Vera Yurova, Vice-President of the European Commission for European Values and Transparency, criticized the bill to restrict foreign capital in the media, approved on Thursday by MPs in Poland.
“Strong democracies should welcome pluralism in the media and diversity of opinion, not fight it. The broadcasting bill in Poland sends a negative signal. We need a media freedom act across Europe to support media freedom and the rule of law,” Yurova wrote in Twitter.
The controversial law restricting foreign capital in the media was adopted on Wednesday by the lower house of the Polish parliament (Seim). The document restricts the participation of non-European (from outside the EU) capital in the mass media operating in the republic and licensed for television and radio broadcasting. Those media outlets in which the participation of foreign capital will be more than 49% will not receive broadcasting licenses.
After the law comes into force, the media will receive a seven-month transition period in order to bring their capital in line with the new rules.
During the discussion of the bill in the Diet, the opposition attacked him with harsh criticism. Opposition MPs stated that the ruling Law and Justice party intends to crack down on the independent media in this way. MPs from the ruling coalition argue that thanks to this law, Polish media will be protected from buying by foreign entities. During the debates, the deputies did not hide the fact that they were afraid of buying Polish media by subjects from Russia and China.
With the adoption of this law, the threat loomed over the largest Polish opposition television channel TVN, which is owned by the American Discovery Corporation. In this regard, some MPs expressed fears that the new law could seriously damage relations between Poland and the United States. Meanwhile, Poland’s national television and radio council is not yet renewing TVN’s broadcasting license, which will soon expire.
Earlier, the head of the European Parliament David Sassoli said that he considers the bill to restrict foreign capital in the media as a threat to independent television in Poland. The US has already called on Poland to revise its media bill.Germans are outraged by the appointment of the US special envoy for “Nord Stream-2”