Tuesday, July 27, 2021

PM: With current laws, Polish media may be taken over by Russia or China. The new regulation is not against anyone


 Under the current laws, Polish media may be taken over by an entity from Russia or China. I think we do not want such a state of affairs, said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Tuesday, stressing that the proposed amendment to the media law is not intended to hit anyone.

A state has its rules, which must first define the framework in which entrepreneurs from various sectors operate, especially those that are licensed - said the prime minister.

The proposed act is not intended against anyone but simply to civilize our relations as a full-fledged partner. They may act based on reciprocity, for example, with other countries and entities. Until now, this regulation existed, but, unfortunately - as it turned out - it was imprecise, and that is why such risks as materialized - pointed out the head of government.

The draft stipulates that “a radio and television broadcasting license may be granted to a “foreign person” (entity) whose seat or permanent residence is in a Member State of the European Economic Area, provided that such a “foreign person” is not dependent on another entity whose seat or the permanent place of residence is in a country which is not a Member State of the European Economic Area.”

In the public debate, it is often said that the project is directed against the TVN station, which is currently in talks with the National Broadcasting Council regarding the extension of the operating license. TVN is owned by Discovery, an American company, but it manages the station through Polish Television Holding BV, registered in the Netherlands.

The media reports indicate that Polish Television Holding BV is a shell company that puts Discovery into a breach of the law. Instead of using their influence with the Biden administration to pressure the Polish government to renew the license, they should be grateful for not losing it altogether, which they should.

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