The European Citizens’ Initiative for Media Pluralism calls for regulation at the European level to protect media pluralism in the European Union, therefore guaranteeing the independence of the media from political and economical interests.

The European Citizens’ Initiative for Media Pluralism brings together nearly one hundred different organizations, professional bodies and media. Its initiators are European Alternatives and the l’Alliance Internationale de Journalistes (International Alliance of Journalists).

This ECI states that the situation of media freedom and pluralism in the European Union is worsening, specifically referring to the examples of the United Kingdom, Hungary and Italy. Citizens cannot hold power accountable without access to free, independent and pluralistic media. The initiative supports the idea that European institutions should safeguard the right to independent and pluralistic information.

The aim of this initiative is to protect media pluralism through partial harmonisation of national rules on media ownership and transparency, conflicts of interest with political office and independence of media supervisory bodies. Its initiators demand the following regulations:

1. Legislation to avoid concentration of ownership in the media and advertising sectors;

2. Guaranteed independence of national supervisory bodies from political power and influence;

3. A definition of conflict of interests with media ownership to prevent abuse of media power for special interests;

4. Rules enforcing transparency to identify the ultimate beneficial owners of media outlets, and monitoring systems to regularly gauge the independence of the media in member states.

Harmonisation of national legislation on media pluralism will contribute to the correct functioning of the internal market as well as a pluralist democratic debate through a free exchange of ideas and information in the European Union. The initiative calls for this harmonisation through amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive or through the enactment of a new EU Directive.

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