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Transparency of Media Ownership within the EMFA

The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) and the Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) have published a policy paper taking a closer look at the provisions on transparency of media ownership under the proposal for the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) and their shortcomings to make recommendations on this topic vital to media pluralism, media freedom, and democracy. We need meaningful transparency at both the national and the EU level, which can be achieved by creating media ownership databases.

Transparency of media ownership strengthens the accountability of media service providers, while with the support of public scrutiny, it enforces media freedom and pluralism. Transparency of media ownership also improves the functioning and convergence of the EU media market. Moreover, transparency is key to informing the public about possible political interference and allowing regulators to prevent media ownership from being excessively concentrated in the hands of too few owners, which have undue influence over democratic discussions.

This paper was written by Lucie Smith (Policy Officer at the European Partnership for Democracy) and Eva Simon (Senior Advocacy Officer / Tech & Rights Lead at Liberties)