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  • 8 January 2016

    “Poland fully acknowledges media freedom and pluralism regarding them as a crucial element of a pluralistic society,” notes MFA Undersecretary of State Aleksander Stępkowski in his reply to the letter of 30 December 2015, in which the Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, appealed to Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski to discontinue work to amend the Broadcasting Act.

    Aleksander Stępkowski, addressing concerns raised by Commissioner Timmermans, wrote that recital 94 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (Directive 2010/13/EU) has nothing to do with the Act of 30 December 2015 amending the Broadcasting Act. “The amending act of 30 December 2015 deals with the State’s proprietary powers exercised in companies being under the ownership of the Polish State and it is by no means an implementation measure of Directive 2010/13/EU,” explains Poland’s deputy foreign minister. “Competences of the National Broadcasting Council, including competences the aim of which is to ensure media pluralism, stay untouched. There is no EU law that would require a media market regulatory body to have the power to determine the composition of management boards of public media companies,” writes the deputy foreign minister.

     

    In connection with the above, the MFA Undersecretary of State expressed his supposition that the Vice-President of the European Commission could have been provided with misleading information that is biased against the Polish Government. “Freedom of information and freedom of speech are fully appreciated and respected by the Polish Government, which is taking the necessary steps to fully ensure them,” stressed MFA’s deputy chief. At the same time, he expressed the Polish Government’s readiness to cooperate with the European Commission, but notes that “exposing the Polish Government to interventions inspired by unjust, biased and politically engaged enunciations might have an undesirable effect, which is to be carefully avoided.”

     

    Deputy Minister Aleksander Stępkowski also drew the Commissioner’s attention to the recent statement by the Polish Journalists’ Association dated 31 December, 2015, which reads as follows: “In recent years, public media have reached a state of pathology which is characterized, among other things, by political partisanship and the lack of pluralism. In turn, this has led to manipulation and presentation of a distorted picture of Poland. Public media are not fulfilling their mission or duties which the Polish Journalists’ Association has pointed out during its Extraordinary Assembly, calling for a radical change in this respect.” Deputy Minister Aleksander Stępkowski also notes that “The Polish Government is going to meet the expectations expressed by the biggest Polish organization of media professionals.”

     

     

     

    Artur Dmochowski

    MFA Spokesman

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