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European Parliament makes platforms recognize media freedom

20 January 2022
camera films a protest

In a decisive plenary vote, MEPs today adopted their position on the Digital Services Act (DSA). Members approved last-minute plenary amendment 513 on media freedom in relation to platforms’ terms and conditions.

Wouter Gekiere, Head of the EBU’s Brussels office reacts to the vote: “The European Parliament has shown great leadership by adopting the fundamental rights safeguard. Media organizations regularly experience abuses by online platforms. They suspend business accounts, remove editorial content or set other limitations to the content our Members put online. The European Parliament has now taken the position that platform operators should respect media freedom and content rules in their terms and conditions.”

“We call on European decision-makers to recognize and support this safeguard in trilogue and to look at ways to ensure a dialogue with proper communication channels between media organizations and platform operators Media are subject to specific regulation and overseen by regulators. When platforms add additional layers of control over editorial content, media operators should be able to challenge these decisions. Without the proper policies in place, private companies will continue to set the boundaries of media freedom and hamper citizens’ access to trusted media content produced by media”, regrets Wouter Gekiere.

“From now, policymakers can continue to raise the bar and make the Internet a safer and more transparent place. There are important transparency provisions, such as the Know-Your-Business-Customer principle and obligations to properly attribute the logos and branding to goods and services, that currently only apply to marketplaces. We hope policymakers will add more ambition on transparency issues in the upcoming trialogue talks”, adds Wouter Gekiere.

The Council adopted its general approach on the new platform rules in November. Following the adoption of the European Parliament’s positioning on the DSA proposal, co-legislators will now enter into interinstitutional negotiations.

Relevant links and documents


Thomas Bergmann

Senior EU Policy Adviser