EEA EFTA States suggest revisions to further strengthen the European Media Freedom Act

Published 22-05-2023

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway welcome the European Commission’s (EU) proposal to create a common framework for media services in the internal market (European Media Freedom Act, EMFA).

In a joint EEA EFTA Comment, submitted to the Commission on 22 May 2023, the three EEA EFTA States make several specific remarks to the proposed act, highlighting that safeguarding editorial freedom and media independence is of fundamental importance for public trust and a well-functioning democratic society. EEA EFTA Comments are one of the tools used by the EEA EFTA States to participate in shaping EU policies, programmes and legislation.

The EEA EFTA States emphasise that Member States must be able to maintain or adopt stricter national rules to protect media freedom and pluralism than required by the act. They support establishing clear procedures when providers of very large online platforms (VLOPs) decide to interfere with content provided by media service providers, including removing, downranking or limiting the content’s visibility.They propose that these procedures also apply to very large online search engines (VLOSEs) in line with the Digital Services Act (DSA). They also welcome the objective to shield editors from undue interference in their decisions on specific pieces of content and consider it necessary to strengthen further the independence of the editor and editorial decision in the act.

Read the EEA Comment here

A list of past EEA EFTA Comments is available here

The European Media Freedom Act includes safeguards against surveillance and political interference in editorial decisions. It puts a focus on the independence and stable funding of public service media and on the transparency of media ownership. It sets out measures to protect editors’ independence, disclose conflicts of interest, and addresses the issue of media concentrations. The Act will establish a new independent European Board for Media Services, comprised of national media authorities. Learn more about the Media Freedom Act here and here.

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