LIBE adopts report on European Media Freedom Act, aiming to enhance safeguards for journalists

The European Parliament’s Committee for Civil Liberties adopted an opinion report on the EMFA draft, aiming to ensure effective journalist protection.

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To promote more openness and safeguard media independence, the Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted an opinion report on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) draft, aiming to push for stronger safeguards for journalists. The EMFA draft aiming for a common framework for media services in the internal market has already raised concerns among civil society organizations on its potential threat to press freedom, freedom of expression, and journalist protection.

LIBE parliamentarians called for stronger safeguards in their opinion report in which they request that targeted individuals are informed about the details of surveillance while allowing them to challenge the decision and seek redress by a judge or an independent body. Additionally, spy technology should be reserved for extreme cases unrelated to journalism. Journalists’ source protection should be exclusively under the purview of courts, and any derogation must be lawfully authorized, with due respect for their freedom of expression.

The opinion report also emphasizes that public service media plays a crucial role in promoting democratic participation and public discussion. However, their reliance on public funding exposes them to vulnerabilities threatening their existence, creating an unfair advantage in the media market. This fragmentation is due to the absence of a harmonized standard and legal uncertainty, discouraging private media providers. As such, the opinion report urges building on international standards to ensure competitive positioning and transparent funding for public media.