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Mittwoch, 10. März 2021 - Brüssel Überprüfte Ausgabe

10. Bemühungen der Regierungen, die freien Medien in Polen, Ungarn und Slowenien zum Schweigen zu bringen (Aussprache)
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  Presidente. – Segue-se o debate sobre as declarações do Conselho e da Comissão sobre as tentativas do governo de silenciar os meios de comunicação social livres na Polónia, na Hungria e na Eslovénia (2021/2560(RSP)).

Gostaria de recordar aos senhores deputados que, em todos os debates deste período de sessões, não haverá, como tem sido habitual, procedimentos catch-the-eye nem perguntas sob a forma de cartão azul.

Além disso, tal como nos últimos períodos de sessões, estão previstas intervenções à distância a partir dos nossos gabinetes de ligação do Parlamento Europeu nos Estados-Membros.


  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, free and pluralistic media are, and must remain, a central pillar of our European democratic societies, founded on the promotion and protection of the rule of law.

The freedom and pluralism of the media also reflects the underlying principle of our freedom of expression and information, as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In this context, the EU and national institutions must ensure that independent, free and diverse media thrive, that journalists are protected from any harmful interference in their functions, and that citizens have access to reliable information. This should be true for every single Member State.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges that were already present before for media and journalists, such as the sharp decline in revenues and the numerous transformations brought about by the new digital environment.

Yet a free, independent and pluralistic media has never been as important as today to ensure a constructive, rational and open debate in our democracies. We have all seen the damage that conspiracy theories, fake news and disinformation can generate in our societies. They are the breeding ground for distrust and polarisation. In current times, journalists are not just watchdogs for democracy. They are key workers in the protection of all of us from the virus of disinformation.

The variety of information and the plurality of voices are part and parcel of our democratic systems. A trustworthy media system is key to ensuring that all citizens are able to participate in the democratic debate through informed decision-making. The European democracy action plan, the EU media and audiovisual action plan and the Digital Services Act, recently tabled by the Commission, are important steps forward and set out actions to strengthen Europe’s media ecosystem.

On 23 February, I chaired a meeting of European Affairs Ministers, where we discussed the democracy action plan. We considered it a timely initiative, aiming to strengthen democratic processes and address currently existing vulnerabilities, including those threatening free and pluralistic media and freedom of speech.

Back in November, two days after the Parliament adopted its resolution on strengthening media freedom, on 25 November, the Council sent a strong message on the importance of safeguarding a free and pluralistic media system and also in its Council conclusions.

Ministers will continue to highlight the importance of media freedom, including through the framework of the European rule of law mechanism. Indeed, media pluralism and media freedom constitutes one of the four pillars of the rule of law annual report prepared by the Commission.

The Presidency is committed to pursuing the annual Council rule of law dialogue, initiated by the German Presidency during their Presidency, and to continue discussing these issues. On 20 April, we will have a country—specific discussion with Ministers of European Affairs concerning five Member States – Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain and France – and soon all Member States will follow by protocol order.

Last year, the discussions demonstrated the willingness of Member States to cooperate and learn from each other, including on media freedom. We trust that every Member State will fully contribute to this important debate and ensure that media pluralism and freedom remain a reality. We all have a joint responsibility to guarantee that the rule of law and fundamental rights remain the cornerstone of our common European project.


  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you for including this important issue on the plenary agenda for today.

Media are not just an economic sector, but also an important pillar of democracy and the rule of law. Press freedom and media pluralism are vital to democracy. Independent media play an essential role to help citizens make informed decisions, to fight disinformation and the manipulation of the democratic debate. That is why the Commission has included media freedom and pluralism as one pillar of our Annual Rule of Law Report, which was the first one published last September.

The rule of law report assessed, in particular, the independence of the media regulatory authorities, transparency of media ownership, state advertising, the safety of journalists, and access to information. It looked at the situation in all Member States, including Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The problems, and our concerns, were made very clear. We will also continue to cover media pluralism and freedom in this year’s Rule of Law Report, which is expected in July.

Each Rule of Law Report is preceded by fact-finding visits in all EU countries and discussions with national authorities and a wide range of stakeholders. The media are also covered in the Article 7 procedure launched by this House in relation to Hungary. I expect us to soon have the occasion to come back to the Article 7 procedure in the General Affairs Council, where we have to discuss recent developments in relation to the media.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, more than ever, the essential role of journalists to inform citizens, but, at the same time, the media are facing an economic crisis which started well before the pandemic. More than ever, it is time to support the work of the media, and not to put additional burdens or pressures on them. This is exactly what the Commission proposed in December, when, for the first time ever, we presented a comprehensive approach for the media. With the European Democracy Action Plan, we put the media where they should be: at the core of democracy.

Let me highlight two initiatives, in particular, that we will present this year. A recommendation to Member States to improve the safety of journalists, and an initiative on tackling abusive litigation, the so-called SLAPP cases, (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). Very often, threats and groundless lawsuits are used to silence free media. We will also take action to increase the transparency of media ownership and of political advertising.

With the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan, which we also adopted in December, we helped the media recover economically from the crisis, adapt to the digital transformation and develop new business models. The stronger the economic situation of the media, the easier it is to resist political pressure, but there should be no political pressure in the first place. Strong leaders are those that gain respect through their actions, that accept diversity of opinions and that allow citizens to be duly informed, not trolls that try to silence critical voices. In a democracy, independent media should do their work and ask questions without fear or favour. Our job as politicians is to answer with facts, not with attacks.

Unfortunately, in recent months, additional worrying developments have happened. Allow me to name some of them, which are just examples of the worrying trends. In Hungary, most notably, we have seen that the independent Klubradio was denied the renewal of its licence on grounds which have raised concerns, and it remains off air awaiting the outcome of a new procedure. In Poland, draft legislation on an advertising tax targeting media outlets led to black screens as a sign of protest. I spoke about it here in Parliament after this happened. This draft is now being reviewed, and we expect that the voices that raised concerns will be properly heard. In Slovenia, continuous attempts to undermine the sustainable funding and the independence of the National Press Agency and frequent verbal attacks against journalists are also a cause of serious concern.

For each of these cases, the Commission has been in contact with the national authorities and continues to monitor the situation. Let me assure you that the Commission does not hesitate to act when there are issues of compliance of national laws or decisions with European Union rules. In particular, I would like to highlight that we are analysing closely the transposition of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which introduced, for the first time, new independence requirements for national media regulators. And we will also watch closely the transposition of the modernised copyright framework and continue striving for a level playing field in the online world.

This is also the aim of the new Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts. This is essential for the sustainability of the media sector, as I mentioned earlier. In the concrete cases at hand, we watch, for instance, the potential impact on telecom and taxation rules. However, the reality is, as you know well, that the competences of the Commission when it comes to media are very limited.

Whilst we will use those competences in a very diligent manner, I want us to identify how we can widen and strengthen the toolbox that the Commission has, from financial support to regulation and enforcement actions. We need a tool which recognises the role of media as the key players in democratic society. At this moment, we only have the rules which recognise the role of the media as actors on the European single market, and this is what is limiting our ability to act. We will play our role, but governments also need to fulfil their obligations to ensure that media freedom is safeguarded and to enable a healthy environment for media pluralism.


  Jeroen Lenaers, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, democracy dies in darkness, and dark it is in Poland today. Dark like the blacked—out websites and front pages of Polish media protesting against the plan to strip independent media of their revenues and to silence critical voices.

Because we have been witnessing for years now a continuous attempt by the Law and Justice government in Poland to silence free media, to deprive Polish citizens of their right to information and to undermine the rule of law.

From the takeover of public channels and turning them into propaganda channels, from restricting the access of certain journalists to the parliament, to pouring millions of Polish zloty into those media that are faithful to the government and also into public television that has been turned into non–stop propaganda, spewing out hate speech and xenophobia, with the most dramatic result being the murder of Paweł Adamowicz, the mayor of Gdańsk. We shall never, ever forget this.

The rule of law, independence of the judiciary and media freedom must be upheld. An attack on Polish independent media is an attack on us all. It is an attack on European values. The situation was best summarised yesterday by Adam Michnik, editor–in–chief of the independent daily Gazeta Wyborcza. He said ‘we are treated as enemies for the simple reason that we are independent and we have the courage to speak truth to power’.

We stand with those who have the courage to speak truth to power. We stand with Polish journalists and free media everywhere, and we call on everybody, including the Council and the Commission, to do the same.


  Birgit Sippel, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Schwarze Tage für freie Medien in Europa.

In Polen schalteten am 10. Februar mehrere Medien aus Protest gegen eine neue Reklamesteuer schwarze Anzeigen. Offiziell zielt die Steuer auf Internetriesen wie Google, doch tatsächlich will die PiS regierungskritische Medien mundtot machen. Bereits im Dezember hatte sie sich mit dem Ankauf der Zeitungsgruppe Polska Press durch einen staatlich kontrollierten Ölkonzern indirekt Zugriff auf zwei Dutzend regionale Medien verschafft.

Am 14. Februar konnte man Klubrádió zum letzten Mal analog einschalten, denn die Lizenzen wurden nicht verlängert. Seither ist der letzte landesweit bekannte unabhängige Rundfunksender Ungarns nur online abrufbar und erreicht damit nur noch einen Bruchteil seiner vorherigen Hörerschaft.

In Slowenien gab es wiederholt verbale Attacken von Premier Janša gegen eine Journalistin und gleichzeitig spitzt sich die Situation um die slowenische Presseagentur zu. Die Regierung hatte die Finanzierung erneut ausgesetzt.

Medienfreiheit und Medienvielfalt sind unerlässliche Pfeiler der Demokratie. Aber es reicht nicht, ihre Lage in jährlichen Berichten zu analysieren, ihre Bedeutung in schönen Worten zu betonen und Ermahnungen zu äußern. Wir brauchen endlich klare Konsequenzen und der Rat muss hier aktiv werden.


  Michal Šimečka, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, I say to Madam Vice-President and to my colleagues: thanks for being here and for this debate.

I think everybody in this room would agree that media freedom and pluralism are key for democracies not just to thrive, but to survive. At this moment, in many Member States, the red lights are indeed flashing. It has been said here, of course: in Slovenia, you see the Prime Minister busy with personal attacks on journalists, not just local, but also Brussels journalists, and launching an attack against the press agency.

In Slovakia, actually my country, this was also the case before the murder of Ján Kuciak, so I remember it very well. Poland was also mentioned, with its new tax law, and it just so happens that the tax law targets those media outlets which dare to be critical of the government. And then, obviously, you have Hungary, where the media landscape has been almost completely ruined over the past few years. And just the other week, one of the last independent radio stations, Klubradio, was forced off the air.

I have to say that the response of the EU has so far been inadequate. There is no condemnation from other Member States. The Commission has taken little concrete action, and this has to change.

I welcome the fact that the Vice–President has suggested some new tools. The Parliament would support the Commission in that, but it is time to act now. Otherwise, it could very well be too late for these democracies because the attack on free media is often the beginning of the creep of authoritarianism.


  Tom Vandendriessche, namens de ID-Fractie. – Voorzitter, toen Guy Verhofstadt premier van België was, werden journalisten systematisch bedreigd en geïntimideerd. Sommigen werden zelfs ontslagen. Ik citeer een toenmalig hoofdredacteur: “De druk om inschikkelijk te zijn onder deze regering is enorm.” Daarnaast is het marktaandeel van de staatsomroep in de televisie- en radiomarkt dominant in België.

Recent universitair onderzoek bewees bovendien dat deze regimepers erg partijdig is. Toch horen we de Europese Unie nooit over de persvrijheid in België. België volgt immers gehoorzaam de bevelen van de eurofanatieke elite. Landen zoals Polen of Hongarije doen dat niet. Zij luisteren wel naar hun bevolking en die bevolking kiest democratisch voor een andere politiek. Zij willen geen massamigratie, maar veilige grenzen en een zekere toekomst. Zij willen geen verdere centralisering, uniformisering en bureaucratisering van de Europese Unie, maar willen de vrijheid behouden zichzelf te zijn en hun eigen keuzes te maken.

In plaats van dit hypocriete debat over persvrijheid zouden we beter de oude Europese waarden herstellen. Subsidiariteit was ooit een fundament voor de Europese samenwerking. Samen meer bereiken dan elk apart door de diversiteit te omarmen met respect voor elkaars identiteit, vrijheid en soevereiniteit. Dat is het Europa waar we van houden, maar het is helaas steeds minder waar deze Europese Unie over gaat.


  Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Népszabadság, 1956—2016 – a newspaper bought by a friend of Viktor Orbán, then shut down;, 1995–2020 – a news website bought by a friend of Viktor Orbán. Staff were fired or pushed to resign, they then created; Klubradio, 1999–2021 – radio frequency was not given by the government this year, they went on the internet. We could speak about Origo, the first newspaper bought by a friend of Viktor Orbán in 2014, which changed dramatically and radically its editorial line to become 100% pro—government without any nuances – like all the other media bought by friends of Viktor Orbán these last years.

The obituary of independent media in Hungary is getting longer every year. There are no arrests of journalists in that Member State, but every means is being employed by the Fidesz government to suppress purely and simply media freedom and media pluralism. Forced closures, media capture, state aid abuse, channelling state advertising only to pro—government media, smear campaigns against journalists and the creation of a media council which regulates everything is totally non-transparent and completely in the hands of the government.

This is not a rule of law concern. This is a core issue of the European Union. This is the free market. This is distortion of fair competition and a misuse of European money. This is our job.



  Raffaele Fitto, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, è veramente surreale, nonché paradossale, essere ancora una volta in quest'Aula per discutere del nulla. Sì, del nulla.

Perché se abbiamo l'onestà di osservare realmente le cose, ci rendiamo conto che i governi di Varsavia e Budapest sono criticati quotidianamente da molti media, senza nessuna censura e senza nessuna limitazione. Vediamo che il governo polacco ha proposto un progetto di tassazione dei proventi pubblicitari per i media, così come esistente in tanti altri paesi dell'Unione, senza che nessuno in questo Parlamento prima d'ora si scandalizzasse. Una proposta ancora oggetto di consultazioni, che ha visto nella piena libertà i media polacchi esprimere il proprio dissenso e le loro controproposte.

Oltre alla propaganda fino ad ora non ho ascoltato un solo motivo concreto per affermare, signora Commissaria, una violazione dei trattati europei da parte dei due governi; non mi sembra che ci siano sentenze della Corte di giustizia europea o dei rispettivi tribunali nazionali che vadano nella direzione da molti di voi paventata negli interventi che ho ascoltato.

Di reale in tutto questo c'è solo la strumentalizzazione faziosa che porta un astio nei confronti di governi – quello italiano dieci anni fa, quello polacco e ungherese oggi, quello sloveno domani – la cui unica colpa è di essere liberi dall'avere e dal proporre idee diverse rispetto al mainstream di Bruxelles e alla loro idea di società.

L'Unione europea si trova nella peggiore crisi della sua storia e una parte di questo Parlamento, invece di promuovere solidarietà e cooperazione, prova ad alzare steccati e creare divisioni tra i diversi popoli europei, tutto questo aggravato dalle pretese di dare patenti di democrazia a governi che sono pienamente legittimati democraticamente e politicamente sono responsabili nei confronti dei loro cittadini. L'Europa non è un enorme Stato ma è invece composta da 27 Stati membri sovrani.

Vorrei quindi invitarvi a non fare uso delle Istituzioni dell'Unione europea per risolvere problemi che ai sensi dei nostri trattati devono essere risolti a livello nazionale. Non lo dico io, lo ha detto Viviane Reding, Commissaria per la giustizia e i diritti fondamentali e la cittadinanza ma anche per la società dell'informazione e i mezzi di comunicazione. Queste parole le ha pronunciate una Commissaria negli anni scorsi, non uno scettico/euroscettico che assume una posizione politica di contrasto strumentale.

Ecco perché noi riteniamo questo dibattito surreale ed esprimiamo il nostro netto dissenso rispetto a ciò che sta accadendo e che, incredibilmente, vede la Commissione europea accompagnare questo dibattito.


  Silvia Modig, The Left -ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, mediaa kutsutaan joskus vallan vahtikoiraksi ja sitä se parhaimmillaan on. Se valaisee hämärät nurkat ja tuo tietoon kansalaisille päätösten taustat ja siten tukee sekä mahdollistaa tosiasioihin perustuvan julkisen keskustelun. Median tulee voida arvioida myös vallanpitäjiä vapaasti, seurauksia pelkäämättä ja kriittisesti.

Vapaa ja riippumaton ja moniääninen media ei toteudu, jos omistus keskittyy liikaa. Jos omistus ja valta keskittyvät vallanpitäjille, ei media ole riippumaton. Toimittajilla on oltava vapaus tuottaa sisältöä journalistisin perustein. Jos mediakenttä keskittyy vallanpitäjien käsiin, ei kyse ole enää journalismista vaan propagandasta. Vapaa demokraattinen yhteiskunta tarvitsee vapaata riippumatonta mediaa, ja tämä koskee joka ikistä jäsenvaltiota, ei vain niitä, joista nyt keskustellaan.


  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Mr President, in the past decade, the Hungarian ruling party, Fidesz, has adopted the communists’ salami tactics: a complex, intricate mix of legislative, administrative means and corruption to centralise media and kill pluralism, step by step. As a result, no competition is possible in the market—based media, all regional media are in the hands of Fidesz, and public media have become the number one propaganda channel, with the objective to disseminate the false narrative and fake news of an authoritarian regime.

As the problem is not entirely Hungary—specific, I propose a solution at EU level: the creation of a European public broadcasting and news service, which would be independent from both national governments and advertising revenues, financed by the European taxpayer and EU—wide, with all Member States obliged to operate it. It would bring the benefit of objective information for all European citizens and a narrative that would strengthen our European identity, unity and cohesion against the fake news of populists.

If we finally launch the Conference on the Future of Europe, let’s include this on the agenda and invite citizens and civil society to debate this urgent topic.


  Romana Tomc (PPE). – Gospod predsednik! Spoštovana komisarka, dragi kolegi! Slovenska opozicija današnjo razpravo izrablja za rušenje slovenske vlade.

Nedavna raziskava je pokazala, da je v Sloveniji kar 80 % medijev levo in protivladno usmerjenih. A kljub temu vlada ne omejuje nikogar, nasprotno, med krizo so bili mediji in tudi novinarji deležni izdatne državne pomoči.

Spoštovana komisarka, vlada ne ukinja STA. Kot njen lastnik in plačnik pa pričakuje, da agencija poroča o svojem poslovanju, vendar direktor poročil enostavno noče predložiti.

Blatenje Slovenije se širi po vseh kanalih. Doktor Milosavljević je na srečanju parlamentarne skupine za demokracijo povsem hladnokrvno lagal. Medtem Freedom House ugotavlja, da se je v lanskem letu indeks svobode za Slovenijo izboljšal. To je odgovor za tiste, ki jih skrbi pri nas zaton demokracije.

Kot mlada država pa se žal seveda še vedno soočamo s posledicami preteklosti. Monopoli izčrpavajo našo državo in zavirajo razvoj. Tudi preko medijev, ki jih obvladujejo, se krčevito bojujejo za svoj obstanek. Obtoževanje na podlagi prirejenih časopisnih člankov in lažnih pričevanj je za Slovenijo škodljivo in tudi podcenjujoče. Zato vas, gospa komisarka, vabimo, da pridete v Slovenijo in da se o stanju v medijih prepričate sami.


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, señora vicepresidenta Jourová, que me perdone la cabina de interpretación si les ayudo, pero el verbo «procrastinar» significa, en varias lenguas de la Unión, retrasar una decisión por el miedo a su coste.

Este Parlamento puso en marcha hace años el artículo 7. Se han deteriorado el Estado de Derecho, la democracia y los derechos fundamentales en Hungría y en Polonia, y el Consejo todavía no ha tomado una decisión. Y es por eso que volvemos a discutir, una vez más, el deterioro de la libertad de expresión, la libertad de prensa y el pluralismo informativo en Hungría, en Polonia y en Eslovenia.

Y es por eso que en este Pleno vamos a votar una Resolución para salir al paso de esa ignominia de zonas pretendidamente libres de LGBTIQ en Polonia, declarando que la Unión Europea entera es una zona de libertad para las personas LGBTIQ.

Por tanto, Consejo, ¡basta de procrastinar! Tiene una oportunidad de ponerse a la altura del Parlamento Europeo activando el artículo 7. Si no es capaz de llegar al artículo 7, apartado 2, que dice que hace falta unanimidad, salvo respecto de los Estados concernidos, para sancionar, por lo menos alcance los cuatro quintos previstos en el artículo 7, apartado 1, declarando que hay un riesgo claro de violación grave del Estado de Derecho, la democracia y los derechos fundamentales en Hungría y en Polonia, y póngase a la altura del Parlamento Europeo.


  Ramona Strugariu (Renew). – Mr President, over the past decade, Orbán’s regime has perfected the state capture of media, and it is now exporting it to Poland and Slovenia. The closure of Klubradio is only one small step on this path.

Dear colleagues, I hope you read the letter sent today by Adam Michnik, the editor—in—chief of Gazeta Wyborcza since 1989. Let me quote from it:

‘The rule of law is being transformed into the rule of coterie of a single party. [...] Public media broadcasters were transformed into tools of shameless propaganda similar to that employed by Vladimir Putin in Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. [...] We are treated as enemies for the simple reason that we are independent and have the courage to speak truth to power.’

If we don’t elaborate a strong legislative proposal tackling SLAPPs, if we don’t follow up on complaints on the breach of state aid rules concerning media, if we don’t make use of the rule of law conditionality when EU funds are at risk of being used to fund propaganda, and if we don’t support small and local independent media projects with direct and dedicated funding, then I am afraid that this battle is lost – not for today, but for decades to come.


  Marco Dreosto (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mentre noi discutiamo sulla libertà di stampa in paesi che fino a prova contraria non possono essere considerati delle pericolose dittature, la Commissione europea ha raggiunto un accordo commerciale con la Cina, paese dove, cari colleghi, i giornalisti che scrivono contro il governo vengono incarcerati.

In questo Parlamento, nella commissione sulle ingerenze straniere di cui faccio parte, proprio l'Alto rappresentante ha detto che l'Unione non ha né gli strumenti, né il mandato per contrastare efficacemente ingerenze e attività di disinformazione cinesi in Europa.

Forse, per essere più credibili, prima di dare lezioni a paesi europei che hanno lottato nella loro storia contro il comunismo, sarebbe auspicabile supportare l'Alto rappresentante per difenderci da queste minacce, che provengono proprio da uno Stato ancora gestito dal più grande partito comunista al mondo e non scendere invece a patti con quella Cina che, con la propria propaganda, vuole destabilizzare l'intera Europa.


  Salima Yenbou (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, la démocratie et l’État de droit sont de plus en plus menacés dans l’Union européenne, avec en première ligne la liberté d’expression et l’indépendance des médias.

Hongrie, Pologne, aujourd’hui, la Slovénie vient s’ajouter à cette liste déjà trop longue. Demain, quel autre gouvernement va créer une fondation dite autonome pour encenser son travail? Quel média indépendant va perdre ses fréquences de diffusion, coupable d’informer? Quel journaliste sera victime de poursuites judiciaires malveillantes?

Nous continuons à débattre, à dénoncer et à pointer du doigt mais à quoi servent tous ces mots sans action concrète? Pourquoi tous les mécanismes que nous avons créés pour protéger l’état de droit ne sont-ils pas activés devant ces atteintes à la liberté des médias?

Le 14 février dernier, avant de cesser ses émissions après décision du gouvernement, la radio hongroise Klubradio a diffusé l’hymne de l’Union européenne, comme un ultime appel à l’aide.

Madame la Commissaire, les voix libres de l’Europe ont besoin de nous et nous avons encore plus besoin d’elles. Alors battons-nous pour préserver notre union libre et démocratique.


  Beata Szydło (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! W przeciwieństwie do większości z Państwa jestem Polką i znam sytuację mediów w Polsce z autopsji, bo mogę je na co dzień obserwować, i dlatego powiem Państwu w tej chwili o faktach, a nie fałszywych informacjach, które rozpowszechnia opozycja w Polsce.

Po pierwsze wolność słowa, wolność prasy. Zakaz cenzury gwarantuje Konstytucja Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej. Po drugie media w Polsce działają na podstawie ustawy Prawo prasowe, prawa dotyczącego Krajowej Rady Radiofonii i Telewizji i narodowych mediów.

Po trzecie prawo, o którym w tej chwili dyskutuje się w Polsce i które jest na bardzo wstępnym etapie przygotowania, opiera się na założeniu składki, opłaty reklamowej, a to założenie jest wprost zaczerpnięte z propozycji Komisji Europejskiej z 2018 roku.

Po czwarte te regulacje będą dotyczyły największych gigantów medialnych, gigantów cyfrowych, którzy nie płacą w Polsce podatków, w przeciwieństwie do mediów, które w Polsce funkcjonują i te podatki płacą. Mamy tu więc także zaburzenie równych warunków działania mediów w Polsce.

I po piąte Pani Minister zwróciła uwagę na to, że trzeba stać na straży i bronić się przed dezinformacją. Dlatego proszę nie organizować w Parlamencie Europejskim debat opartych na fałszywych informacjach i dezinformacji.


  Niyazi Kizilyürek (The Left). – Mr President, unfortunately, media freedom violations in the EU reached their highest in the past five years. It is unacceptable that in the Member States journalists are intimidated, pressurised, attacked, both verbally and physically, and even killed.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union gives everyone the right to freedom of expression, to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority. Nevertheless, we have been seeing attempts to silence media via censorship, lawsuits, state aid and taxes.

Especially, some right—wing conservative governments tend to ignore the fact that pluralism, freedom, democracy, equality and respect for human rights are the very values that define the Union. In some Member States, national media channels broadcast pro-government propaganda only, excluding opposition and minority groups. All this is unacceptable.


  Balázs Hidvéghi (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Nem találják furcsának, hogy Magyarországon a sajtószabadság kéthetente meghal? Hát nem látják, hogy valójában a baloldal ismételt hazugságairól van szó? Mi már jól ismerjük ezeket a támadásokat. A különbség most annyi, hogy Lengyelország és Magyarország után most már Szlovéniát is támadják. De valójában azért, mert ezekben az országokban karakteres jobboldali kormányok kormányoznak, amelyek nem félnek kiállni az értékeik mellett. És minden ilyen esetben hazug támadások indulnak Brüsszelből ideológiai alapon ezen kormányok ellen. A Klubrádió ügye egy ilyen mondvacsinált politikai hisztériakeltés. Sajnos ebben biztos asszony is úgy tűnik, hogy partner. Erre a rádióra ugyanazok a szabályok vonatkoznak, mint bármely más hasonló rádióra.

A frekvenciákat a törvények alapján lehet elnyerni, és ha betartja a törvényeket ez a rádió, akkor újra el tudja nyerni ezt a frekvenciát. Ami itt zajlik, az valójában Európa megosztása és szétverése. És ha már a sajtószabadságról beszélünk, tisztelt kollégák, akkor beszéljünk arról a zsidó közösségi rádióról, televízióról, a Heti televízióról, amit a szocialista polgármester Budapesten – volt EP-képviselő, Niedermüller Péter – ezekben a napokban támad azért, mert nem hajlandó ez a TV asszisztálni neki a politikájához. Na, ez az igazi sajtószabadság-probléma, tisztelt kollégák!


  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – Mr President, the actual leader of Poland, Mr Kaczyński, has said that he will create Budapest in Warsaw, and he’s sticking to that plan also in the media sphere. Public media have now become a Goebbelsian instrument of Europhobia and of attacking the opposition. Now is the turn of the private media, and the latest attempt is spearheaded by a gentleman by the name of Obajtek. He’s in hot water because free media are accusing him of having lied under oath. So you can imagine why he doesn’t like free media. But of course, public interest is that there should be free media.

In Mr Obajtek’s petrol stations all around Poland, pro-government newspapers and magazines are put on the top of shelves. And the idea is that the entire media market in Poland is to resemble those shelves at Orlen petrol stations.

Ladies and gentlemen, if we are to be in a position to lecture Russia, China and Belarus on free media, we should have it inside the European Union above all. Please, I ask you for solidarity on this issue.


  Leszek Miller (S&D). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Szanowni Państwo! Jestem Polakiem i też powiem o faktach. Polski rząd planuje wprowadzić podatek od reklam będący w istocie haraczem wymierzonym w niezależną prasę, telewizję i radio. Wolne media traktowane są bowiem jak wróg czyhający na polską suwerenność. Kolejny atak na wolność słowa umacnia autorytarne zapędy władz i podważa unijne wartości.

10 lutego tego roku pisemnie pytałem Komisję, jakie podejmie kroki w tej sprawie. Ponieważ dotąd nie uzyskałem odpowiedzi, pytam jeszcze raz: czy Komisja uważa, że podatek od reklam, przy jednoczesnym finansowaniu przez polski rząd mediów prorządowych, w tym tzw. publicznych, doprowadzi do upadku wielu niezależnych środków przekazu, ograniczając pluralizm medialny, godząc w praworządność i swobodny dostęp obywateli do informacji? Jak Komisja chce zareagować na tę sytuację? Jakie skuteczne środki zaradcze Komisja chce podjąć zgodnie z dzisiejszą zapowiedzią pani Jourovej, że Komisja nie będzie się wahała skutecznie zareagować? Będę wdzięczny za udzielenie odpowiedzi.


  Laurence Farreng (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, un silence radio, des pages vides, des écrans noirs, voilà ce qu’on pouvait voir et entendre lorsqu’on cherchait de l’information indépendante en Pologne et en Hongrie, il y a quelques mois.

C’est pourquoi, avec plus de 80 collègues, nous avons alerté la Commission sur la fermeture de Klubradio à Budapest et sur la nouvelle taxe sur les revenus publicitaires en Pologne. Aujourd’hui, c’est en Slovénie que le Premier ministre s’illustre en asphyxiant les médias qui lui sont défavorables. Comment est-il possible, dans ce moment de crise, que trois gouvernements de l’Union européenne menacent simultanément le pluralisme des médias? C’est une atteinte intolérable à l’état de droit, à la liberté d’informer et d’opinion, et nous ne pouvons pas rester les bras croisés. Nous devons renforcer le pluralisme des médias et leur financement dans les plans d’action pour les médias et la démocratie présentés par la Commission.

Enfin, et là où les menaces sont avérées, il faut appliquer le mécanisme de conditionnalité à l’état de droit en coupant les ressources européennes aux gouvernements. Pas d’argent européen sans respect des valeurs européennes. Là aussi, il faut tenir nos engagements.


  Nicolas Bay (ID). – Monsieur le Président, un énième débat sur la Pologne et la Hongrie, auquel vous adjoignez cette fois la Slovénie. Décidément, vous faites feu de tout bois.

Une simple taxe sur les médias en Pologne, l’interdiction d’une radio qui s’obstinait à ne pas respecter la loi à Budapest, un tweet ironique pour remettre à sa place une journaliste d’extrême gauche en Slovénie. Vos accusations sont comme d’habitude très exagérées, politisées et pour tout dire grotesques.

Vous ne vous êtes pas émus de la scandaleuse atteinte au pluralisme démocratique d’Angela Merkel, qui a tenté de placer sous surveillance policière la première opposition, le parti Alternative für Deutschland, qui dispose pourtant d’un groupe de 92 députés au Bundestag. Tentative autrement plus inquiétante, heureusement empêchée par la justice.

De même, où êtes-vous lorsqu’il s’agit de défendre le droit des Européens à s’exprimer sans devoir craindre la censure du politiquement correct? Qu’a fait l’Union européenne contre l’hégémonie des GAFAM ? Seule la Pologne a cherché à protéger la liberté d’expression de ses citoyens.

Pire, en France, le service public de France télévisions a mis en place un système variable de rémunération pour ses rédacteurs en chef: ceux qui parlent le plus d’intégration européenne ou de diversité ont des primes financières et pas les autres. Mais là aussi, vous ne voyez sans doute aucune atteinte à la liberté des journalistes. Car la Commission ne défend malheureusement pas la liberté des médias: elle s’en prend à des gouvernements démocratiquement élus qui ne se plient pas à la propagande progressiste et mondialiste.


  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, while discussing the backsliding media freedom in Europe, we mostly address developments in Hungary and Poland, and rightly so, but the lack of an adequate response creates an atmosphere of impunity and has inspired more and more other Member States.

For instance, Slovenian Prime Minister Janša has opened war on free media, publicly attacking journalists, cutting funds of critical broadcasters, and amending public media legislation. Journalists describe an extremely hostile environment and fear.

In its Rule of Law Report, the Commission observes a high level of political influence over media companies in the country. It has criticised Janša’s attacks, but this is far from enough. The Commission should use its wide range of tools to tackle this issue – rule of law-related instruments, but also state aid rules for instance: be creative. Because without free media, a real democracy simply cannot function. I urge you not to shy away and prove yourself as a guardian of the treaty to protect free societies and free citizens.



  Κώστας Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η κριτική σκοπιμότητας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στις αντιδραστικές κυβερνήσεις της Πολωνίας, της Ουγγαρίας, της Σλοβενίας για τις διαπιστωμένες τους ενέργειες φίμωσης μέσων ενημέρωσης δεν έχει σχέση με τα λαϊκά προβλήματα και ελευθερίες. Υπαγορεύεται από βαθιές αντιθέσεις συμφερόντων αστικών τάξεων. Είναι υποκριτική, γιατί κάνει πως δεν βλέπει ότι ανάλογα συμβαίνουν και στις υπόλοιπες χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, με λογοκρισία και αποκλεισμούς κομμουνιστικών κομμάτων, συνδικάτων, από τους ιδιοκτήτες ομίλους των μέσων ενημέρωσης. Η δε ευαισθησία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στις χώρες που κατά τα άλλα καταγγέλλει για φίμωση των μέσων ενημέρωσης είναι α λα καρτ, αφού η Επιτροπή, απαντώντας σε ερωτήσεις μας, κάλυψε προκλητικά τη φίμωση σε βάρος της εφημερίδας του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Πολωνίας Brzask, τη δίωξη και καταδίκη της συντακτικής επιτροπής της από κυβέρνηση και δικαστικές αρχές. Καλύπτει δε τις αντικομμουνιστικές διώξεις, νόμους και απαγορεύσεις σε βάρος κομμουνιστικών κομμάτων σε Πολωνία, Σλοβακία, Χώρες της Βαλτικής, σε συνδεδεμένες χώρες, όπως η Ουκρανία. Οι λαοί να αντιπαλέψουν την αντιλαϊκή πολιτική της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και των κυβερνήσεών τους, που συνοδεύεται από αντικομμουνισμό, καταστολή και επίθεση στις λαϊκές ελευθερίες, στρώνοντας τον δρόμο στις ακροδεξιές και φασιστικές δυνάμεις.


  Sven Simon (PPE). – Mr President, individual and personal freedoms, such as the freedom of the press, are a cornerstone of Europe. There can be no functioning European democracy without a free press holding politicians to account. But individual freedoms only help if you can claim them in front of a court. That is why we should preclude political games and flippant finger-pointing.

Rights cannot really be defended in the abstract and in parliamentary debates. They can only be defended through the rule of law and the judiciary. Commissioner Jourová, you asked for a toolbox, and I think you are right. In my opinion, Article 7 has proven unsuitable. Where individual journalists face persecution, they need to have access to courts to remedy any violation of rights. That is why we should reform the European Court of Justice.

I absolutely disagree with Mr Fitto from the ECR. Of course it is a European topic when we talk about the freedom of the press and human rights. We should bring journalists to the position that they can bring their cases in front of the Court in Luxembourg.

Some Member States already have the instrument of individual constitutional complaints on a national level. Let us introduce a complaint at European level in order to make fundamental rights individually enforceable before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, colleagues. That would be a major step in the right direction to protect freedom of the press and human rights in Europe.


  Robert Biedroń (S&D). – Mr President, this is how democracy will look without free media.

(The speaker held up a black sign with the words ‘Free Media’ printed in white and with which he covered his mouth)


  President. – Let the next speaker intervene.

Colleague, I am sorry to say we are taking note of that behaviour.

(Comments off mic)

Colleague, will you please ...

(Mr Biedroń says ‘Thank you very much’)

As I said, we have to take note of this behaviour.


  Irena Joveva (Renew). – Gospod predsednik! Ne bom šla na raven nekaterih kolegov, ker tukaj, spoštovani, ne gre za nacionalno politiko, gre za to, da se pravkar pogovarjamo o vladnih poskusih utišanje svobodnih medijev v treh državah.

Slovenija ni Madžarska ali Poljska, je pa na poti tja, žal, in Unija si ne sme privoščiti še tretjega v tem klubu iliberalcev, ki vse vzvode oblasti brezsramno izkoriščajo za grajenje avtokracije.

Počasno, ampak vztrajno utišanje kritičnih medijev vodi v družbo enoumja, alternativne realnosti, seveda prilagojene enemu in edinemu. Unija si tega ne zasluži, še manj si to zasluži Slovenija, da se zdaj o njej pogovarjamo samo zato, ker ima tako zelo škodljivo vodstvo, ampak ga ima, s premierjem na čelu.

In zaradi njegovih dejanj, njegovih poskusov podrejanja javnih medijev, v prvi vrsti Slovenske tiskovne agencije, smo tu, kjer smo. Zaradi nojevske politike njegovih partnerjev v vladi smo tu, kjer smo. So dosedanje izkušnje dovolj, spoštovana komisarka, za odločnejše naslavljanje teh težav? Ker samo besede niso dovolj.


  Christine Anderson (ID). – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Kollegen! Wir sind heute also hier, um wieder einmal Polen, Ungarn, diesmal auch Slowenien für eine vermeintliche Einschränkung der Pressefreiheit zu geißeln. Dabei sitzen die wirklichen Feinde der Pressefreiheit doch genau hier in diesem Hause. Denn unter Pressefreiheit verstehen Sie doch lediglich die Freiheit der Presse, den europäischen Völkern ihre absurden ideologischen Wahnvorstellungen aufzwingen zu dürfen.

Gerade dieses Haus hat zahlreiche Mechanismen installiert, um alles, was nicht zu 100 Prozent ihrer – der einzig zulässigen – Meinung entspricht, wahlweise als rassistisch, homophob, europafeindlich oder menschenverachtend zu zensieren, zu löschen, als hate speech anzuprangern oder als fake news zu enttarnen.

Denn Sie, die weltoffene, toleranzbesoffene, zur Weltverschlimmbesserung fest entschlossene Brüsseler Schickeria-Polit-Elite, Sie lassen sich ihre kunterbunte, klimaneutrale, genderwahnbesessene, weltfriedenverheißende Multi-Kulti-Tralala-Welt von niemandem kaputtmachen – auch nicht von einer pluralistischen und freien Presse, nicht wahr?

Hören Sie doch endlich mal auf, mit dem Finger auf andere zu zeigen. Kehren Sie vor Ihrer eigenen Türe. Da hätten Sie weiß Gott mehr als genug zu tun.


  Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI). – Mr President, media relations with power should never be cosy. The mission of journalists is to report rigorously on all the nooks and crannies, even the most obscure, and to watch over political power. And they should be protected to do just that.

Unfortunately, too often, independent media outlets are bullied, while submissive media are promoted as part of the machinery to undermine the rule of law. Can you imagine a Member State where journalists and power are so close that judicial rulings always reach the press before they reach the affected parties? Or where the press informs about fabricated judicial accusations that take people to long pre-trial detentions, but eventually everything is proven to be completely false? Or where the press remains silent for 40 years while the King amasses a huge fortune, acting as the middle man of arms sales and state favours to theocratic autocracies? Guess where. Not Poland, not Hungary, not Slovenia. It’s Spain again. So it’s not a surprise that researchers at the European Institute have found that Spain is the European country where the right of information is the least protected.


  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Secretária de Estado, Senhora Comissária, a liberdade de imprensa é uma liberdade fundamental num Estado de Direito e numa sociedade democrática. Mas não basta fazer elogios ou tecer loas à liberdade de imprensa. É preciso que os governos respeitem esta liberdade e que na União Europeia façamos respeitar esta liberdade.

É verdade que os casos da Hungria e da Polónia são extremamente preocupantes e devem ser denunciados. Mas, atenção, não se viola a liberdade de imprensa apenas através da mudança de leis. Em países como Malta e a Eslováquia, com governos socialistas, em que são assassinados jornalistas, está-se a condicionar a liberdade de imprensa ao pôr o direito à vida em causa, como foi o caso de Caruana Galizia e de Ján Kuciak.

E por isso digo aqui: não basta haver debates no Parlamento, e associo-me à posição que trouxe aqui o presidente da Comissão das Liberdades neste Parlamento, o meu colega López Aguilar. O Conselho tem nas suas mãos a capacidade de ativar o artigo 7.º. Não precisa de unanimidade para isso. E portanto eu desafio a Presidência portuguesa, que faz juras de que defende a rule of law, a ativar o artigo 7.º contra a Hungria e contra a Polónia, e assim dar tradução àquilo que é uma declaração que, até agora, é apenas formal sobre a defesa da liberdade de imprensa.


  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Gospod predsednik! Spoštovani! Vedno sem v Evropskem parlamentu ponosno zastopala Slovenijo. Slovenijo, ki se je znala v bran postaviti demokraciji, svobodi, pravni državi, človekovemu dostojanstvu. Danes tega ponosa ne čutim.

Če v Sloveniji ne bi bilo zares kaj narobe, o tem ne bi razpravljali. Nikoli si nisem predstavljala, da bomo o moji državi govorili kot o prostoru, kjer oblasti skušajo utišati medije. Danes slišite dve različni zgodbi, a resnica je ena in podpredsednica Komisije jo je potrdila.

Komunikacija predsednika vlade, šokantno napadanje novinarjev: naj omenim le en primer, ko je predsednik vlade na twitterju dve kritični novinarki označil za odsluženi prostitutki, diskreditacija javne radiotelevizije kritičnega poročanja. Nadaljujejo se finančno izčrpavanje Slovenske tiskovne agencije, pritiski na njenega direktorja, poskusi spreminjanja medijske zakonodaje, ki bi omogočili bistveno večje politično vmešavanje.

Gre za spodkopavanje in stigmatizacijo javnih servisov v državi. Želim, da Slovenija predsedovanje Svetu Evropske unije opravi z odliko, a žal nismo na tej poti in močno me skrbi, kaj bo še sledilo.

Moji državi želim najboljše, a brez ukrepanja bo cena za politično ugrabitev medijev in neodvisnega novinarstva previsoka. Spoštovani, niso ogrožena le naša zdravja, ogrožena je svoboda medijev, ogrožene so naše demokracije.


  Anna Júlia Donáth (Renew). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Orbán Viktor tíz év alatt bedarálta a magyar médiapiacot, elnémítva azokat a neki nem tetsző véleményeket, mint például az Origo, az Index, a Népszabadság és a Klubrádió. Csakhogy a legfőbb áldozatait sorolhassam a Fidesz kormány tisztogatásának. Rendben van az, hogy a kormány közpénzből finanszírozza a Fidesz közeli lapokat miközben a független média évek óta nem látott állami hirdetést? Rendben van az, hogy Magyarországon a közmédia nem más, mint a kormánypropaganda szócsöve, ahová ellenzéki politikust négyévente egyszer hívnak meg? Rendben van az, hogy a magyar ellenzéki nyilvánosság utolsó szeletére, a közösségi médiára is rávetették most magukat? A válasz egyszerű: nem.

Nincsen ezzel semmi se rendben. Noha a jogállamisági jelentés kiemeli a magyarországi médiahelyzet problémáit, Európának továbbra sincsen válasza ezekre. Miközben a példa ragadós. Mára Szlovéniában és Lengyelországban is alkalmazzák a magyar gyakorlatot. Ahhoz, hogy ennek elejét vegyük, európai megoldásokra van szükség. Szükségünk van a médiatulajdonlás átláthatóvá tételére. Szükségünk van arra, hogy Európa fellépjen a médiahatóságok függetlenségének érdekében. És szükségünk van arra is, hogy európai szabályozással védjük meg a közösségi médiát a cenzúrázni akaró autokrata vezetőktől.


  Paolo Borchia (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la stampa è veramente libera quando liberi sono i pensieri dei giornalisti, slegati da condizionamenti ideologici o peggio da condizionamenti editoriali.

Colleghi, capirete il mio imbarazzo nell'affrontare un dibattito così vuoto, così surreale: l'articolo 7, ideato come strumento per proteggere i valori fondanti dell'Unione, è diventato un'arma di ricatto nei confronti dei governi che non piacciono a Bruxelles.

Riflettiamo: dove sta andando l'Unione europea? Un Commissario, soltanto un paio di anni fa, dichiarò che i mercati avrebbero insegnato a votare agli italiani.

L'Unione europea non sarà mai pienamente libera fino a quando la libertà di espressione non sarà pienamente garantita a tutti quanti, anche a chi non è di sinistra.




  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, to naozaj chcete odsúdiť Poľsko, Maďarsko a Slovinsko za to, že chcú presadiť, aby aj pre masmédiá platili nejaké pravidlá? Za to, aby aj masmédiá platili nejaké dane? Za to, že masmédiá si už nebudú môcť svojvoľne vypisovať absolútne čokoľvek, chcú či už je to strašenie, plašenie, alebo často manipulovanie verejnej mienky, ktoré bohužiaľ často zneužívajú. Čo je vlastne problém: že krajne ľavicové médiá nebudú už ovládať 95 percent mediálneho podielu, ale len 85 percent? Viete, je veľmi zaujímavé, že Európska únia mlčí, keď veľké masmédiá doslova cenzurujú konzervatívnych politikov, keď linčujú odporcov imigrácie, keď linčujú ochrancov tradičných hodnôt. Ale keď sa niekto odváži kritizovať médiá alebo mimovládne organizácie, tak zrazu je v Bruseli veľký ošiaľ. Neuveriteľné.


  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – Voorzitter, net zoals artsen en verplegers staan ook journalisten in de frontlinie om de COVID-19-pandemie te bestrijden. En we hebben hen nodig. De aanvallen op hun mediavrijheid en zelfs soms op hun eigen persoon baren me zorgen. In een context van groeiende propaganda, desinformatie en fake news is hun rol nu nog belangrijker.

Democratie en media gaan hand in hand. Controle door burgers, geïnformeerd door onafhankelijke media en onderzoeksjournalistiek, dient als een essentiële waakhond om de machtsverhoudingen in de samenleving in evenwicht te houden. Geïnformeerde burgers zijn ook betrokken burgers en kunnen zo hun stem doen gelden op het beleid. Vrije en onafhankelijke media zijn de spil in een democratie. Hoe zwakker de media, hoe zwakker de staat van de democratie.

Dat lidstaten via subtiele of soms minder subtiele, maar vooral doelbewuste acties de media de mond willen snoeren, dat mogen we niet dulden. Daarom doe ik vandaag twee oproepen. Een oproep eerst en vooral aan de Europese Commissie. Step up your efforts en verscherp het onderzoek in de lidstaten op het vlak van vrije, onafhankelijke media. Werk aan die toolbox en gebruik hem ook, ook op het terrein daar waar democratie waargemaakt wordt.

Maar ook een tweede oproep aan de lidstaten. Stel je de vraag of de media in jouw lidstaat nog voldoende onafhankelijk is en als controlerende macht kan functioneren. En vooral wees transparant, zodat de Commissie voet aan de grond krijgt in uw land en vrije media overal een evidentie wordt.


  Csaba Molnár (S&D). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Magyarországon újra él az a régi, még a kommunista rendszerből ismerős vicc, hogy mindent szabad, amit megengednek. Így van ez a sajtóval is. Aki le merte írni, ki merte mondani, be merte mutatni az igazságot az Orbán-rendszerről, azt mára elhallgattatták. A Népszabadság, az Index, a megyei lapok, most legutoljára a Klubrádió, a független magyar sajtó krémjét kevés kivételtől eltekintve mára kinyírta a hatalom. Miközben a magyar közmédia lassan az észak-koreai állami médiában indíthatna közös gyakornoki programot. Gyakran érzem itt az Európai Parlamentben, tisztelt képviselőtársaim, hogy Önök csodálkoznak azon, hogy hogyan lehet még mindig ilyen alkalmatlan, korrupt és kártékony miniszterelnöke Magyarországnak, mint Orbán Viktor.

Hát így, Hölgyeim és Uraim, hogy a magyarok nagy része nem tudja, mert nem tudhatja az igazságot, mert az Orbán-rendszer pártállami módszerekkel tudatosan eltüntette a szabad sajtót Magyarországról. Tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! Mi mára már megtanultuk: Orbán rendszerében nem létezhet sajtószabadság. Ahhoz el kell űzni Orbánt. Ígérem Önöknek, el is fogjuk!


  Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew). – Señor presidente, al menos en los tres países de los que hablamos hoy —Polonia, Hungría y Eslovenia—, la libertad de expresión y de información está en riesgo. Es un riesgo que crece porque en nuestros países, bajo el amparo de la pandemia, también se aplican restricciones al desarrollo de la actividad informativa.

Vemos en Polonia el flagrante y descarado abuso propagandístico de los medios públicos convertidos en tribuna del Gobierno, la persecución de reporteros, las trabas al libre ejercicio de la prensa, la venta de medios libres a monopolios de la órbita rusa. En Hungría, el clan de Orbán cuenta con unos quinientos medios, el 80 % del paisaje mediático.

Y esto sucede en el momento en que el propio modelo de negocio del periodismo se asfixia. Adam Michnik, el director de la Gazeta Wyborcza, el legendario activista por la libertad, ha clamado hoy, para que le escuchemos en este Parlamento, al escribir: «El ataque a la libertad de prensa en Polonia allana el camino para un asalto total a los mismos valores sobre los que se fundó la Unión Europea».

Y es verdad, señorías. Europa no puede mirar hacia otro lado, porque los medios libres son la vacuna contra los Gobiernos populistas, sean estos de izquierdas o de derechas.


  Magdalena Adamowicz (PPE). – Szanowna Pani Komisarz! Panie Przewodniczący! Dzisiejsza debata nie może być debatą o wolności mediów, to musi być debata o wolności człowieka, bo tym, którzy wolne media zmieniają w propagandę, nie chodzi o media. Wszystkim Kaczyńskim, Orbanom, Erdoganom, Łukaszenkom, Putinom tego świata chodzi o jedno: za pomocą kłamstw i manipulacji chcą zmienić wolnych obywateli w posłusznych poddanych. Autokraci chcą mieć swoje media, bo w świecie swojej propagandy wszyscy oni są zbawcami narodów, wielkimi budowniczymi, niezłomnymi obrońcami suwerenności, tradycji i religii. W rządowych mediach rząd jest zawsze dobry, a opozycja jest zawsze zła, bo „ciemny lud to kupi”, jak powiedział szef polskiej telewizji rządowej.

Media podległe władzy to niekończące się pranie mózgów za publiczne pieniądze, a wolne media to prawda, która daje możliwość dokonywania wyboru zgodnie z rozumem i sumieniem. Oddanie głosu na podstawie kłamstwa nie jest wolnym wyborem. Dlatego ten, kto zamienia wolne media w media rządowe, zabiera ci wolność, bo zabiera ci prawdę. Tu nie chodzi o wolność mediów, tu chodzi o twoją wolność.

Panie Kaczyński! Panie Orban! Panie Jansa! Uciszając wolne media, zabieracie wolność własnym rodakom, ale Wy to dobrze wiecie, bo to jest przecież Wasz cel.


  Елена Йончева (S&D). – Г-н Председател, всяка година тук ние регистрираме поредното влошаване на медийната среда. Стигнахме до ситуация, немислима преди години в Европейския съюз. В Унгария критично към правителството радио беше спряно. В Словения премиерът открито обявява война на медиите, а България е на позорното 111 място в света по свобода на медиите. Българското правителство вече не прави даже и опит да заглуши медиите, както в Полша, Унгария и Словения, защото отдавна ги е заглушило. Как стигнахме дотук?

Днес въпросът ми е към Комисията: докога просто ще регистрирате проблема? Затова призовавам за европейско законодателство, което да въведе ясни правила и конкретни стандарти. Можем ли да очакваме подобно законодателство и кога? Призовавам и Председателството, и питам докога темата за свободата на медиите ще бъде табу в Съвета? Мълчанието на Съвета само легитимира действията на онези премиери, които рушат свободата на медиите. На коя страна ще застане Съветът, на страната на основните ценности на Европейския съюз или на страната на самозабравили се премиери като Орбан, Янса, Борисов?


  Sophia in 't Veld (Renew). – Mr President, Madam Commissioner, colleagues, words are not harmless. Verbal attacks on journalists can actually even lead to murder. As we have seen in Malta and Slovakia, where the murders were preceded by endless verbal attacks by political leaders.

I’m very worried to see now that, in the Slovenian Government, they are taking on the same habits of attacking journalists. That not only has a chilling effect on the freedom of the media and on their freedom of expression, but it actually gives people almost literally a licence to kill it. It adds to a climate of hatred, and we should speak out.

I hope that in Slovenia, but also in other countries where this is taking place, we can make sure that it doesn’t run off track the way it has in Hungary and Poland, where we can say that the media are no longer free and therefore they are no longer complete democracies.

And finally, Madam Commissioner, I would like to ask you to put forward legislative proposals not just on SLAPP, but also on transparency of media ownership, because we see how governments are using their power to buy the media, to control the media. So please, legislative proposals.



  Vladimír Bilčík (PPE). – Mr President, a free and independent media is the backbone of any flourishing democracy. If we stood here some 10 years ago, we might not be having this discussion at all, but we do have a European problem with the media situation. Let’s face the facts. The media situation in a number of central European countries has worsened in recent years. The World Press Freedom Index has seen Hungary, Poland, even Slovenia, but also the Czech Republic, my own country Slovakia, and Bulgaria drop significantly from the better positions they held just a couple of years ago.

The political atmosphere and public environment in which journalists work matter. In Slovakia and Malta, we learned the hard way. We witnessed the very extreme: the death of journalists.

I’m always sad to watch heightened tensions online and offline, and I’m very concerned when politicians use social media to attack journalists. To reverse this trend, each of us, dear colleagues, can make a difference by using words responsibly. We must also ask the Commission, Madam Commissioner, for a more thorough and regular monitoring of the media situation and media ownership across all Member States, and for stronger European support for independent media.

Journalists deserve better national and European protection through anti-SLAPP laws, punishment of crimes against them, and strong institutional foundations for independent public broadcasters. The bottom line is that European democracy will only endure with media that work in line with Europe’s values. There is no other way.


  Petra Kammerevert (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Artikel 11 der EU—Grundrechtecharta formuliert unmissverständlich: „Die Freiheit der Medien und ihre Pluralität werden geachtet.“ Von dieser Achtung sind wir aber sehr weit entfernt. In der gesamten EU ist die Lage der Medienfreiheit und —vielfalt nicht optimal, aber in Ungarn, Polen und Slowenien ist sie katastrophal.

Wir brauchen auf EU—Ebene wirksame Maßnahmen gegen Verflechtungs- und Konzentrationsprozesse im Mediensektor sowie wirksamen Schutz von Journalistinnen und Journalisten. Wann immer Regierungen Meinungsfreiheit und Vielfalt oder künstlerische Ausdrucksweisen einschränken, ist das ein vorsätzlicher Angriff auf öffentliche Meinungsbildung und damit ein gezielter Angriff auf unsere Demokratie. Wir müssen sie früher erkennen, und ihnen muss endlich wirksamer entgegnet werden. Die unmittelbare Verknüpfung mit dem Rechtsstaatsmechanismus bei Einschränkungen der Medien— und Kunstfreiheit ist daher dringend geboten!

Und: In der jetzt anstehenden Gesetzgebung auf EU—Ebene zu digitalen Diensten und Märkten ist gefordert, dem Artikel 11 volle Geltung zu verleihen und medienvielfaltsfördernde Gesetzgebung auf den Weg zu bringen. Kolleginnen und Kollegen, ich glaube, der Worte sind genug gewechselt. Wir brauchen endlich Taten.


  Nicola Beer (Renew). – Herr Präsident! Jeder, der Europa bejaht, muss dafür eintreten, trägt Verantwortung für das Gelingen – so der legendäre Außenminister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. In Polen, Ungarn, Slowenien sehen wir genau das Gegenteil. Dort fechten Regierende gegen Brüssel, als ob Europa der Gegner sei. Ist das Verantwortung für das gemeinsame Projekt? Mitnichten.

Gefährdung des Rechtsstaats, der Medienfreiheit, der Wissenschaftsfreiheit, unzureichende Asylverfahren – das sind die traurigen Schlagzeilen. Ich bin dieses Verhalten leid, ebenso wie deren Gerede über illiberale Demokratien. Ohne das Liberale gibt es keine freien Menschen, gibt es keine Demokratie. Das ständige Ausreizen der eigenen Interessen widerspricht der europäischen Idee. Mit Feindbildern kann man keine Zukunft gestalten, man muss schon gemeinsame Lösungen suchen.

Eine Inschrift im Genscher-Konferenzzentrum bei Budapest lautet: „Keine Macht der Welt kann Menschenwürde und Freiheit auf Dauer stoppen.“ Gängelung, Beschneidung von Freiheitsrechten, Einschüchterung von Journalisten passen nicht dazu.

Es ist höchste Zeit, dass auch in Polen, Ungarn, Slowenien freie Menschen und das gemeinsame Europa der Gründerväter im Mittelpunkt stehen. Es ist höchste Zeit, dass die Regierenden dort endlich ihrer Verantwortung gerecht werden.


  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Spoštovana komisarka, spoštovani podpredsednik! Današnja razprava o svobodi medijev v Sloveniji je zelo uspešen izvoz notranjepolitičnega boja slovenskih socialistov in liberalcev iz Slovenije v Evropski parlament.

Razprava je zavajajoča, saj ni pošten prikaz slovenskega medijskega prostora in škodljiva za Slovenijo, ki se pripravlja na predsedovanje Svetu EU. Na netransparentno lastniško strukturo slovenskih medijev nas je lansko jesen opozorila Evropska komisija. Velika večina slovenskih nacionalnih medijev je v lasti tranzicijskih gospodarstvenikov, ki prek svojih medijev ščitijo svoj gospodarski interes, na vseh parlamentarnih volitvah pa odkrito podpirajo levosredinske vlade, s skupnim ciljem, da preprečijo zmago Janeza Janše na volitvah, sedaj pa skušajo zrušiti njegovo vlado.

Povprečnemu poznavalcu slovenskega medijskega prostora je takoj jasno, da je okoli 80 % notranjepolitičnih redakcij slovenskih medijev, vključno z javno RTV, naklonjenih levosredinskim političnim strankam.

Tudi jaz vabim predstavnike Evropske komisije v Slovenijo, da se prepričajo, da medijsko pluralnost ne ogroža 20 % desnih medijev, pa četudi so nekateri v madžarski lasti. Do takrat pa bi želel, da Slovenci prenehamo z izvažanjem notranjepolitičnih tem na evropski parket, naš predsednik vlade pa lahko tudi napiše kakšen tvit manj.


  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, I thank the honourable Members for this very important debate, which showed that the topic we discussed is really very serious and has a wider context. This was not only a debate about the media, it was about our democratic society, whether it is still democratic when we are switching off one of the democratic safeguards which are independent media.

I think that the debate also shows that we have to be very vigilant, not only in the three countries which we are debating today, but in all the Member States. Because when you look into the Media Pluralism Monitor, which we published last year and which we will publish again in June this year, the trend is worsening everywhere in Europe, almost everywhere. And so the vigilance is very, very important and we have to look at the issues from a wider perspective because we have a lot of lessons from recent history when we saw how democratic society was becoming an autocratic regime. And it was always the same pattern: switching off the safeguards.

Ruining the democratic safeguards, like independent justice, of course independent media, narrowing the space for civil society, being comfortable with specific citizens. The message is: if you want to be active come to elect once in four years and in the meantime, just shut up. I think that this is what we can see already now in some places in Europe.

I am not happy to say it, but we have to do more against these trends. That’s why we came with the idea of the rule of law report, which is covering all these different pillars, which we need for the rule of law principle to be respected at the Member State level. That’s why we are looking at justice system, at media. We are looking at anti–corruption fight and some other things. And we are looking at all the Member States, not only at some. Because we also need to see the trend. We need to be able to start a dialogue with the Member State early enough when we see a worrying negative trend.

It’s not the first time the Commission is devoting so much effort and energy to the media sector, because also, as I said, we have varying trends quite visible in in many Member States. And this is the multi-layer issue. This week I will have another meeting with my fellow Commissioners. I will represent the field of values, freedom of speech and right to information.

Thierry Breton will represent economic matters, because we need better financing and a stable economic situation for the media. We see clearly that the media are economically weak they are such easy targets for the political pressures. There will be Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for competition policy, which is so important in my view to change because we have to capture the cases of mergers of the media at the national level, which go against the freedom of expression and freedom of media.

I will have the colleague, Ms Johansson, who is representing the field of law enforcement and security for journalists, because we have to do more on this side. Yes, we have two murdered journalists already and we have hundreds of attacks against the journalists in Europe this year, mainly online and mainly against women.

So we have data. We have to work with the data properly. All the tools must be used in a forum. So I am in favour of progress in Article 7 because we got stuck for too long a time and we have to see some progress.

Maybe the lack of enforceable rules, which many of you mentioned, at EU level show that such a worsening of the media situation was not foreseen by the legislators in the past. It was taken for granted that the media will always be protected and be able to work without any fear and without any political or economic pressure, while we see the truth.

And that’s why I am really considering coming up with new measures and new tools. And, as I said at the beginning, we must stop looking at media only as the economic actor on the single market. This is a fatal mistake. We have to enrich our toolbox.

The situation in the Member States should improve and this worrying trend should be stopped. Not because Brussels wants that. It has to stop because the citizens in all the Member States need to be objectively informed, because elections also are at stake. We need to guarantee free and fair elections. We need to guarantee that citizens will not be manipulated, that they will be able to cast their autonomous and free vote. And this is extremely important.

Two weeks ago, I participated in the All4Jan Award, organised in honour of the murdered journalist, Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. And the prize rewarded Telex in Hungary, which started from scratch a few months ago, thanks to the support of readers. So at this moment, I would like to pay tribute to all journalists, media workers, media companies and organisations who keep fighting and doing their job under very difficult circumstances.

Ladies and gentlemen, to conclude, I know I am beyond the time, one minute, please. I would like now to switch into my language, the Czech language, because I was inspired by Ms Beata Szydło, who said here that she is Polish.

Já jsem Češka, jsem hrdá Češka. Jsem hrdá Češka i proto, že Česká republika dokázala za 30 let budovat velmi stabilní demokratický systém. A když byla nějaká ohrožení, tak se okamžitě česká společnost začala ozývat. Není vyhráno a nikde není vyhráno.

Ale jako Češka, která se narodila v roce 1964, jsem tedy dost stará, abych si pamatovala dobu před rokem 1989. Panovala jediná oficiální doktrína diktovaná stranou a vládou, která byla neotřesitelná a nesesaditelná, která vládla bez jakékoli veřejné kontroly. Za svobodný názor se šlo do vězení. A to, že jsme dnes společně v Evropské unii, to je pro mě garance, že se tahle situace nebude opakovat v žádném z evropských států. Nepřeji to žádným občanům žádného evropského státu.

Proto když říkám, že udělám všechno, abych bránila demokratické hodnoty včetně svobody médií, tak to skutečně plyne i z mého hlubokého přesvědčení, že je to nutné. Proto dávám takhle silné sliby, protože věřím, že je budu moci naplňovat.


  Ana Paula Zacarias, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhor Presidente, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, permitam-me que nesta intervenção final vos repita o firme compromisso da Presidência e do Conselho na defesa da proteção da liberdade de imprensa, na defesa do Estado de Direito, na defesa da proteção e da promoção dos direitos fundamentais. Esta é uma responsabilidade partilhada com as demais instituições e com os próprios Estados-Membros. Devemos, em conjunto, respeitar, proteger e promover os nossos valores comuns. Só assim podemos ser credíveis também na nossa ação externa.

Os meios de comunicação social independentes simultaneamente assentam e têm um impacto na defesa do Estado de direito e no respeito pelos direitos fundamentais. A vitalidade das nossas democracias pode ser vista pelo pluralismo e pelo dinamismo dos nossos mídia.

Como disse a Senhora Comissária, o panorama dos mídia está a mudar na Europa e está a mudar a nível mundial. Temos que ser muito vigilantes para ter a certeza de que a liberdade de imprensa e o pluralismo se mantêm neste novo quadro.

Permitam-me por isso, Senhores Deputados, Senhoras Deputadas, ser muito clara a este respeito. Nós estamos atentos à situação na Polónia e na Hungria. Continuaremos o diálogo com estes dois países no quadro do artigo 7.º, um dossiê que a Presidência portuguesa está empenhada em fazer avançar, estando o tema, em princípio, agendado para o Conselho dos Assuntos Gerais de maio.

Recordo que estas audições devem recorrer num contexto presencial e no âmbito de um Conselho formal. As videoconferências informais de ministros não são reuniões formais do Conselho, sendo que qualquer audição organizada por videoconferência estaria fora do âmbito do procedimento definido pelo artigo 7.º e sujeito a contestação perante o Tribunal de Justiça.

Em relação à Eslovénia as circunstâncias são diferentes, não se aplicando o quadro do artigo 7.º. O Conselho estará atento às constatações da Comissão no âmbito do mecanismo do Estado de direito e este é, sem dúvida, o melhor instrumento que temos neste momento no Conselho para discutir estes temas. Temos que ser vigilantes. Temos que trabalhar em conjunto. Como já disse, o pluralismo dos mídia é um dos pilares do relatório anual da Comissão sobre o Estado de direito, o qual, por sua vez, constitui a base do diálogo específico que temos com cinco Estados-Membros de cada vez em cada semestre no Conselho.

Como já referi, durante a Presidência portuguesa iremos discutir a situação do Estado de direito em cinco Estados-Membros, e todos os Estados—Membros serão depois, paulatinamente, avaliados numa situação sobre a sua situação em termos do Estado de direito e da situação dos mídia.

A Presidência tomou boa nota das opiniões diversas expressas ao longo deste debate e expressá-las-á junto do Conselho.


  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)


  Patryk Jaki (ECR), na piśmie. – Martwi mnie próba ingerencji UE w rynek medialny w Polsce, gdzie media reprezentują głównie negatywny stosunek do polskiego rządu. Nie ma żadnych, podkreślam to, żadnych dowodów na próby jakiegokolwiek uciszania jakiegokolwiek dziennikarza. Dziennikarze w Polsce mają pełną swobodę wypowiedzi. Nie ma też żadnych działań legislacyjnych, które mogłyby naruszyć status mediów. Nie ma też żadnych dowodów na to, aby jakikolwiek organ władzy publicznej próbował inwigilować lub wywierać wpływ na media w Polsce.

Kolejny raz Polska jest pomawiana, a instytucje UE wykorzystywane w wewnętrznej walce politycznej. W mojej opinii nawet trudno jest poważnie odnosić się do kolejnych niepopartych faktami insynuacji.


  Łukasz Kohut (S&D), na piśmie. – W dniu dzisiejszym wszyscy posłowie do Parlamentu Europejskiego otrzymali list od redaktora naczelnego polskiej „Gazety Wyborczej” – pisma, które stało się symbolem pokazującym, że wolne media to esencja wolności i demokracji. Adam Michnik, jak sam stwierdza, używa w nim ostrych słów, bo czas eufemizmów się skończył. Pisze o uczynieniu z mediów publicznych w Polsce tuby propagandowej władzy, szykanowaniu niezależnych dziennikarzy, atakach na niezależne redakcje przy wykorzystaniu narzędzi ekonomicznych i prawnych.

Ja się z redaktorem Michnikiem absolutnie zgadzam. Na poziomie regionalnym mojego Śląska widzę te procesy równie wyraźnie, jak na poziomie centralnym. W zniewalaniu niezależnych mediów Budapeszt posunął się nawet dalej niż Warszawa. W podobnym kierunku zaczyna podążać Słowenia. Koleżanki, Koledzy, czas powiedzieć to głośno: śmierć wolnych mediów to śmierć demokracji, to koniec Unii Europejskiej jako wspólnoty opartej na wartościach. Jeżeli nie chcemy końca projektu europejskiego, instytucje Unii muszą działać. Wszystkie. Szybko i bezkompromisowo.


  Janina Ochojska (PPE), na piśmie. – Wolność mediów oraz niezależność dziennikarzy to podstawy funkcjonowania demokratycznego społeczeństwa. Nie możemy mówić o państwie demokratycznym, jeśli w jego obrębie naruszana jest wolność słowa, a media próbuje się zastraszyć lub zawłaszczyć.

Niestety w moim kraju, w Polsce, rząd PiS nie tylko przekształcił media państwowe we własny propagandowy środek przekazu, ale również stara się uciszyć tych, którzy przekazują prawdę i nie podlegają partyjnym wpływom. Niezależność utraciły również media lokalne, które zostały przejęte przez państwowy koncern Orlen. Mowa nienawiści w stosunku do przedstawicieli opozycji oraz organów UE, które upominają Polskę choćby w przestrzeganiu praworządności i poszanowaniu niezależności sądów, to element stałego przekazu mediów rządowych. Wolne media, które patrzą władzy na ręce są traktowane jak wróg, którego należy pokonać i zniszczyć, na przykład poprzez nałożenie nowego podatku od reklam.

Dostęp do rzetelnych informacji oraz prawo wyboru źródła przekazu to prawo do wolnego decydowania i podejmowania przez każdego z nas własnych, niezależnych wyborów zgodnie z własnymi przekonaniami i sumieniem. Obywatele mają prawo do dostępu do informacji, a pluralizm mediów jest gwarantem wolności i suwerenności. To nie jest debata o wolności mediów, to debata o wolności każdego człowieka.


  Bettina Vollath (S&D), schriftlich. – Alle in der EU lebenden Bürgerinnen und Bürger haben das Recht auf unabhängige Informationen. Unsere Pflicht als Abgeordnete ist es, dieses Recht auf europäischer Ebene zu verteidigen, wenn auf nationalstaatlicher Ebene die Schutzmechanismen ausgehebelt werden. Der Zugang zu wahrheitsgemäßen Fakten und Informationen, die Sicherheit geben und den Zusammenhalt stärken, ist für Demokratie und Gesellschaft unabdingbar. Nur wenn Medien unabhängig arbeiten und somit auch Kritik an der Regierung und deren Handeln ausüben können, ist ihre wichtige Kontrollfunktion gewährleistet. Pressefreiheit, Medienpluralismus, Unabhängigkeit und Schutz der Journalistinnen und Journalisten sind die essentiellen Voraussetzungen für eine demokratische Gesellschaft, als die sich jedes EU-Mitgliedsland versteht. Wir müssen jetzt handeln, bevor sich weitere Staaten, nach Ungarn, Polen und Slowenien durch Untätigkeit der europäischen Institutionen dazu eingeladen fühlen, ihre nationale Medienlandschaft ebenfalls nach eigenen Vorstellungen zu gestalten. Regierungen dürfen Medien weder direkt noch indirekt als eigenes Sprachrohr nutzen. Die EU muss daher sicherstellen, dass Gelder aus dem Wiederaufbaufonds nicht von Regierungen zum Ausbau ihrer eigenen Kontrolle über die nationale Medienlandschaft missbraucht werden. Dafür gilt es auch Vertragsverletzungsverfahren zu nutzen.

Letzte Aktualisierung: 8. Mai 2024Rechtlicher Hinweis - Datenschutzbestimmungen