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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article15 December 2023Representation in Cyprus4 min read

Commission welcomes political agreement on European Media Freedom Act

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council on the European Media Freedom Act, proposed by the Commission in September 2022.

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council on the European Media Freedom Act, proposed by the Commission in September 2022.

These new rules will better protect editorial independence, media pluralism, ensure transparency and fairness and bring better cooperation of media authorities through a new European media Board. It includes unprecedented safeguards for journalists to perform their job freely and safely. This novel set of rules will also ensure that media – public and private – can operate more easily across borders in the EU internal market, without undue pressure and taking into account the digital transformation of the media space.

Concretely, the European Media Freedom Act will:

  • Protect editorial independence by requiring Member States to respect the effective editorial freedom of media service providers, while improving the protection of journalistic sources, including against the use of spyware.
  • Ensure the independent functioning of public service media, including by guaranteeing adequate, sustainable and predictable financial resources and fostering transparency in appointing the Head or members of public service media management boards;
  • Guarantee the transparency of media ownership through the disclosure of targeted information requirements (e.g. legal names, contact details, ownership);
  • Provide safeguards against the unwarranted removal by Very Large Online Platforms (designated under the Digital Services Actof media content produced according to professional standards but deemed incompatible with terms and conditions;
  • Introduce a right of customisation of the media offer on devices and interfaces, such as connected TVs, enabling users to change the default settings to reflect their own preferences;
  • Ensure Member States provide an assessment of the impact of key media market concentrations on media pluralism and editorial independence through media pluralism tests;
  • Ensure more transparent audience measurement methodology for media service providers and advertisers, to limit the risk of inflated or biased audience data;
  • Establish requirements for the allocation of state advertising to media service providers and online platforms, to ensure transparency and non-discrimination.

A new independent European Board for Media Services will be set up under the European Media Freedom Act. The Board will be comprised of national media authorities or bodies and be assisted by a Commission secretariat. It will promote the effective and consistent application of the EU media law framework by, among others, issuing opinions on the impact of media market concentrations likely to affect the functioning of the internal market for media services, as well as supporting the Commission in preparing guidelines on media regulatory matters. The Board will also coordinate measures regarding non-EU media that present a risk to public security, and it will organise a structured dialogue between Very Large Online Platforms, the media and the civil society.

Next Steps

The political agreement reached is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. Once officially adopted and published in the Official Journal of the European Union, the Regulation will be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States after 15 months.  


The Commission proposed the European Media Freedom Act in September 2022, as part of the State of the Union package, after being announced a year prior by President von der Leyen in her 2021 SOTEU address. It builds on the Commission's rule of law reports and the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which provides for EU-wide coordination of national legislation for audiovisual media.

The proposal was published together with a Recommendation on internal safeguards for editorial independence and ownership transparency in the media sector, which allows taking into account specificities of media regulation and self-regulation at the EU level and in the Member States.

The Act also builds on the Platform to Business RegulationDigital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), as well as the new Code of Practice on Disinformation. It is part of the EU's efforts in promoting democratic participation, addressing disinformation and supporting media freedom and pluralism, as set out under the European Democracy Action Plan.

This proposal complements the Commission's Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists and the Directive to protect journalists and rights defenders from abusive litigation (anti-SLAPP package). The Media Freedom Act also works in tandem with initiatives related to viability, resilience and digital transformation of the media sector adopted under the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan and revised copyright rules. The proposal is based on extensive consultation with stakeholders, including a public consultation.

For More Information

Questions and Answers on the European Media Freedom Act

Factpage: European Media Freedom Act

Factsheet: European Media Freedom Act

Press conference: European Media Freedom Act

European Media Freedom Act Proposal and Recommendation

European Media Freedom Act Impact Assessment


Today’s agreement on this paramount piece of legislation sets out clear principles and safeguards for media independence. The European Media Freedom Act makes sure that journalists are protected in their work, also against intrusive spyware and that public media does not become a propaganda tool of one party.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency - 15/12/2023


With the agreement today on EMFA, we have made a key contribution to the sustainability and future development of independent media in the EU. Media pluralism and independence are a pillar of EU democracy, and the European Media Freedom Act will be a powerful tool to protect them, while fostering an environment where media can grow and operate freely across borders.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market - 15/12/2023



Publication date
15 December 2023 (Last updated on: 15 December 2023)
Representation in Cyprus