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EBU calls on MEP candidates to ‘Do the next right thing for media and democracy!’

27 March 2024
EBU calls on MEP candidates to ‘Do the next right thing for media and democracy!’

On 27 March, the EBU launched its priorities for the EU elections and next EU Mandate in Brussels. Media freedom and the very existence of public service media is threatened in Europe. This is why the EBU takes this opportunity to highlight how EU politicians can help to turn the tide.

Noel Curran, Director General, EBU said: “In the last mandate, the EU made great strides in areas that we could not have imagined back in 2019. It is very much a changed world that public service media exist in today. With every victory like the European Media Freedom Act, we risk seeing a backwards slide, as in the recently proposed legislation in Slovakia, which threatens to remove independence from its public broadcaster, RTVS. We know it is necessary to have a clear set of priorities to ensure that public service media can continue to play their strong role as pillars of our democracies. So this is our call to all electoral candidates in 2024: Do the next right thing for media and democracy!”

The EBU’s priorities are:

  • Safeguard independent media and journalists
    The EU must ensure that Member states respect the Rule of Law and properly implement EU laws which aim at protecting the freedom of the media in Europe. The European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) need strong enforcement, especially around the principles for independent and well-funded public service media.
  • Ensure that people cannot miss media that matters
    The EU must ensure that national or regional authorities mandate appropriate prominence of general interest media to ensure that they are easy to find or discover on key interfaces and devices.
    Reliable and efficient means of media distribution are also indispensable. Broadcast remains the most reliable and efficient method to access live television or radio, which is why it must be protected and promoted. EU policy on digital technology and connectivity must remember the value that media brings to people and ensure that Internet access stays open and free from undue discrimination.
  • Walk the talk with holding big tech accountable
    The EU has developed a strong digital rulebook with the Digital Services Act (DSA), Digital Markets Act (DMA) and EMFA. These new obligations must be well implemented and enforced. The EU must remain vigilant for new concerns that will arise and not shy away from continuing to regulate the digital sphere.
  • Build a toolbox for AI and the media
    The EU should work towards a comprehensive approach to generative AI that sustains and protects media content while also offering guarantees for audience trust. Policies that support media innovation with trustworthy AI models are crucial alongside specific opportunities to enhance technological innovation and collaboration.

In addition, the EBU reminds EU lawmakers of the strong role that public service media have played in supporting Europe’s democracy, culture and economy. Public service media and the EBU stand ready to work with policymakers to ensure that media freedom and pluralism remain core to European life.

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Andrea Campbell

Brussels Communications Lead