EU and US criticizing Poland for repressive media law

EU and US criticizing Poland for repressive media law

The Polish parliament’s approval of a controversial media law led to strong criticism from both the European Union and the United States with US-based TV company Discovery saying it will take legal action against Poland referring to an investment treaty between the US and Poland.

The Polish parliament’s lower house passed the law that the opposition says the government is using to stop a government-critical TV channel. The government says the new law is needed to stop foreign powers from taking control over the country’s broadcasters.

The legislation aims to limit non-EU ownership of broadcasters in the country. Opposition says the government’s plan is to force US company Discovery to sell the country’s biggest TV network, TVN. Discovery owns TVN via a subsidiary based in Holland.

Discovery said: “The legislation is the latest assault on independent media and freedom of the press, and takes direct aim at Discovery’s TVN”.

Vera Jourova, European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency, tweeted “We need a #MediaFreedomAct in the whole EU to uphold media freedom and support the rule of law”.


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US government was “deeply troubled” by the approval of the law.

Next step is that the media law is sent to the Polish Senate. If the Senate would make changes, the law can be returned to the lower house of the parliament that has the final say.

Prior to the voting in the parliament, prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, fired his deputy, Jaroslaw Gowin, who was against the new media legislation and who is the leader of a smaller party that together with the Law and Justice party forms a coalition government. With his party leaving the governing coalition would have a majority problem.

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