The study analyses the current issues in the EU media market and assesses the impacts of different policy options for a European Media Freedom Act.
The EU media market is very diverse and fragmented, with diverging pluralism laws, insufficient regulatory cooperation and protectionist media market measures in some countries. This creates difficulties for media companies to invest and operate cross-border. Political and private interferences affect media independance and balanced media coverage. The lack of transparency on media ownership, state advertising to media and audience measurement can affect competition and trust in the media.
The study, conducted by Open Evidence with Intellera Consulting and PwC, contributes to the definition of the problem, highlighting the reasons for the EU to act in this field. It also provides a comparative analysis of costs and benefits of different policy options for a European Media Freedom Act for the most important stakeholder groups. Based on the evidence collected through desk research, an open public consultation, interviews, case studies, targeted surveys and a workshop, the study draws conclusions and presents a preferred option.
The impact assessment study fed into the new Commission Proposal for a Regulation and Recommendation for a European Media Freedom Act. The proposed Regulation includes safeguards against political interference in editorial decisions and against surveillance. It puts a focus on the independence and stable funding of public service media as well as on the transparency of media ownership and of the allocation of state advertising. The Commission also adopted a complementary Recommendation to encourage internal safeguards for editorial independence.