The EU should devise a robust media broadcasting strategy aimed at promoting freedom of expression, media pluralism and strengthening democracy and human rights within its foreign policy, says Parliament in a recommendation adopted on Wednesday.

Parliament encourages European media broadcasting internationally to ensure accurate and objective news coverage and reflect the diversity of opinions and contexts in the EU while maintaining their editorial independence.

"Foreign policy is often thought of in terms of armies and diplomacy. But we should not underestimate the influence and reach of news broadcasting, especially in emerging democracies," said Sir Graham Watson (ALDE, UK), who drew up the resolution.

“Broadcasters across Europe can play an important role in promoting democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and media pluralism. In doing so, they must maintain full journalistic independence and provide accurate and objective news coverage," he added.

The non-binding recommendation recognises that broadcasting for democratisation and promotion of human rights in third countries does not explicitly fall within the remit of EU media policy but suggests exploring ways in which the EU and member countries can coordinate media actions and strategies.

It also calls on media outlets that currently receive EU funding to be more transparent and publish an overview of their revenues.