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Polish president signs controversial media bill

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 07.01.2016 15:03
Polish President Andrzej Duda Thursday signed into law a media bill that has been criticised at home and abroad, arguing that the country's public broadcasters need to be more "impartial".
Andrzej Duda. Photo: Prezydent.pl/Eliza Radzikowska-BiałobrzewskaAndrzej Duda. Photo: Prezydent.pl/Eliza Radzikowska-Białobrzewska

“The president wants public media to be impartial, objective and credible. It's hard to argue that such criteria are the hallmarks of the media at present,” the head of the Presidential Office, Małgorzata Sadurska, told a press conference on Thursday.

The media bill, which comes into force once it is officially published, will see the termination of the terms of the management and supervisory board members of the TVP state broadcaster, Polish Radio and the PAP news agency.

The amendment aims to reduce the number of supervisory boards of media companies, as well as appointing new members nominated by the Treasury Minister.

Reporters Without Borders has said that the new law “gives the government full control over public broadcasters, thereby violating fundamental European Union values”.

After the new bill on public media was passed, the European Commission announced it is to hold a debate on “the rule of law” in Poland on 13 January.

Meanwhile, the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, denied that Brussels has been "bashing" the Polish government.

“Let's not overdramatise. It's an important issue but we have to have friendly and good relations with Poland. Our approach is very constructive – we are not bashing Poland,” Juncker told a press conference in Amsterdam.

“Poland is an important and a full member of the EU. We are at the beginning of the procedure. Now we are in discussion with Poland and I don't want to speculate about further consequences. I don't think we will come to that point.” (rg/pk)

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