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European Media Freedom Act (EMFA)

Status: In draft

  • Commission’s proposal published 16 September 2022
  • Council adopted its position on 21 June 2023
  • Parliament adopted its position on October 2023
  • Interinstitutional negotiations ‘trilogues’ are ongoing with the next political trilogues scheduled for 29 November and 15 December where the negotiators are expected to reach a final deal
  • Final adoption expected end of Q4 2023
  • Application expected 6 months after entry into force in Q2 2024 (with certain provisions on setting up a potential European Board for Media Service already applicable within 3 months and others on rights of customisation of audiovisual media offer only applicable within 48 months after entry into force)


Proposal for a European Regulation aiming to strengthen media independence and media pluralism in the EU. The framework comes with both rights and duties for media players.


Media Service Providers defined as "a natural or legal person whose professional activity is to provide a media service and who has editorial responsibility for the choice of the content of the media service and determines the manner in which it is organised” and including in particular

  • Entities providing television or radio broadcasts, on-demand audiovisual media services, audio podcasts or press publications
  • Video-sharing platforms or very large online platforms when exercising editorial control

Key elements

  • Right of media users to plurality of content related to news and current affairs (in accordance with fundamental right to information)
  • Guaranteeing editorial freedom and protection of journalists
  • Safeguards for the independent functioning of public service media providers
  • Monitoring system regarding transparency of ownership of media service providers providing news and current affairs content
  • Establishing the European Board for Media Services, a new “watchdog” for media freedom replacing the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA)
  • Assessment of M&A transactions in the media sector to ensure pluralism and to prevent media market concentration


  • Transparency obligations for media outlets (possibly also online platforms when providing news) regarding their direct, indirect and beneficial ownership
  • Providers of very large online platforms have to award media outlets a privileged status when it comes to content removal
  • Possibly extensive regulation of media market concentration that might bring significant changes on merger control regimes for the media sector
  • Concerns about legislative competency for the subject matter regulated by the EMFA (Article 114 TFEU)
  • Concerns about undermining existing, non-governmental media oversight