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Let’s join now the European Initiative for Media Pluralism

Submitted by on October 16, 2012 – 09:42No Comment

The sit­u­a­tion of media free­dom and plu­ral­ism in the Euro­pean Union is wors­en­ing. Some coun­tries, notably Hun­gary, suf­fer sig­nif­i­cant inter­fer­ence of polit­i­cal power aim­ing to con­trol and direct the media. Some, notably the UK, suf­fer from prob­lems of exces­sive con­cen­tra­tion lead­ing to undue influ­ence of cer­tain eco­nomic groups, notably Murdoch’s media empire, over polit­i­cal processes. Oth­ers, as the case par­tic­u­larly in Italy, Bul­garia, and to some extent Roma­nia, expe­ri­ence a dan­ger­ous over­lap of eco­nom­i­cal, media, and polit­i­cal inter­ests in the hands of the same people.

But with­out free, inde­pen­dent, and plu­ral­is­tic media cit­i­zens are deprived of the pos­si­bil­ity to keep power account­able. Cor­rup­tion and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion pros­per, per­sonal busi­ness and polit­i­cal inter­est replace the com­mon good of all, minori­ties face increas­ing mar­gin­al­i­sa­tion. The dete­ri­o­ra­tion of media plu­ral­ism and media free­dom in Europe is above all a threat to democracy.

Euro­pean insti­tu­tions have, so far, refrained from tak­ing a strong stance against indi­vid­ual Mem­ber States for such dete­ri­o­ra­tion. This hands-off approach seems to have con­tributed to a neg­a­tive domino effect, with wors­en­ing of leg­is­la­tion in one coun­try indi­rectly lead­ing to more restric­tive moves in another. A Europe-wide civil soci­ety ini­tia­tive to push for a stronger role for Euro­pean insti­tu­tions in safe­guard­ing and pro­tect­ing the inde­pen­dence and plu­ral­ism of the media is long overdue.

The Euro­pean Ini­tia­tive for Media Plu­ral­ism, bring­ing together nearly one hun­dred organ­i­sa­tions, media, and pro­fes­sional bod­ies from through­out the con­ti­nent, comes to fill this gap.

More than a net­work or a coali­tion of inter­ests, the Ini­tia­tive is a transna­tional sub­ject with the ambi­tion to ini­ti­ate con­crete changes in Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion and media prac­tice. To mark this ambi­tion, the Ini­tia­tive has just launched a Euro­pean Cit­i­zens Ini­tia­tive, a new tool of transna­tional par­tic­i­pa­tory democ­racy allow­ing at least one mil­lion cit­i­zens in at least 7 EU mem­ber states to present directly to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion a leg­isla­tive proposal.

We demand of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to draft a Direc­tive for the pro­tec­tion of media plu­ral­ism. In par­tic­u­lar, we demand: a) effec­tive leg­is­la­tion to avoid con­cen­tra­tion of own­er­ship in the media and adver­tise­ment sec­tors; b) guar­an­teed inde­pen­dence of super­vi­sory bod­ies from polit­i­cal power; c) def­i­n­i­tion of con­flict of inter­ests to avoid media moguls occu­py­ing high polit­i­cal office; d) clearer Euro­pean mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems to check up reg­u­larly the health and inde­pen­dence of the media in mem­ber states.

The Ini­tia­tive has received broad sup­port from the cul­tural, aca­d­e­mic, and polit­i­cal world. But most impor­tant of all, we aim to mobilise cit­i­zens from through­out Europe to stand up and demand that the Euro­pean insti­tu­tions show their com­mit­ment to fun­da­men­tal rights and civil lib­er­ties, even when mem­ber states increas­ingly fail to do so.

For this we need to reach the cru­cial fig­ure of one mil­lion sig­na­tures, a num­ber which will allow the Ini­tia­tive and all cit­i­zens par­tic­i­pat­ing in the cam­paign to open a leg­isla­tive process at EU level.

Sign­ing up is easy and can be done online!

Join us, and stand up for your rights: www.mediainitiative.eu

If you want to help us col­lect­ing sig­na­tures, espe­cially by offline forms, please con­tact esther.durin@galilee.be

Related posts:

  1. Cit­i­zen ini­tia­tive for Media Plu­ral­ism: from Brus­sels to Bologna
  2. The forth­com­ing of the Euro­pean Ini­tia­tive on Media Pluralism
  3. Defend­ing media plu­ral­ism by mon­i­tor­ing threats in the Mem­ber States
  4. The Euro­pean Cit­i­zens’ Agora on poverty: hope and disillusion
  5. March 1st: cit­i­zens rally for a Euro­pean con­sti­tu­tional convention


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