National Media Act
On 21 April 2016 the new media law package proposal was submitted to the Polish Parliament. The package consists of three draft laws: 1) National Media Act, 2) Audiovisual dues Act and 3) Law introducing National Media Law Act and Audiovisual dues Act.
Opinion of the Helsinki Foundation for Human RightsThe public media draft laws are in many aspects vague, non-transparent and leave room for political influence. They contradict therefore the relevant European standards concerning independent and pluralistic public media established both within the EU and CoE legal frameworks.
The proposed regulations significantly limits the role of the constitutional organ – the National Broadcasting Council (Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji) - by transferring some of its competences to the National Media Council. That is why the new law proposal brings allegations as to its non-conformity with the Polish Constitution which clearly provides that it is the National Broadcasting Council which safeguards the freedom of expression, the right to information as well as and the public interest regarding radio broadcasting and television.
There are also several provisions in the draft laws package which make public media vulnerable to the unjustified interference in their editorial independence. For example, the proposed regulations impose an obligation of public media to broadcast any views of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Polish Sejm and Speaker of the Polish Senate in a specific airtime solely upon a request of the person holding any of these functions.