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POLICY | 16 March 2021

Media freedom and pluralism

Media freedom and pluralism are pillars of modern democracy as they are essential components of open and free debate.

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The European Union's commitment to respect the freedom and pluralism of the media as well as the right to freedom of expression - which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority - are enshrined in Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The latter mirrors Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Defending Media Freedom and Pluralism

  • Addressing violations of media freedom and pluralism: The European Commission co-funds projects run by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and its partners geared at addressing violations of media freedom and pluralism in the EU Member States and Candidate Countries.
  • Independent monitoring of media pluralism: The European Commission awarded grants to the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) for the development and implementation of the “Media Pluralism Monitor” (MPM). Details and results are available on the Media Pluralism Monitor page.

Council Conclusions on Media Freedom and Pluralism

On 14 November 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted Conclusions on the strengthening of European content in the digital economy.

Previously, on 26 November 2013, the Council had adopted Conclusions on media freedom and pluralism in the digital environment.

Colloquium on Fundamental Rights dedicated to Media Pluralism and Democracy

In November 2016, the European Commission organised a Colloquium on Fundamental Rights dedicated to Media Pluralism and Democracy. The debate was informed by discussion notes, a special Eurobarometer, as well as the results of a public consultationThe outcomes of the Colloquium were published in December 2016.


EU invests over €6 million in the media sector to support a European public sphere

The Commission announced the beneficiaries of several calls for proposals which will produce and disseminate across Europe media content on European topics. Cross-border consortia operating in full editorial independence will offer innovative and attractive formats in several languages covering European affairs, as well as initiatives with specific emphasis on young Europeans.

European Democracy Action Plan: making EU democracies stronger

The European Commission has presented this week its European Democracy Action Plan to empower citizens and build more resilient democracies across the EU. Standing up to challenges to our democratic systems from rising extremism and perceived distance between people and politicians, the Action Plan sets out measures to promote free and fair elections, strengthen media freedom and counter disinformation.

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