Members' Research Service By / November 22, 2022

European media freedom act [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy podcast]

According to the European Commission’s call for evidence, recent developments in EU countries affecting the ownership, management or operation of certain media outlets point to increasing interference in the media sector.

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Written by Tarja Laaninen (2nd edition, updated on 21.06.2023).

An independent media is a pillar of democracy and an important part of the economy, helping to shape public opinion and hold those in power to account. In recent years, however, there have been increasingly worrying trends across the European Union (EU), as documented in the annual rule of law reports by the European Commission and other tools such as the Media Pluralism Monitor.

Published on 16 September 2022, the European media freedom act (EMFA) proposes a new set of rules to promote media pluralism and independence across the EU, and would amend the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The aim is to prevent political interference in editorial decisions and ensure transparency of media ownership. The proposed act seeks to protect journalists from having to disclose their sources and from the use of spyware against them. It also sets requirements for audience measurement systems and transparent allocation of state advertising. Media content would be better protected against online content removal, and a new European board for media services would be established.

In the Parliament, the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) is the committee responsible, with the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) as associated committees. The draft report was presented in the CULT committee on 26 April 2023. The vote and adoption in the CULT committee is planned for September 2023.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common framework for media services in the internal market (European Media Freedom Act) and amending Directive 2010/13/EU
Committee responsible:Culture and Education (CULT)COM(2022)457
Rapporteur:Sabine Verheyen (EPP, Germany)2022/0277(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Petra Kammerevert (S&D, Germany)
Irena Joveva (Renew, Slovenia)
Diana Riba I Giner (Greens/EFA, Spain)
Andrey Slabakov (ECR, Bulgaria)
Catherine Griset (ID, France)
Stelios Kouloglou (The Left, Greece)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council
on equal footing –
formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Initial discussions in committee

EU legislation in progress

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