ZVEI is strongly aligned with the objectives of the Media Freedom Act (MFA). Protecting media freedom and strengthening the EU internal market are crucial cornerstones of a strong and resilient Europe.
The MFA has the potential to strengthen the EU's internal market through a reliable legal framework across Europe. Fragmentation of the internal market and an inconsistent law enforcement stand against this goal and are rightfully addressed by the proposal. However, the measures proposed in the draft need further adjustment to tackle the complexity that has arisen from 27 national media laws in the EU and the legal uncertainty and additional costs that go along with it.
For creating a stronger internal market and more reliability and predictability in this sector the following points are most relevant:
- Ensure harmonization: European harmonization of the legal framework is most important: The proposed non-binding guidelines on prominence by the Commission can only mitigate the problem, but do not grant sufficient legal certainty.
- Reduce complexity: Complexity of regulations must be reduced and overlapping regulations must be avoided. It has to be ensured that the scope of the MFA is consistent with existing EU legislation such as the Audiovisual Media Services Directive or the Digital Markets Act.
- Keep proportionality: The proposed regulations must stay proportionate to their pursued goal. The individual measures proposed have to be justified on the basis of a specific regulatory objective, otherwise their proportionality cannot be assessed.
- Apply coherent enforcement: A uniform application must be ensured, and enforcement needs to be strengthened at the European level. Regardless of how the cooperation between national authorities is organised, additional burden by creating overlapping structures must be avoided.