Motion for a resolution - B7-0091/2009Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on freedom of information in Italy


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Fiorello Provera, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Mara Bizzotto, Mario Borghezio, Lorenzo Fontana, Claudio Morganti, Oreste Rossi, Matteo Salvini, Giancarlo Scottà on behalf of the EFD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0088/2009

Procedure : 2009/2688(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on freedom of information in Italy

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 11 of the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–   having regard to Article 21 of the Italian Constitution,

–   having regard to Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on European Union,

–   having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Communities and of the European Court of Human Rights,

–   having regard to Rule 110 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the existence of free, pluralist media is a prerequisite for full respect of the right to freedom of expression and information, and whereas, according to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, the Member States have an exclusive obligation to safeguard media pluralism,

B.  whereas protecting human rights is one of the European Union’s priorities under Articles 6 and 7 of the EU Treaty, and whereas the European Parliament has never asked the Council ‘to determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach’ by Italy ‘of the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms’,

C. whereas freedom of the press is guaranteed in Italy by the Constitutional Charter, which enshrines the unqualified right to express one’s opinion freely,

D. whereas, according to statistics gathered by the independent Pavia Observatory for Media Research, in June 2009 representatives of opposition parties accounted for 60% of air time on RAI TV news programmes, and 49% on Mediaset Group news programmes,

E.  whereas, of the 455 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights relating to violations of Article 10 on freedom of expression, 29 concern France, 28 the United Kingdom, 15 Greece, 10 Romania, eight Poland and seven Italy,

1.  Takes the view that all the European Union Member States are in a position to ensure respect for the fundamental rights they have undertaken to guarantee in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights and the community based on the rule of law established by the European Union;

2.  Welcomes the very lively public and political debate on media pluralism currently taking place in Italy, which encompasses all the mass media, including the press, analogue and digital television, radio and the internet;

3.  Notes that the Italian media sector features a range of players, and that the existence of any dominant positions has yet to be confirmed; hopes that the advertising and distribution markets will be fully liberalised; takes the view that public broadcasting companies too should be subject to the monitoring required by Community rules on free competition; emphasises the need to ensure that public radio and television broadcasting in all the Member States is fully independent and operates in accordance with market rules in conditions of fair competition with other broadcasters;

4.  Emphasises that radio and television are complex media in a constant state of flux, and that these services are organised differently from one Member State to another, depending on cultural traditions and geographical location; emphasises the role played by Italy's local and regional media in promoting a range of information sources and safeguarding the diversity of regional languages and cultures; asks all the Member States to promote respect for local traditions and dialects in the different media;

5.  Emphasises that the latest technological developments have opened the communication sector up to new players through the internet, digital, satellite and cable transmission and other technologies, and that there is consequently no monopoly on information in Italy; considers that the very nature of the digital media enables them to provide greater choice and allow more individual involvement, and that the development of the blogosphere has furthered freedom of expression and pluralism;

6.  Expresses full confidence in the work of the Italian Parliamentary Committee for the Organisation and Monitoring of Broadcasting Services, in which all the political parties are represented;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and accession countries.