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Media pluralism in Member States: EU-funded project presents new results

The European University Institute's Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) in Florence published today a report assessing media pluralism in 19 EU Member States in 2015. The countries monitored were Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. The 9 other Member States were assessed in the 2014 report.

The 2015 report identified the riskiest areas across the 19 countries, including media concentration (when a limited numbers of individuals and organisations own media outlets), political independence of the media, issues related to state advertising and media literacy.

The European University Institute's Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, in cooperation with teams of local experts in each country, independently examined risks related to media pluralism using the Media Pluralism Monitoring (MPM) tool, a project developed thanks to EU funding. The field work was carried out until October 2015, and reflects the situation at that time.

The next phase of the project – to be carried out in 2016 –  will assess all EU Member States, along with two candidate countries (Turkey and Montenegro).

The report was carried out by the CMPF, thanks to an initiative of the European Parliament. The findings of the project are independent and non-binding. They feed into the debate on media freedom and pluralism across Europe, pointing to areas that should be looked into with particular attention.

What is the Media Pluralism Monitor?

The Media Pluralism Monitor is a tool designed to monitor media pluralism in Member States. It is based on a study that was funded by the European Commission in 2009 and which led to a first version of the tool defining a set of indicators and a scoring system (more information).

In 2013, the European Parliament decided to earmark EUR 500,000 for the simplification and pilot implementation of the tool. The European Commission awarded subsequently a grant to the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute in Florence for the implementation of the pilot project (more information). In that framework, the tool was simplified and a test implementation took place in nine Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the UK) in 2014. The report was published in 2015.

With further budget earmarked by the European Parliament (EUR 1,000,000 in total for 2015 and 2016), the tool assessed the remaining nineteen countries in 2015 and will cover the whole EU as well as two candidate countries in 2016.

The Media Pluralism Monitor should be seen as part of the actions of the Commission to support media freedom and pluralism in the EU, within its competences. These fundamental rights are enshrined in the Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Please find other pilot projects in the area of media pluralism, which are also joint initiatives with the European Parliament.