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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Lex TVN. Jarosław Gowin: The act in the interest of Poland requires correction

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The anti-TVN act in the interest of Poland requires correction – said Jarosław Gowin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development, Labor and Technology in TVN24’s “Tak jest” program. 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, it is” 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 adding OECD countries, including the US, to the countries of the European Economic Area, excluded from the 49 percent limit. – 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.

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.


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Polish-American relations

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 Ministry of Development, Labor and Technology, in the announcement informing about the meeting, noted that “the United States is one of the most important trade partners of Poland 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.

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.

According to Gowin, all Polish politicians should follow the rule: “I may not agree with your views, but until the end of my days I will fight for your right to be able to 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

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