Rue Froissart 95
On 11 October 2022, CMPF Scientific Coordinator Elda Brogi will take part in the Conference on Media Freedom and Pluralism in EU Law organised by the Meijers Committee in collaboration with the International Press Institute.
About the conference
Media freedom and pluralism are indispensable for a well-functioning democracy. They form one of the four pillars in the European Commission’s Rule of Law Reports. Yet, the EU has been unable to effectively counter illiberal trends in an increasing number of Member States, even if they are widely perceived as jeopardizing media freedom and pluralism. Contrary to other areas of the rule of law such as the independence of the judiciary, the European Commission has not brought any infringement case relating to media freedom and pluralism as a rule of law issue before the Court of Justice EU.
One of the reasons for this is that the European Commission claims it has insufficient legal tools to address media freedom and pluralism in member states and that it is currently making the most of the tools at its disposal. In this conference, we question this assumption and discuss existing avenues for EU legal action to protect media freedom and pluralism. The report ‘promoting and safeguarding media pluralism through EU law’ published by the Meijers Committee in 2021 sets out these tools and serves as background for this discussion.
We will also assess the potential of the recently proposed European Media Freedom Act, published on 16 September 2022. The discussion about the existing legal instruments (panel 1), in conjunction with an assessment of the proposed act (panel 2), is meant to assist the EU institutions and Member States in deciding how to respond to transgressions of media freedom and pluralism within the European Union.
13.00 – 14.00 Registration and lunch
14.00 – 14.10 Opening of the meeting by the chairman of the day, Prof. Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, professor of ICT and private law at Radboud University, Nijmegen
14.10 – 15.30 Panel 1: Existing EU law to safeguard media freedom and pluralism
15.30 – 15.45 Break
15.45 – 17.00 Panel 2: European Media Freedom Act
17.00 – 17.15 Closure of the meeting by the chairman of the day
17.15 – 18.30 Drinks
Panel 1: Media freedom and EU law: what legal tools are available and are they sufficient?
In this panel, we outline existing avenues for EU legal action to protect media freedom and pluralism, such as the obligation to guarantee media independence and freedom as part of and fair elections, rules on state aid, and secondary legislation on the audiovisual media and electronic communications markets.
Chair: Dr. Maarten den Heijer, assistant professor of international law at the University of Amsterdam)
• Prof. Dr. Elda Brogi (EUI)
Elda Brogi is part-time professor at the European University Institute in Florence, focusing on constitutional, European, media and internet law. She holds a PhD in Public Law and Constitutional Law (University La Sapienza, Rome) and she is an Italian qualified lawyer.
She is a member of the executive board of EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory) and has recently served as a member of two expert committees at the Council of Europe (MSI-MED and MSI-JO).
• Ramona Strugariu (MEP: RENEW)
Ramona Strugariu is Member of the European Parliament since 2019 and part of the RENEW Europe party. Before this, she worked as parliamentary assistant and chief of staff of a Romanian MEP, as lawyer and legal advisor. She received her master’s degree in European law from the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University.
• Maria Luisa Stasi (ARTICLE 19)
Maria Luisa Stasi serves as Head of Law and Policy, with focus on Digital Markets. Prior to joining ARTICLE 19, Maria Luisa coordinated various projects at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute in the telecoms and media sector. Before that, she worked as associate lawyer at Bonelli Erede, where she advised and litigated in the field of competition law. She holds master’s degrees in IR and European law from LUSMA University and College of Europe, respectively.
Panel 2: the European Media Freedom Act
This panel discusses the new European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), which is planned to be initiated by the European Commission mid-September 2022.
Until March 2022, the EFMA has been in the consultation phase, intending to collect views, evidence, and data from journalists, media, academics, civil society, public authorities, businesses, and other interested parties on the most important issues affecting the functioning of the internal media market. The consultation concerned three media market areas: (i) transparency and independence ; (ii) conditions for their healthy functioning ; (iii) fair allocation of state resources.
Chair: Prof. Dr. Jannemieke Ouwerkerk, professor of European criminal law at Leiden University)
• Prof. Dr. Tarlach McGonagle (Leiden; University of Amsterdam)
Tarlach McGonagle is part-time professor at Leiden University, where he holds the chair in Media Law & Information Society. He is also Program Director of the master Information Law and associate professor at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), Amsterdam Law School, where worked in various capacities and was awarded his doctorate. Besides this work, he researches and advises in various research networks, working groups, and Council of Europe Commitees.
• Anna Herold (European Commission)
Anna Herold is Head of the Audiovisual and Media Policy Unit of the Commission’s DG CONNECT. Before that, she was Member of Cabinet of Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner responsible for Digital Economy and Society, as well as Assistant to Deputy Director-General of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission, Roberto Viola. She has worked for the European Commission since 2003, dealing with media, audiovisual and telecoms policy as well as competition law. Anna holds a PhD in Law from the European University Institute in Florence and has written on media law and policy, international trade and competition law.
• Oliver Money-Kyrle (IPI)
Oliver Money-Kyrle is Head of Europe Advocacy and Programmes at the International Press Institute (IPI). Prior to working at IPI, he was the Director of Projects with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) managing their global programs and campaigns on journalists’ rights. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Bristol and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Boston University Brussels.
Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Brussels