What is at stake?

Media freedom and pluralism are at the heart of any democracy. They embrace editorial independence, the free flow of ideas, and public access to a wide range of information sources and views. We believe that our Members - public service media in and around Europe - play a leading role in ensuring a rich, diverse and transparent media landscape - one that promotes freedom of expression, leads to well-informed public opinion, and guarantees that journalists can feel free to carry out their work to the highest standards. 

Quality, accountability and diversity

Media freedom is a cornerstone of public service media (PSM). Sustainable and predictable and a sound governance framework should protect PSM from political and economic powers. In turn, PSM activities should be properly supervised by independent bodies. The presence of public services broadcasters on in the media landscape is vital to ensure a pluralistic and diverse environment and the availability of high-quality, impartial and independent news and information.

Challenges and opportunities in the digital world

Even in the digital era, PSM has maintained its traditional role as a point of reference for viewers and society at large. The digital revolution has led to accelerated media convergence, which has presented new challenges and opportunities to media freedom and pluralism. We believe that fundamental principles such as net neutrality and appropriate allocation of spectrum resources are crucial to ensuring citizens can continue to enjoy free access to a wide range of views and content.

Protecting media independence and transparency

Media independence and transparency are indispensable preconditions and essential safeguards of well-functioning democracy. Challenges and opportunities for the media sector differ from country to country in Europe. But all national and European lawmakers have a duty to protect and preserve media freedom and pluralism. The organization and definition of the PSM remit is a national competence. EU initiatives on monitoring media independence and ownership in Europe as well as checks to ensure that new EU legislation is consistent with the principles of media freedom and pluralism should continue to complement national rules aiming to preserve or strengthen these principles.

Independence, openness and sustainability: key governance principles

PSM’s independence from political and commercial interests hinges on predictable funding combined with an appropriate governance framework. Although there is no “one size fits all” approach to how PSM should be set up at national level, the governance framework should follow the principles of independence, accountability and sustainabilitiy, and enable PSM to fulfill their public service remit.

It must embrace the vision and overall purpose of the organization and foster a balanced and objective editorial approach. It should also ensure structured and autonomous relationships, based on openness and transparency, with key stakeholders - including national governments. Good governance principles must be actively embraced by the staff of PSM organizations and guide the priorities and decisions of senior management.

09 MARCH 2021

EBU Contribution to the Commission’s Consultation on the Annual Rule of Law Report, 8 March 2021

Read the EBU's contribution to the European Commission’s Consultation on the Annual Rule of Law Report.

09 FEBRUARY 2021

Joint statement from European media and journalists calling on decision makers to protect media freedom and fundamental rights

Safeguarding Europe’s free and independent media is vital to sustain our democracies. However, media freedom could be put at risk by a current EU proposal that intends to make it easier for criminal investigati...


EBU response to the European Commission consultation on the European Democracy Action Plan

Guaranteeing prominent display of and easy access to general interest content, including public service media content, improving the promotion of media literacy initiatives, strengthening safety of journalists...

04 MAY 2020

EBU Contribution to the European Commission’s Consultation on the Annual Rule of Law Report

As the EU prepares to make new rules on online platforms in its landmark Digital Services Act, the EBU has given detailed input to the European Commission’s consultation on how those rules should be shaped. ...

03 FEBRUARY 2020

EU e-Evidence draft regulation: joint position from European media outlets and journalists

EBU and other European media associations and journalists call for the e-Evidence regulation to ensure protection of the European media sector and its contribution to democratic societies

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