The European Commission has opened public consultations for citizens and groups to comment on whether to adopt new EU-wide media regulations, including a measure addressing the independence of media regulatory bodies. The announcement comes as policy makers and civil society groups call for stronger EU-wide regulations on media independence and pluralism in order to ensure that common democratic standards are being met at the national and pan-EU levels.
The EC’s consultations address specific recommendations prepared by the High Level Group (HLG) on Media Freedom and Pluralism, an expert group convened by the Commission in 2011 to examine media freedom issues across all EU states. The HLG’s January 2013 report details a range of policy recommendations aimed at strengthening media independence and pluralism, and standardizing media governance across the EU’s common market.
The Commission invites public input on the question of whether the independence of audiovisual media regulators should be regulated at the EU-level—an issue at the center of debates over Hungary’s 2010 media legislation—by revising the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (EU AVMDS).
It has also asked for public comment on a wider set of the HLG’s recommendations, including the EU’s powers to act in order to protect media freedom, as well as the role of public authorities with regard to self-regulation and protection of journalistic sources in Europe.
The consultations are open until June 14.