European Commission supports free media

Press release 16.09.2022 13.30 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka. (Image: Laura Kotila, VNK)

On 16 September 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for a Media Freedom Act (MFA). The aim of the Act is to harmonise the legal framework of EU Member States in the media sector to enhance the functioning of the internal market and to promote media freedom.

“Responsible and independent media are among the cornerstones of a democratic society. The Media Freedom Act aims to ensure a good operating environment for independent media across the EU,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

Finland supports the Commission's work for promoting the freedom of expression. From Finland’s perspective, free and reliable media support democracy, especially in the current situation of international politics. Finland supports the objectives of the Act to promote the freedom of media and the functioning of the media market within the EU.

In the Finnish media regulation sector, particular emphasis is placed on self-regulation. For example, the Council for Mass Media plays an important role as a self-regulation body. Finland aims to influence EU media regulation so that the functioning of Finnish media, which on a global scale are considered free, is not hampered by excessive regulation.

“There should be no interference in the functioning of professional media, but any flaws in the operating conditions should be corrected. Media concentration must be monitored, pluralism is the guarantee of Finnish democracy,” says Minister Harakka.

What's next?

In the next stage, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU will discuss the proposal. It will also be discussed in a Council working group, in which Finland actively participates.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications, together with other key ministries, will draw up a Union communication, on the basis of which Parliament will form Finland’s position on the Commission's proposal. Stakeholders will be consulted in the preparation of the communication.

Inquiries:

Antti Malste, Special Adviser to Minister Harakka, antti.malste(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 295 342 135

Eero Salojärvi, Senior Officer, eero.salojarvi (at) gov.fi, tel. +358 50 577 3284

Roosa Patrakka, Senior Officer, roosa.patrakka(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 431 7036

Aino Sipari, Director of Unit, aino.sipari(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 326 5829