Study on information rights suggests more EU-legislation (+ competition for the readers)
Looking for an extensive study on how citizens in the EU are informed by their national media? You can start downloading now. With the study comes a bunch of recommendations on how some some of the identified problems could be overcome. For a competition of how to understand the message – see below.
The study ”The Citizens' Right to Information: Law and Policy in the EU and its Member States” comes in two parts: a overall section in 115 pages and a section with 27 country reports, 591 pages long – for download see Dcuments to the right.
It deals with media legislation, as well as legislation on democratic rights and codes of practice for journalism and self regulation, in the 27 countries.
The study has been ordered by the Directorate for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament on behalf of the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, known as LIBE. It was has conducted by European Media Law e.V. a German private institute based in Saarbrucken and Brussels.For the country reports the institute has drawn on national experts.
Beside the obvious role as a compilation of the media and information situation in all the EU member states, the study might also be seen as an recipe for the EU-politicians on what to do next.
The authors describe this as they have taken a ”normativ approach”. In other words: This is what they think should be done.
As media issues easily get sensitive it comes as no surprise that the conclusions and recommendations drawn by the authors are formulated in ways that can be interpreted in different directions.
But this is what the study suggests in three out of eight different areas in terms of ”specific recommendations”, starting with a somewhat blunt summary by this website, followed by the relevant quotes from the study.
* The European Commission should intervene more often and harder when fundamental freedoms and rights are threatened in the member states.
(”the European Parliament, besides continuing to provide political support, might
wish to reflect upon the desirability of formally requesting the European
Commission to initiate infringement procedures on matters of national media legal
orders, either being of importance prima facie for the safeguard of the TFEU’s
fundamental freedoms or, in combination therewith, for the safeguard of
fundamental rights, particularly Art. 11 CFREU”)
* The EU should adopt legislation to counter unwanted concentration of media ownership.
(”the European Parliament could focus more closely - based i.a. upon the soon-to-be-expected
outcome of the assessment of the EU competencies in respect of media
ownership and transparency legislation, but also on further consideration -
investigate into the appropriateness of formally calling on the European
Commission to present a proposal for a EU Directive on this subject-matter.”)
* The content of audiovisual media should to a larger extent be regulated by EU-legislation.
(in light of existing provisions in the AVMSD on the right of reply, transparency
requirements for audiovisual media service providers, the right to short news
reporting, the prohibition on incitement to hatred, the European Parliament might
see prospects in discussing with Member States and the European Commission the
opportunities to enhance the formulation of rights and obligations of the media)
The quotes above to be found on page 107 in the section 1.
Besides these three suggestions the study also contains some general observations and statements which your editor has had a problem to interpret.
The observant and undoubtedly skilled followers of this website are therefor heartily invited to help explain the following to quotes from the study, and how (if?) they relate to each other.
On the one hand the study stresses on page 106 fifth indent:
”the European Parliament should continue to be, together with the Committee of the
Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee and also the Council, an
advocate for stressing the need to duly observe and respect the existing diversity
between and within Member States, their media and economic potentials and the
needs of the citizens;”
And on the other hand it says on page 107, fifth indent:
”in the same perspective, while preservation of the diversity of Member States
cultures remains an important objective, it should be asked whether the complete
and uncompromised exclusion of harmonisation competencies of the EU in the
cultural domains still presents itself as the optimal solution for addressing future
problems, not least when bearing in mind that - while devising EU policies in other
fields - the impact on the cultural sectors appears to become increasingly significant
There are no material prizes given out. But the best explanation of how these quotes shall be understood will be honoured by publicity at a later stage.