Protection of journalists and mass media, enshrined by the European Parliament

GEORGE MARINESCU
English Section / 14 martie

Protection of journalists and mass media, enshrined by the European Parliament

Versiunea în limba română

The European Parliament approved, yesterday, the agreement reached following the trialogue with the European Commission and the Council of the EU regarding the European Act for the Freedom of the Mass Media, a document that will protect the mass media and journalists from the interference of political power and the abuses of the authorities in each member state.

The political agreement that was concluded with the representatives of the member states in mid-December was passed by the European Parliament yesterday with 464 votes for, 92 against and 65 abstentions.

The regulation was initiated in 2022 by the European Commission, in response to state control over media organizations and attacks on press freedom. The new European regulation bans governments from tracking journalists through spyware that accesses their phones, prohibits disclosure of sources - with one exception when it comes to national security - and introduces transparency requirements for media ownership and state advertising , media concentration verification procedures, as well as a new level of protection for news sites against arbitrary takedown decisions by major online platforms.

During the negotiations, the Parliament made efforts to have stronger protection against the use of spyware, but these efforts met the opposition of the EU member states, especially the big states, which concentrated around France which imposed its opinion with regarding journalists' disclosure of sources when it comes to jeopardizing national security.

The entry into force of the new regulation is scheduled for the beginning of next year.

We remind you that the rapporteur for the European Act on the Freedom of the Mass Media was the European deputy Ramons Strugariu (Reper/Renew Europe), who in the last year took several positions regarding the abuses journalists are subjected to by the authorities of the member states EU, to the interference of political decision-makers in terms of editorial policy, to the discretionary way in which public authorities have allocated various funds for media advertising.

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