The anti-TVN law, after it was passed by the Sejm, is now waiting for the Senate’s decision. Accordingly, a group of senators made a statement on this matter. They assure that the “democratic majority” will not agree to this “lawlessness”. They also write that the purpose of the law “is to deprive Poles of the right to freedom of speech and to take control by the ruling party over another important independent medium, after the public media and newspapers of the Polska Press group.”
On August 11, the Sejm adopted the anti-TVN law. It was supported by 228 MPs, with 216 votes against and 10 abstentions. In the unanimous opinion of commentators, the new regulations, the draft of which were submitted to the Sejm by PiS MPs, are aimed at the independence of TVN. Many journalists, politicians and institutions protested against the changes in the media law. Now the regulations have passed to the Senate.
Read more on Konkret24: Lex TVN and the TVN24 license: two different cases joined in time
“Statement on the defense of free media in Poland”
Therefore, a group of several dozen senators on Wednesday presented “a statement on the defense of free media in Poland”. 52 people signed it, mainly representatives of the Civic Coalition, the Polish Coalition – the Polish People’s Party and the Left.
“We, senators of the democratic majority in the Senate, will not support the amendment of the Broadcasting Act, called ‘Lex TVN’. We believe that this act violates the fundamental values of the rule of law on which the Republic of Poland is built,” we read.
“Freedom of speech and media pluralism are the foundations of democracy, enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Poles have the right to them and want to have a choice of sources of information. Not so long ago they rejected communism built on the monopoly of the media” – continue the senators.
Senators: The democratic majority in the Senate will not agree to this lawlessness
In their opinion, “the only purpose of the law ‘Lex TVN’, adopted by PiS, in violation of the Sejm’s regulations, is to deprive Poles of the right to freedom of speech and the governing party to take control of another important independent medium after the public media and newspapers of the Polska Press group.” At the same time, they assure that “the democratic majority in the Senate will not agree to this lawlessness, which actually leads to the return of censorship in Poland”.
“We are opposed to building a system of authoritarian power, deprived of control by free media, independent judges and civil society,” emphasized representatives of the upper house of parliament.
“Secondly, ‘Lex TVN’, which is to lead to the destruction of independent television and its takeover by government subsidiaries, violates the trust in Poland among our economic partners. It spoils the climate of cooperation and creates uncertainty as to the security of their property. withdrawing from investing in our country would hit Poles, Polish jobs and Poland’s development. The blame for this state of affairs will be borne by everyone who supports this law. We will not do it “- they write further.
Senators on the possibility of “a dramatic deterioration in Poland’s relations with the US”
Senators also point out that if the anti-TVN law comes into force, “it will dramatically worsen Poland’s relations with the US, which have been the basis of our security for over 30 years.” “They are strengthened not only by membership in NATO, but also by the presence of American soldiers in Poland and American investments” – they add. In their opinion, lex TVN “is not only an act of lawlessness and an action against freedom, but also an attack on the security of Poland.”
“We recognize with appreciation the recent voices from overseas about the importance of the alliance between Poland and the United States, based on common values and interests. We believe that any unlawful actions violating agreements with allies are against the Polish raison d’état. For the above reasons, we, the senators of the Republic of Poland, elected by the nation, we are against the ‘Lex TVN’ law. If the Senate rejects it, we appeal to the deputies not to defend the law being forced in the interest of the ruling party, but contrary to the national interest, “the senators write at the end.
TVN24 is waiting for the license extension
At the same time, TVN24 is still waiting for the extension of the license. The application in this matter was submitted to the National Broadcasting Council in February last year, i.e. 18 months ago. Until today, no decision has been made. Due to the suspension by the National Broadcasting Council of the decision to renew the license for TVN24, the management board of TVN SA issued a statement in which it announced that in July an application for a Dutch broadcasting license had been submitted and it had been granted.
The Management Board also emphasized that “obtaining a license for the TVN24 channel in the Netherlands in no way solves the problem we are dealing with in connection with the amendment to the act on radio and television passed by the Sejm”.
Main photo source: TVN24