7th 2012 EA Event
On February 7th, a pan-European coalition of citizens and nearly one hundred media groups, professional bodies, Independent Journalists and Civil Society Organisations from across the continent will launch the online collection of signatures for the first European Citizens’ Initiative targeting media freedom and pluralism. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a new tool of participatory democracy allowing citizens to collect at least one million signatures online or offline to present a legislative proposal directly to the European Commission, thereby changing EU law.
The situation of media freedom and pluralism in the European Union is worsening. Some countries, notably Hungary, suffer from a significant interference of political power seeking to control and direct the media. Some, notably the UK, suffer from problems of excessive concentration leading to undue influence of certain economic groups over political processes, notably Murdoch’s media empire. Others, particularly in the case of Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania, experience a dangerous overlap of economical, media, and political interests in the hands of the same people. European institutions have, so far, refrained from taking a strong stance against individual Member States for such deterioration.