STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN PUBLISHERS COUNCIL ON THE MEDIA LAW IN POLAND

The European Publishers Council (EPC) and its members are extremely concerned about the threat to the continuity of media freedom and plurality, as well as the reliability of the rules of the game in Poland, which are essential for investors and media professionals.

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EPC Chairman Christian Van Thillo said: “The way in which a hastily fabricated change in media laws, this time aimed at a specific TV channel, was ruthlessly pushed through in a special parliamentary session with controversial voting procedures and the narrowest of majorities, is nourishing the worst fears worldwide. This is yet another example of multi-pronged attacks on independent media outlets in Poland.”

 

In the international ranking on press freedom by Reporters Without Borders, Poland plummeted 44 places in just five years, from 18th place at the time to 62nd place in the meantime.

 

EPC Chairman Christian Van Thillo added: “The European Publishers Council and its members condemn any party-politically motivated attempts to intimidate the media and media professionals. Repeated attacks of this kind are diametrically opposed to the liberal principles and values of our European Union.

 

“The free competition of thoughts and opinions is one of the prerequisites of reliable democracies. Thus, in this serious hour, Poland's democratic institutions are called upon to take into account the pluralistic ethos of our common European cohesion”.

 

The European Publishers Council is a high-level group of 28 Chairmen and CEOs of leading European media corporations actively involved in multimedia markets spanning newspaper, magazine, book, journal, internet and online database publishers, and radio and TV broadcasting.