EBU NEWS published on 31 Dec 2015 • Department / Unit Communications Director General's Office LegalAdvocacy Page Media Freedom & Pluralism

EBU appeals to Polish president to reject controversial media bill

Flags at Warsaw headquarters of EBU Polish broadcaster TVP

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has written to the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr Andrzej Duda, and to Members of the Polish Senate expressing its dismay at the bill introduced yesterday (30 December) in Parliament. The controversial bill proposes new measures which would immediately oust the supervisory and management bodies of TVP and Polish Radio and transfer the power of nomination and dismissal of their Board Members to a government minister.

"To preserve the integrity and independence of public service media as a symbol of a free and democratic country, we ask you in the strongest possible terms not to sign this measure into law, and certainly not without having first undertaken a careful analysis of its compatibility with the Polish constitution and the freedom and pluralism of the media, guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights," said Ingrid Deltenre, EBU Director General, in her letter.

"The haste with which this new law has been rushed through Parliament strikes a discordant note about Poland and its respect for the rule of law and the democratic process."

Earlier this week the EBU, together with a number of press freedom and media organisations. wrote to Members of the Polish Parliament urging them not to vote for this controversial bill.

Update (5 Jan)

Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks has released a statement (5 Jan) calling on Polish President Andrzej Duda not to sign the new media law.

In addition, CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has sent a letter to President Duda expressing his "concern with regard to the new law on public service broadcasting...and the impact it may have on the integrity and independence of public service media, as a vital condition for genuine democracy."