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New Polish bill to provide ‘tools to protect media from takeover’: deputy PM

12.07.2021 23:30
A new media proposal in Poland aims to provide “tools to protect the media market from an aggressive takeover by Russian or Chinese capital,” a deputy prime minister has said.
Jacek Sasin
Jacek SasinWojciech Kusiński/Polskie Radio

In an interview with private broadcaster Polsat News, Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin said that "mass media should not become a mouthpiece for spreading views that may threaten Poland's security.”

He added that the proposed legislation was aimed at protecting the country against “aggressive actions, countries or entities outside the circle of our political alliances.”

Echoing an earlier statement by the government spokesman, Sasin argued on Monday evening that “similar laws can be found in Austria, France and Germany.”

Last week, a group of lawmakers with Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party submitted a bill saying that television and radio license holders cannot be directly or indirectly controlled by owners based outside the European Economic Area.

US media giant Discovery, which owns Poland’s biggest private broadcaster TVN and which, according to some reports, could be forced to sell the station if the planned law is approved, vowed to defend TVN against “the overreach of regulatory authorities, actions to the detriment of viewers, and any uncertainty as to the situation on the market, which could have a negative impact on business in Poland,” according to a statement posted on TVN’s news website on Monday.

Also on Monday, European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová said that "the new draft Polish law on broadcasting concessions is yet another worrying signal for media freedom and pluralism in the country.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week that the proposed new media rules were “part of efforts to build a strong position of the state” and aimed to enable authorities to “decide whether a specific acquisition is appropriate" and beneficial for the country "or not.”

Mateusz Morawiecki Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Przemysław Piątkowski

A newspaper warned on Monday that the proposed changes to Poland’s media laws, if approved by parliament, could harm Warsaw’s relations with Washington.


Source: PAP, TVN