EU Council adopted a new law that will protect media freedom, media pluralism and editorial freedom in the EU.

The Council has adopted a new law that will safeguard media freedom, media pluralism and editorial independence in the EU.

The European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) will establish a common framework for media services in the EU’s internal market and introduce measures aimed at protecting journalists and media providers from political interference, while also making it easier for them to operate across the EU’s internal borders.

The new rules will guarantee the right of citizens to access free and plural information and define the responsibility of member states to provide the appropriate conditions and framework to protect it.

An independent media is a vital element of any free and democratic society. Today’s adoption demonstrates the EU’s continuing commitment to protecting journalists and safeguarding media freedom and pluralism.

Benjamin Dalle, Flemish Minister for Brussels Affairs, Youth, Media and Poverty Reduction

Growing threat to media freedom

The regulation responds to rising concerns in the EU about the politicisation of the media and the lack of transparency of media ownership and of allocation of state advertising funds to media service providers. It seeks to put in place safeguards to combat political interference in editorial decisions for both private and public service media providers, protect journalists and their sources, and guarantee media freedom and pluralism.

A new media services board

The EMFA builds on the provisions of the 2018 audiovisual media services directive (AVMSD). In particular, it introduces an independent European board for media services to replace the regulators group (ERGA) established under the AVMSD. The board will be composed of national media authorities and will advise and support the Commission and promote the consistent application of key provisions of the new EMFA law and the AVMSD in all member states, including by providing opinions and helping the Commission to produce guidelines.

Next steps

The regulation will now be signed, published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.


Media freedom and pluralism are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. However, recent reports from the Commission and the Media Pluralism Monitor have highlighted a number of concerns in the EU regarding issues such as the politicisation of the media, transparency of media ownership and the independence of national media authorities.

The European Media Freedom Act was announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in the 2021 State of the Union Address. On 16 September 2022 the Commission published its proposal for a regulation establishing a common framework for media services in the internal market. The EMFA proposal set out new rules to protect media pluralism and independence in the EU. Negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament concluded with an agreement on 15 December 2023.

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