European Media Freedom Act: European Commission launches public consultation

by Eric Munch (Observer) posted on 11 January, 2022   (public)

First stages towards a European Media Freedom Act

On Monday 10 January 2022, the European Commission published an open public consultation, of a scope rarely seen before, on the upcoming European Media Freedom Act (EMFA).

The concept of EMFA was first introduced by the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, on 19 April 2021, during a speech to the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education. It is thought of as a complement to the EU's legislative arsenal to protect the freedom and pluralism of the media among member States.

It was also one of the flagship initiatives announced during Ursula von der Leyen's State of the Union 2021 speech, on 15 September 2021. On 21 December 2021, a call for evidence outlining the main aims of the initiative and its possible options and impacts was published. Both the feedback on the call for evidence and the open public consultation will remain open until 21 March 2022.

The extensive consultation - structured around five areas - will help the Commission in drafting the EMFA proposal, which is set to be adopted by the Commission in the third quarter of 2022, according to the Commission's Work Programme for 2022.

Three areas are deemed of particular importance by the Commission:

  • Transparency and independence: scrutiny of media market transaction, transparency of media ownership, etc;
  • Conditions allowing the healthy functioning of the media: plurality of views, media innovation; etc;
  • Fair allocation of state resources: independence of public service media, transparency and fair distribution of state advertising, etc.

Feedback is also expected on the underpinning governance options and the role that the European Regulators’ Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) should play after the EMFA comes into force.
For further detail:

Source: European Commission website


Picture: Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash