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European Commission denounces Polish media law

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The European Commission on Thursday denounced the controversial media law in Poland as an attack on press freedom.

“The Polish draft law on broadcasting sends a negative signal. We need an EU-wide media freedom law to defend media freedom and support the rule of law,” EU executive vice-president Vera Jourova said in a comment on her Twitter account.

“Media pluralism and diversity of opinion is what strong democracies welcome, not what they fight.”

The so-called “Lex TVN” media law passed by the Polish parliament on Wednesday has been opposed by the opposition there, which sees it as a threat to press freedom and believes it will damage relations with the United States.

Poland’s ruling coalition broke up over the law, with the departure of the Entente party, but the text was adopted by 228 votes in favour and 216 against with the addition of votes from an anti-system group, Kukiz 15.

According to the ruling, right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), this law is necessary to prevent hostile foreign powers from taking control of broadcasters in Poland, by prohibiting non-European companies from owning more than 49% of a Polish outlet.

In particular, it could force the American media group Discovery to sell most of its stake in the Polish private television network TVN, which is often critical of the conservative government.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday evening that he was “deeply concerned” by the vote on the law.

The Brussels Times

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