welcome the plans of the European Commission to streamline support for the audiovisual and media sector and stress the needs of local and regional media across the EU in the context of recovery, greening and digitalisation;
open a dialogue with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT) regarding implementing measures planned as the practical follow-up to the action plan highlighting the synergies that are needed between funds and regulation at the European, national and local and regional levels of governance;
increase the visibility of the CoR as a policy actor in this area among the other European institutions and among sectoral and local/regional stakeholders and the broader public, in order to broaden the available information and expertise and channel the CoR's policy recommendations towards the different levels of decision-making.
Further to the CoR opinion's strong insistance on proper safeguards for the freedom of expression in the media, the EC WP 2022 has foreseen to design an EU wide oversight mechanism will aim to reduce burdens on media actors and support them in the context of the growing political interference in the media sector. The proposal for a a European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) is expected in the 2nd semester of 2022. In line with the CoR opinion, and further to the various bi-lateral contacts by the rapporteur, the European Commission has pledged to support the resilience capacities of innovative media actors and to strengthen the governance model of public service media in order to reduce the risks of politicisation and to further guarantee media diversity and pluralism.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- points out that one of the roles of local media is to produce high-quality, comprehensive and critical journalism on governments and public affairs in an objective and accurate manner, thus giving local people the necessary knowledge, and opportunity, to take a position on such matters;
- stresses that the credibility of the media stands and falls with their independence and free-dom of expression. This contrasts with situations where a governmental or non-governmental body can decide on its own which content is trustworthy, how access to plat-forms is controlled and which content is deprioritised;
- shares the view that protecting the diversity and independence of the media must be a key policy objective, which must also be emphasised in the context of this action plan;
- in relation to Action 1 of the Action Plan, recommends taking a robust place-based approach and seeking a close partnership with local and regional authorities; suggests, in this connec-tion, that examples of good practice be reported to the Commission with a view to linking such actions and including them in the EU Member States' recovery plans and action plans;
- recommends, in particular, to fully recognise the local and regional competences and facili-tate the participation of local and regional authorities in a structured dialogue on the specific actions set out in the Action Plan, especially Actions 1 and 7.