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Odabrani dokument : B7-0090/2009

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Glasovanja :

PV 21/10/2009 - 3.1
CRE 21/10/2009 - 3.1

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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0090/2009

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on freedom of information in Italy

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Rebecca Harms, Judith Sargentini, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Indrek Tarand

on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

European Parliament resolution on freedom of information in Italy  

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the Treaty on the European Union and notably its provisions on the respect, promotion and protection of fundamental rights,


- having regard to Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concerning freedom of expression and information as well as pluralism of the media,


- having regard to Directive 2007/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 amending Council Directive 89/552/EEC on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities(1),


- having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled 'Media pluralism in the Member States of the European Union' (SEC(2007)0032),


- having regard to the preliminary report of the independent UCL-ICRI study on the indicators of media pluralism carried out for the Commission in April 2009,


- having regard to its resolution of 25 September 2008 on media concentration and pluralism in the European Union,


- having regard to its resolution of 22 April 2004 on the risks of violation in the European Union and particularly in Italy of freedom of expression and information(2),

- having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the European Union defends and promotes freedom of expression and information, as provided for by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, where media freedom and pluralism are considered an essential aspect of those freedoms,

B.  whereas these freedoms include freedom of opinion and freedom to receive and communicate information without interference or pressure from the authorities,

C. whereas in Italy, particularly in recent months, concern has arisen regarding respect for this right, especially in relation to pressure exerted and legal action brought by the Prime Minister, Mr Berlusconi, against some of the main Italian newspapers and against some European newspapers following the publication of information concerning him,

D. whereas interference and pressure from the Italian authorities have likewise been observed in relation to Italian State television broadcasting and especially its programming,

E.  whereas, in recent years, since Mr Berlusconi encouraged companies not to advertise in newspapers hostile to his positions, many of them have transferred much of their advertising from the print media and public television to Mediaset (a company which Mr Berlusconi controls),

F.  whereas the Prime Minister is accused of having heavily influenced appointments to key posts in the State television company RAI in spring 2009,

G. whereas last summer the political turmoil surrounding Mr Berlusconi's private life was hardly reported on RAI channels, and whereas Mr Berlusconi went on air on two occasions alone and unchallenged,

H. whereas the Italian Government, in September 2009, denied legal protection to the most important investigative news programme (Report) and has indicated its intention to take proceedings against various RAI programmes accused of defamation,

I.   whereas RAI has started to encrypt its broadcasting on Italian satellite pay-TV, a step resulting in serious financial cuts at RAI and giving Mediaset an advantage in terms of advertisement income,

J.   whereas this pressure and the situation arising from it have caused protests in Italy and Europe from representatives of cultural life, the press and other media, as well as in the political arena, where there have been public appeals against bullying of the media, involving among others the 'Articolo 21' association and three prominent Italian constitutionalists, whose appeal has already received more than 445 000 signatures in Italy and Europe, including those of well-known European political and cultural figures,

K. whereas, in connection with the Commission's request for clarification on the Italian Government's asylum policy, the Italian Prime Minister declared that he had proposed to the European Council that the Commission President should be the only member of the Commission authorised to disseminate information about that Institution's activities, and had threatened to block the functioning of the Council if his proposal was not followed - thus provoking an official statement in reaction from the International Press Association,

L.  whereas the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklós Haraszti, sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Italy on 20 September 2009 calling on him to drop the libel suits seeking damages of €3 m from Italian newspapers,

M. whereas, as already pointed out in other of its resolutions, the most recent Italian legislation has not resolved the issue at the heart of the conflict of interests, which is that the Prime Minister still controls the company Mediaset and has political control over the public-service sector in a situation where the level of concentration on the television market is the highest in Europe and the RAI-Mediaset duopoly has almost 90% of the entire TV audience, thereby collecting 96.8% of advertising revenue,

N. whereas Italy is ranked 73rd in the report on press freedom issued by Freedom House and is for the first time designated as being a country where the press is only 'partially free',

O. whereas the Council has a tool - namely the Article 7 procedure - by means of which a Member State can be warned about, and punished for, breaches of human rights and it can be ensured that Member States adhere to the common rules of the Union,

P.  whereas, despite its repeated calls, the Commission did not make any provision for protecting pluralism of information in the context of the revision of the 'Television without Frontiers' Directive, committing itself instead to a specific three-step procedure in this field whereby it would draft a working document (adopted in 2007), devise indicators to define the state of pluralism (as established by an independent study finished in July 2009) and issue a draft communication concerning these indicators (scheduled only for 2010),

Q. having regard to its repeated calls to the Commission, in various resolutions, to take action to protect pluralism, to issue an urgent communication on safeguarding media pluralism in the Member States and to complete the regulatory framework as a matter of urgency by submitting a proposal for a directive on this issue,

1.  Deplores the pressure and intimidation brought to bear on Italian and European newspapers by the Italian authorities, endorses the OSCE Representative's request to the Italian authorities to halt these actions immediately and considers any interference in freedom of information with the aim of manipulating State broadcasting to be an abuse of power;

2.  Considers it necessary to address the anomaly represented by the specific conflict of interests between political power, economic and media power and concentration of control, whether direct or indirect, of State and private information media and underscores the need to ensure that, in all Member States, the public broadcaster is independent and not subject to interference;

3.  Considers that the divergences between national laws with regard to media concentration may harm the operation of the internal market and particularly the free movement of services and freedom of establishment and expresses its approval of any initiative designed to promote the convergence of such national rules;

4.  Considers that the Italian example has implications far beyond Italy and that the lack of a European response would threaten one of the foundations of democracy, jeopardise the progress made in former Eastern bloc countries now part of the EU and weaken any European condemnation, in the context of external relations, of censorship or press intimidation;

5.  Considers that freedom to receive and communicate information without interference from public authorities is a fundamental principle upon which the European Union is based and an essential element of democracy, as is pluralism of the information media, both of which are enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and stresses that - in cases where Member States do not take the necessary measures - the Union has the political and legal obligation to guarantee its citizens - in the areas of its competence - respect for these rights;

6.  Reaffirms in this context that the EU's legislative framework in the field of information media still remains fragmented and that it is therefore urgent that the EU use its powers with regard to the audiovisual media, competition, telecommunications, State aid, public-service obligations and the fundamental rights of citizens in order to define at least the key minimum standards which the Member States are expected to observe with the aim of ensuring, safeguarding and promoting freedom of information as well as an appropriate level of pluralism;

7.  Invites the Council to initiate the procedure under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union whereby a Member State can be warned of, and punished for, breaches of human rights;

8.  Urges the Commission, in particular, as a matter of urgency, to draft a proposal for a directive on media concentration and on the protection of pluralism, having first defined, in a communication on the issue, appropriate indicators for determining levels of information pluralism - something that it has already requested several times and which the Commission itself has announced;

9.  Calls on Italy to fulfil its commitments in relation to UN Special Procedures and to cooperate fully with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, allowing him to visit Italy;

10. Requests its committee responsible to follow up this issue;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Council of Europe and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.



OJ L 332, 18.12.2007, p. 27.


OJ C 104 E, 20.4.2004, p. 1026.

Posljednje ažuriranje: 21. svibnja 2010.Pravna napomena