EBU warns on threat to Polish pubcaster independence

TVPEBU president Jean-Paul Philippot has written an open letter to Poland’s new president expressing his “grave concern” about proposed changes to public service media in the country.

The EBU is concerned that structural and personnel changes affecting the governance of EBU members Telewizja Polska and Polskie Radio will compromise their independence.

“Any changes in the governance system of TVP and PR should be taken after a thorough analysis and impact assessment, and should be the result of an open democratic debate. The EBU is ready to assist the Polish government and provide expert legal advice,” said Philippot in his letter.

“The way PSM supervisory and management boards are appointed is a crucial factor to ensure the independence of PSM organisations. Pluralism and independence from political powers are key principles of public service media in a democratic society, as set out by the European Court of Human Rights and several reference texts by the Council of Europe. Despite a systemic lack of public funding, the Polish public service media system has been among the most successful transformation models in Central and Eastern Europe. It is not time to reverse what has so far been a positive trend since the fall of communism in Poland.”

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