Lex TVN became the subject of a joint statement by US Democratic and Republican senators. In their opinion, the amendment to the media law proposed by PiS would “violate the freedom and independence of the media and jeopardize American media investments in Poland”.
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. On the license for TVN24 took place On July 22, two votes at the National Broadcasting Council. However, no decisions were made.
The Parliamentary Culture and Media Committee adopted while on July 27, a draft amendment to the media law with amendments and sent it for further work.
TVN is owned by Discovery through its subsidiary Polish Television Holding BV in the Netherlands, and thus belonging to the European Economic Area.
Lex TVN. Joint Statement by US Democratic and Republican Senators
On Wednesday, US Senators and Republican Democrats issued a joint statement on the matter.
“Today Senator Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat-New Hampshire), Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs for European Affairs and Regional Defense Cooperation, has issued the following joint statement, with Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Chairman of the Helsinki Commission Ben Cardin (D-MD) and the head of the republican minority in the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Jim Risch (R-ID) in response to a bill proposed to the Polish Sejm, which would violate the freedom and independence of the media and jeopardize American media investment in Poland “- the senators wrote in the introduction.
“The continuing deviation of the Polish government from democratic standards, the most recent example of which is efforts to curb media independence and undermine one of the largest American investments in the country, is extremely worrying. As a cross-party group of US senators, we want to make it clear to the Polish government that we are closely monitoring We are monitoring a bill submitted to the Polish Sejm, which, if adopted and became law, would discriminate against companies outside the European Union and would probably lead to the exit of a serious American investor from Poland, which employs several thousand people. renewing the license for TVN is another step in the direction that threatens Polish democracy. It is not a way to attract foreign investment, and it will further limit the freedom of the media, for which Poles have fought for so long, “wrote the senators.
“These and other steps taken recently by Poland, a NATO ally and close partner and friend of the United States, do not reflect the common values that underpin our bilateral relations. The decision to implement such a law may have negative consequences for defense, business and defense relations. We urge the Polish government to reflect before taking any decisions that could adversely affect our long-term relations, the senators wrote.
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