The anti-TVN act in the interest of Poland needs to be corrected, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development, Labor and Technology Jarosław Gowin in the “Tak jest” program on TVN24. He announced that the Agreement would not support the provisions as proposed by Law and Justice. In Gowin’s opinion, the adoption of the law in its present form “will not have negative consequences for Polish-American relations”.
Sejm’s Culture and Media Committee during the session on July 27 adopted with amendments the draft amendment to the media law. – I have no doubts that this act, in the interest of Poland, requires correction. This amendment proposed by the Agreement is fully rational, fully realizes the objectives of the amendment, and at the same time prevents a situation in which, for example, the principle of freedom of speech may be questioned, that such accusations may be raised that freedom of speech in Poland would be threatened – he said in the program “Yes,” Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin.
– As it currently stands, the Agreement will not support this act and I hope that we will work out a compromise here – emphasized the head of the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism. The agreement proposes to add OECD countries to the European Economic Area countries excluded from the 49 percent limit, including United States. – In my opinion, in this shape it is a harmful project, a correction is needed. I am also counting on cooperation across the divisions between the government camp and the opposition. I hope that my amendment will be supported by both Law and Justice and opposition MPs, said Gowin. He pointed out that it was about the “principle of media pluralism and economic freedom”.
The deputy prime minister was asked about Polish-American relations in the context of the proposed solutions. “Certainly, the Biden administration is watching this matter very carefully. It expresses this many times and it is not necessary to talk to representatives of the American government to know that the adoption of the law in this form will not have negative consequences for Polish-American relations, and consequently also for the security of Poland, Gowin pointed out.
On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Gowin spoke with the US trade representative Katherine Tai. Among the topics covered were, among others issues related to American investments in Poland. The deputy prime minister admitted in the program “Tak jest” that the topic of TVN also appeared during the conversation. On this topic Deputy Prime Minister Gowin also spoke with US Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo in July.
The Ministry of Development, Labor and Technology in the announcement informing about Wednesday’s meeting with Katherine Tai pointed out that “the United States is one of Poland’s most important trade partners outside the European Union”. “This is our second export and third import market. In 2020, mutual trade amounted to USD 15.5 billion. In the first quarter of 2021, Polish exports increased by 14% y / y” – we read.
As emphasized in the press release, “Poland is the main recipient of American investments in Central and Eastern Europe.” “Our country invests 40 percent of the total capital invested by American companies in the countries of our region” – indicated the ministry. A report prepared by KPMG was cited, which shows that companies with American capital employ approx. 267 thousand people in Poland. employees.
The deputy prime minister also admitted that he saw no reason why TVN24 had been waiting for the extension of the license for 18 months. – I do not see any reason, especially since the National Broadcasting Council, also in its present shape, has already granted licenses for TVN’s substitution – pointed out the Minister of Development.
Gowin declares: “I may not agree with your views, but to the end of my days I will fight for your right so that you can proclaim them.”
Anti-TVN project and license for TVN24
On July 7, a group of Law and Justice deputies submitted to the Sejm a draft amendment to the Broadcasting Act. “The will of the legislator is that companies based in Poland cannot be controlled by entities outside the European Economic Area” – it was written in the justification. Commentators agree that the changes are aimed at TVN’s independence.
TVN24 is still waiting for the National Broadcasting Council to extend its license, which expires on September 26. An application for its extension was submitted in February 2020. KRRiT claims that the problem lies in the “ownership situation” of the TVN group.
The station’s management wrote in a statement that in 2015 the National Broadcasting Council accepted the entry of American capital into TVN. Since 2016 – under the same ownership conditions – KRRiT has already issued licenses for TVN24 BiS, TTV and TVN International West. Two votes in the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) have been held in recent days regarding the license for TVN24. However, no decisions were made.
TVN is owned by Discovery through its subsidiary Polish Television Holding BV in the Netherlands, and thus belonging to the European Economic Area.
Main photo source: TVN24