Polish Parliament reorganizes state media despite European concerns

The Polish Parliament passed measures Wednesday that give the current conservative government more control over public broadcasters, despite objections from the European Commission and media rights groups.

The law makes broadcasters TVP and Polish Radio "national cultural institutes" and removes the current directors, to be replaced by new executives which can be appointed by the government.

The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) won a majority in October to govern alone for the first time.

Frans Timmermans, European Commission first vice-president, expressed concerns about the measures Wednesday prior to the vote, and asked for explanation from the Polish government.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued a joint statement voicing outrage at the legislation, saying it would abolish existing "safeguards for pluralism and independence of public service media governance" in Poland.

The media law passed 232-152 with 34 abstentions in the Sejm, the lower chamber of parliament.

Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 08:04
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