia S&D

3

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Croatia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Denmark S&D

2
3

Cyprus S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Malta S&D

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
59

Romania ALDE

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ALDE

3

Portugal ALDE

1

Sweden ALDE

2

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Finland ALDE

Abstain (1)

3

Croatia ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Denmark ALDE

2

Estonia ALDE

3

Latvia ALDE

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
50

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
41

Portugal GUE/NGL

3

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Czechia GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: NI NI
17

Germany NI

1

France NI

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom NI

Against (1)

Abstain (2)

3

Denmark NI

1

Hungary NI

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

NI

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
37

Germany EFDD

Against (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Czechia EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ECR

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Netherlands ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2
3

Finland ECR

Against (1)

2

Croatia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Slovakia ECR

3

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Denmark ECR

2

Cyprus ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: ENF ENF
31

Germany ENF

Against (1)

1

Poland ENF

2

Netherlands ENF

3

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
421 2017/2209(INI)
2017/12/04 CULT 94 amendments...
source: 613.568
2018/01/30 LIBE 227 amendments...
source: 616.869
2018/02/05 JURI 100 amendments...
source: 618.053

History

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

docs/4/body
EC
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New
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events/6/docs/0/url
Old
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New
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  • date: 2018-03-27T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2017-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education (Associated committee) rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: MALTESE Curzio body: EP responsible: False committee: JURI date: 2017-10-09T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: HAUTALA Heidi body: EP shadows: group: EPP name: MELO Nuno group: S&D name: CHINNICI Caterina group: ECR name: JUREK Marek group: ALDE name: PAGAZAURTUNDÚA RUIZ Maite group: Verts/ALE name: TERRICABRAS Josep-Maria group: EFD name: MEUTHEN Jörg group: ENF name: ZIJLSTRA Auke responsible: True committee: LIBE date: 2017-10-11T00:00:00 committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (Associated committee) rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: SPINELLI Barbara
  • date: 2018-04-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2018-0144&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A8-0144/2018 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2018-05-02T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20180502&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2018-05-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=31015&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=P8-TA-2018-0204 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T8-0204/2018 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
commission
  • body: EC dg: Communication commissioner: NAVRACSICS Tibor
committees/0
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Responsible Committee
body
EP
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True
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committee
LIBE
date
2017-10-11T00:00:00
rapporteur
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shadows
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docs
  • date: 2017-12-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE613.557 title: PE613.557 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2018-01-30T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE616.869 title: PE616.869 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2018-03-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE615.361&secondRef=02 title: PE615.361 committee: JURI type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2018-03-05T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE612.242&secondRef=03 title: PE612.242 committee: CULT type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2018-09-21T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=31015&j=0&l=en title: SP(2018)482 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2017-10-05T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2017-10-05T00:00:00 type: Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament body: EP
  • date: 2018-03-27T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2018-04-12T00:00:00 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=A8-2018-0144&language=EN title: A8-0144/2018 summary: The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Barbara SPINELLI (GUE/NGL, IT) on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union. The Committee on Culture and Education, exercising its prerogative as an associated committee in accordance with Article 54 of the Rules of Procedure, also gave its opinion on the report. The report noted that media freedom, pluralism and independence are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression. The media play an essential role in democratic society. The scope of such a role should be enlarged to encompass online and citizen journalism, as well as the work of bloggers, internet users, social media activists and human rights defenders, in order to reflect today’s profoundly changed media reality while respecting the right to privacy. Moreover, fake news, cyberbullying and revenge porn represent growing concerns for our societies, especially among young people. Recent political developments in various Member States, where nationalism and populism are on the rise, have led to increased pressures on and threats against journalists, which show that the European Union must ensure, promote and defend media freedom and pluralism. Increased funding : Members called on the Member States to take appropriate measures, including ensuring adequate public funding , to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape. Violence and threats against journalists : expressing deep concern at the abuses, crimes and deadly attacks still being committed against journalists and media workers in the Member States because of their activities, Members called on the Member States to do their utmost to prevent such violence, to ensure accountability and avoid impunity and to guarantee that victims and their families have access to the appropriate legal remedies. They also called on Member States to set up an independent and impartial regulatory body , in cooperation with journalists’ organisations, for monitoring, documenting and reporting on violence and threats against journalists and to deal with the protection and safety of journalists at national level. Members also expressed concern over the deteriorating working conditions for journalists and the amount of psychological violence that journalists witness and called on the Member States to set up national action plans , in close cooperation with journalist organisations, to improve the working conditions of journalists and to ensure that journalists will not be victims of psychological violence. In particular, the report highlighted the state of media freedom in Malta following the assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017, who was also subjected to harassment, including precautionary warrants freezing her bank accounts, and threats made by multinational companies. Members welcomed the decision to name the European Parliament’s press room and an annual prize for investigative journalism after her. The report also underlined the importance of ensuring adequate working conditions for journalists and media workers. Digitalisation and cyberbullying : Members recognise that the new digital environment has exacerbated the problem of the spread of disinformation, or so-called ‘fake’ or ‘false’ news. In this regard, they encouraged social media companies and online platforms to develop tools to enable users to report and flag potential fake news in order to facilitate prompt rectification and to allow for review by independent and impartial certified third party fact checking organisations. Reiterating that cyberbullying , revenge porn and child sexual abuse material are a growing concern in our societies and can have extremely serious impacts, especially on young people and children, Members encouraged all Member States to draw up forward-looking legislation to address these phenomena, including provisions for detection, flagging and removal from social media of content which is manifestly harmful to human dignity. Whistleblowers : Members reiterated their call on the Commission and the Member States to set up and implement an adequate, advanced and comprehensive framework for common European legislation to protect whistleblowers. They also called for journalists to be given proper tools to inquire and receive information from EU and Member States’ public administration authorities, according to Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents, without facing arbitrary decisions denying such right of access. Member States are called on to adopt and implement a media ownership regulation in order to avoid horizontal concentration of ownership in the media sector and indirect and cross-media ownership, and to guarantee transparency, disclosure, and easy accessibility for citizens to information on media ownership, funding sources and management. The Commission is called on to: allocate permanent and adequate funding in the EU budget to support the Media Pluralism Monitor at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, and to create an annual mechanism for the assessment of the risks to media pluralism in the Member States; monitor and collect information and statistics on media freedom and pluralism within all Member States and to closely analyse cases of the infringement of the fundamental rights of journalists. Lastly, Members stressed the need to abolish geoblocking of information media content , thereby allowing EU citizens to access online, on-demand and replay streaming of other Member States’ television channels.
  • date: 2018-05-02T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20180502&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2018-05-03T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=31015&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2018-05-03T00:00:00 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=P8-TA-2018-0204 title: T8-0204/2018 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 488 votes to 43, with 114 abstentions, a resolution on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union. Members recalled that media freedom, pluralism and independence are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression. However, recent political developments in various Member States, where nationalism and populism are on the rise, have led to increased pressures on and threats against journalists. Parliament called on the EU institutions to guarantee full implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all their decisions, actions and policies, as a means to thoroughly uphold media pluralism and media freedom from undue influence from national public authorities. Increased funding : Parliament called on the Member States to take appropriate measures, including ensuring adequate public funding , to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape. It asked the Commission and the Member States to promote and elaborate new socially sustainable economic models aimed at financing and supporting quality and independent journalism and to strengthen financial support to public service providers and investigative journalism while refraining from involvement in editorial decisions. Violence and threats against journalists : in order to prevent crimes and deadly attacks against journalists and media professionals in the Member States because of their activities, Members urged Member States to set up an independent and impartial regulatory body to report violence and threats against journalists and to ensure the protection and safety of journalists at national level. They stressed the importance of ensuring efficient legal recourse procedures for journalists whose freedom to work has been threatened, so as to avoid self-censorship. The Commission is invited to propose an anti-SLAPP Directive (strategic lawsuit against public participation) that would protect independent media from vexatious lawsuits aimed at silencing or intimidating them in the EU. Fake news and cyberbullying : Members recognised that the new digital environment has exacerbated the problem of the spread of disinformation, or so-called ‘fake’ or ‘false’ news. In this regard, they encouraged social media companies and online platforms to develop tools to enable users to report and flag potential fake news in order to facilitate prompt rectification and to allow for review by independent and impartial certified third party fact checking organisations. Parliament reiterated that cyberbullying, revenge porn and child sexual abuse material are a growing concern in our societies and can have extremely serious impacts, especially on young people and children. The resolution encouraged all Member States to draw up forward-looking legislation to address these phenomena, including provisions for detection, flagging and removal from social media of content which is manifestly harmful to human dignity. Whistleblowers : Members reiterated their call on the Commission and the Member States to set up and implement an adequate, advanced and comprehensive framework for common European legislation to protect whistleblowers. They also called for journalists to be given proper tools to inquire and receive information from EU and Member States’ public administration authorities, according to Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents, without facing arbitrary decisions denying such right of access. Media ownership : Member States are called on to adopt and implement a media ownership regulation in order to avoid horizontal concentration of ownership in the media sector and indirect and cross-media ownership, and to guarantee transparency, disclosure, and easy accessibility for citizens to information on media ownership, funding sources and management. Members stressed the need to have in place independent monitoring mechanisms to assess the situation of media freedom and media pluralism in the EU. The Commission is called on to: allocate permanent and adequate funding in the EU budget to support the Media Pluralism Monitor at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, and to create an annual mechanism for the assessment of the risks to media pluralism in the Member States; monitor and collect information and statistics on media freedom and pluralism within all Member States and to closely analyse cases of the infringement of the fundamental rights of journalists. Lastly, Members stressed the need to abolish geoblocking of information media content, thereby allowing EU citizens to access online, on-demand and replay streaming of other Member States’ television channels.
  • date: 2018-05-03T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
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  • The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Barbara SPINELLI (GUE/NGL, IT) on media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union.

    The Committee on Culture and Education, exercising its prerogative as an associated committee in accordance with Article 54 of the Rules of Procedure, also gave its opinion on the report.

    The report noted that media freedom, pluralism and independence are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression. The media play an essential role in democratic society. The scope of such a role should be enlarged to encompass online and citizen journalism, as well as the work of bloggers, internet users, social media activists and human rights defenders, in order to reflect today’s profoundly changed media reality while respecting the right to privacy.

    Moreover, fake news, cyberbullying and revenge porn represent growing concerns for our societies, especially among young people.

    Recent political developments in various Member States, where nationalism and populism are on the rise, have led to increased pressures on and threats against journalists, which show that the European Union must ensure, promote and defend media freedom and pluralism.

    Increased funding: Members called on the Member States to take appropriate measures, including ensuring adequate public funding, to safeguard and promote a pluralist, independent and free media landscape.

    Violence and threats against journalists: expressing deep concern at the abuses, crimes and deadly attacks still being committed against journalists and media workers in the Member States because of their activities, Members called on the Member States to do their utmost to prevent such violence, to ensure accountability and avoid impunity and to guarantee that victims and their families have access to the appropriate legal remedies. They also called on Member States to set up an independent and impartial regulatory body, in cooperation with journalists’ organisations, for monitoring, documenting and reporting on violence and threats against journalists and to deal with the protection and safety of journalists at national level.

    Members also expressed concern over the deteriorating working conditions for journalists and the amount of psychological violence that journalists witness and called on the Member States to set up national action plans, in close cooperation with journalist organisations, to improve the working conditions of journalists and to ensure that journalists will not be victims of psychological violence.

    In particular, the report highlighted the state of media freedom in Malta following the assassination of anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017, who was also subjected to harassment, including precautionary warrants freezing her bank accounts, and threats made by multinational companies. Members welcomed the decision to name the European Parliament’s press room and an annual prize for investigative journalism after her.

    The report also underlined the importance of ensuring adequate working conditions for journalists and media workers.

    Digitalisation and cyberbullying: Members recognise that the new digital environment has exacerbated the problem of the spread of disinformation, or so-called ‘fake’ or ‘false’ news. In this regard, they encouraged social media companies and online platforms to develop tools to enable users to report and flag potential fake news in order to facilitate prompt rectification and to allow for review by independent and impartial certified third party fact checking organisations.

    Reiterating that cyberbullying, revenge porn and child sexual abuse material are a growing concern in our societies and can have extremely serious impacts, especially on young people and children, Members encouraged all Member States to draw up forward-looking legislation to address these phenomena, including provisions for detection, flagging and removal from social media of content which is manifestly harmful to human dignity.

    Whistleblowers: Members reiterated their call on the Commission and the Member States to set up and implement an adequate, advanced and comprehensive framework for common European legislation to protect whistleblowers. They also called for journalists to be given proper tools to inquire and receive information from EU and Member States’ public administration authorities, according to Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents, without facing arbitrary decisions denying such right of access.

    Member States are called on to adopt and implement a media ownership regulation in order to avoid horizontal concentration of ownership in the media sector and indirect and cross-media ownership, and to guarantee transparency, disclosure, and easy accessibility for citizens to information on media ownership, funding sources and management.

    The Commission is called on to:

    • allocate permanent and adequate funding in the EU budget to support the Media Pluralism Monitor at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, and to create an annual mechanism for the assessment of the risks to media pluralism in the Member States;
    • monitor and collect information and statistics on media freedom and pluralism within all Member States and to closely analyse cases of the infringement of the fundamental rights of journalists.

    Lastly, Members stressed the need to abolish geoblocking of information media content, thereby allowing EU citizens to access online, on-demand and replay streaming of other Member States’ television channels.

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  • group: EPP name: MELO Nuno
  • group: S&D name: CHINNICI Caterina
  • group: ECR name: JUREK Marek
  • group: ALDE name: PAGAZAURTUNDÚA RUIZ Maite
  • group: Verts/ALE name: SARGENTINI Judith
  • group: EFD name: MEUTHEN Jörg
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  • group: EPP name: MELO Nuno
  • group: S&D name: CHINNICI Caterina
  • group: ECR name: JUREK Marek
  • group: ALDE name: PAGAZAURTUNDÚA RUIZ Maite
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  • group: GUE/NGL name: SPINELLI Barbara
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  • group: GUE/NGL name: SPINELLI Barbara
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  • group: Verts/ALE name: HAUTALA Heidi
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  • date: 2017-10-05T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2017-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education (Associated committee) rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: MALTESE Curzio body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI body: EP responsible: True committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (Associated committee) committee: LIBE
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  • body: EP responsible: False committee: CULT date: 2017-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: Culture and Education (Associated committee) rapporteur: group: GUE/NGL name: MALTESE Curzio
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
  • body: EP responsible: True committee_full: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (Associated committee) committee: LIBE
links
other
    procedure
    dossier_of_the_committee
    LIBE/8/11139
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    2017/2209(INI)
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    Media pluralism and media freedom in the European Union
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    Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
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    Awaiting committee decision
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    3.30.08 Press, media freedom and pluralism