Insights European Commission launches consultation on proposal for European Media Freedom Act


The aim of the Media Freedom Act, as announced in the Commission President von der Leyen’s 2021 State of the Union address, will be to safeguard the pluralism and independence of the media in the EU internal market. This consultation follows a call for evidence published on 21 December 2021 outlining the main aims of the initiative, possible options and impacts.

The consultation will gather views on the most important issues affecting the functioning of the internal media market, including the different types of media interference, as well as economic trends. It covers three main areas pertaining to media markets:

  1. transparency and independence: e.g., scrutiny of media market transactions, transparency of media ownership and audience measurement;
  2. conditions for the healthy functioning of media markets: e.g., exposure of the public to a plurality of views, media innovation in the EU market; and
  3. fair allocation of state resources: e.g., independence of public service media, transparency and fair distribution of state advertising.

Feedback is also requested on the governance options underpinning the Act that could build on the European Regulators’ Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA).

A proposal for the Act is set to be presented by the Commission in the third quarter of 2022. The consultation is asking for views, evidence and data from citizens, in particular journalists, media (both private and public service media), academics, civil society, public authorities, businesses and all interested parties to help the Commission to shape the new rules. The consultation closes on 21 March 2022.

The European Media Freedom Act is planned for adoption in the third quarter of 2022. It will build on the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU. The Commission says the Act will focus on eliminating barriers to the establishment and operation of media services and will aim to establish a common framework for advancing the internal market in the media sector, while safeguarding media freedom and pluralism. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for access the consultation, click here.