Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has written to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, to raise his concerns about the impact of a new media law.
In the 5 January letter, Jagland states that he is worried by “the new law on public service broadcasting, adopted by the Sejm and the impact it may have on the integrity and independence of public service media, as a vital condition for genuine democracy.”
The Secretary General reveals that complaints against the new law have been received by prominent European journalism and free expression institutions.
He adds: “I would like to invite you to open a dialogue with our experts on media freedom, in order to have the best possible basis for your consideration before signing this act into law.”
Yesterday, Nils Muižnieks, the Commssioner for Human Rights, also urged President Duda not to sign the media law.
Muižnieks said: “The law worryingly places public service media under direct government control by giving the latter the powers to appoint and dismiss the members of the supervisory and management boards of public service television and radio.
“These arrangements contradict Council of Europe standards which notably require that public service media remain independent of political or economic interference.”