to stress the point of view of the Local and Regional Authorities regarding the proposals contained in the European Commission's proposal on the European Media Freedom Act (COM(2022) 457 final)
to highlight that regions play a major role in regulating and supporting the media and cultural sectors in the EU
to demand that the EU's intervention in the media sector does not overlap with existing systems of media supervision and that it avoids any overregulation
to call for a closer cooperation between media regulatory authorities and stress that the European Board for Media Services proposed by the European Commission must be protected against any political and business influence
to highlight the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and multilevel governance as key to the EU's democratic accountability
In its follow-up report of 20 September 2023, the European Commission took note of the Committee's suggestion to lower the threshold of local governments of territorial entities subject to monitoring and reporting on state advertising to those of over 100 000 inhabitants. The Commission argues that obligations deriving from the European Media Freedom Act mean that some Member States might have to, in certain limited instances, extend competences of their national regulatory authorities to covertargeted areas, but that it remains ultimately a choice for the Member States how to organise their national regulatory authorities. The Commission furthermore notes that many of the provisions of the EMFA proposal are principle-based, as opposed to detailed harmonisation, and leave the competences for regulating media with the Member States.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
strongly supports efforts to safeguard media freedom, pluralism and independence, as well as the safety of journalists;
reiterates strongly that subsidiarity, proportionality and multilevel governance are key principles and fundamental features for the functioning of the EU and its democratic accountability; emphasises that the legal act of a Directive would better serve these principles, while still attaining the goals of the initiative;
stresses that in many Member States the regions play a role in regulating and supporting the media and cultural sectors, warns of the potential negative effects of overregulation on the well-established media systems across the EU Member States in which media freedom and pluralism are ensured and calls in this regard for caution in initiatives aiming to harmonise and centralise the regulation of the media at European level;
questions the appropriateness of regulating media systems on the sole legal basis of the internal market competence under Article 114 TFEU; calls that it should be made clear that safeguarding media freedom and pluralism is the responsibility of the Member States and that these objectives go beyond the mere promotion of the internal market;
stresses that the duty and responsibility of the Member States to guarantee media pluralism must be implemented efficiently, and that the respect of the principles of independent media supervision that is free from political influence shall be ensured;
requests due attention to the independence of the proposed European Board for Media Services from political and business influence;
calls for the introduction of concrete obligations for very large online platforms in order to protect the journalistic-editorial content in the online sector;
reiterates its commitment to pursuing efforts to safeguard democratic resilience, rule of law and fundamental rights, and firmly supports all efforts to ensure an open, fair and pluralistic political debate.