First EU rulebook to protect media independence and pluralism enters into force

Today, the European Media Freedom Act, a new set of unprecedented rules to protect media independence and pluralism, enters into force. This new legislation provides safeguards against political interference in editorial decisions and against surveillance of journalists. The Act guarantees that media can operate more easily in the internal market and online. Additionally, the regulation also aims to secure the independence and stable funding of public service media, as well as the transparency of both media ownership and allocation of state advertising.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “For the first time ever, the EU has a law to protect media freedom. The EU recognises that journalists play an essential role for democracy and should be protected. I call on Member States to implement the new rules as soon as possible.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Media companies play a vital role in our democracies but are confronted with falling revenues, threats to media freedom and pluralism and a patchwork of different national rules. Thanks to the European Media Freedom Act, media companies will enjoy common safeguards at EU level to guarantee a plurality of voices and be able to better benefit from the opportunities of operating in our single market without any interference, be it private or public.”

Proposed by the Commission in September 2022, this Regulation puts in place several protections for the right to media plurality becoming applicable within 6 months. More details on the timeline for its application are available in this infographic. More information on the Commission’s action to uphold media freedom and pluralism and the safety of journalists is also available online.