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EU to debate controversial Polish media law

(London Post)   The EU has said it will start a process against Poland following its adoption of a controversial media law. The law has led to fears that Warsaw wants to clamp down on free speech.

 European leaders on Sunday called for a debate over the rule of law in Poland following the country’s amendment of a media law some say could undermine democracy.

Poland’s governing nationalist party pushed the amendment through parliament in December. The legislation, which gives the government power to appoint managers of state-run news organizations, must be signed by the president before it becomes official.

The European Commission said it would debate the rule of law in Poland on January 13. Brussels’ announcement came after German politician Günther Oettinger called on the EU to address the issue.

European concerns

In an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said it was “arbitrary” to dismiss a director of a news agency without giving a reason.

“An even bigger concern of ours is that state broadcasters could lose their function, namely to inform citizens independently, and for that we need to strengthen the independence of regulators,” Oettinger said.

The European Commission wrote to Polish ministers expressing its concern over the law. Poland’s current government, the Euroskeptic Law and Justice party (PiS), has rejected the idea that it wants tolimit free speech .

blc/rc (AFP, Reuters)

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