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EU: New rules must guarantee free media

The European Commission is proposing new rules to guarantee the independence of the media in Europe in the shadow of the deterioration of the media landscape in countries such as Hungary and Poland.

The EU’s new media freedom law must contain “joint safeguards… to ensure that our media can operate without interference”, reads a statement from EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

One of the main measures is an authority that would review media acquisitions that possibly affect the diversity among the member countries’ media owners.

This comes after concerns about the deterioration in several countries

The law would also require that funding for state-owned media be “adequate and stable” to prevent governments from influencing newsrooms with the threat of changing budgets. All member states would also have to introduce national laws protecting journalistic sources.

The bill comes after concerns in the EU about the deterioration in several countries in Eastern Europe.

Approval by the member states and the EU Parliament is first required to enter into force.

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