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Photograph: freeimages.com/Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski

The European Commission said on Tuesday that it considered the independence of regulators in the audio-visual sector very important for media freedoms and was therefore closely following the situation in Croatia.

The independence of regulators in the audio-visual field is a very important issue. They are very crucial for ensuring media pluralism and media freedoms. Therefore the Commission has been closely watching the recent events in Croatia, where the government has proposed the replacement of the entire Electronic Media Council, the Commission said when asked about the proposal.

The Croatian government has given a negative opinion on a report on the work of the Electronic Media Council and the Electronic Media Agency in 2014 and proposed that parliament replace all Council members over serious omissions in the execution of their legal obligations.

In its reply, the Commission said the European Union's current rules in the audio-visual sector did not offer a legal basis for ensuring the independence of regulators and that the possibility of introducing an obligation to make regulators independent was therefore being considered.

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