Fanucci Contributes to "The Other Democratic Deficit" - A Toolbox for the EU to Safeguard Democracy in Member States

May 9, 2018

CMDS fellow and a member of the CMDS Media Policy Hub, Francesca Fanucci is among the members of the expert group of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung who recently worked on "The Other Democratic Deficit - A Toolbox for the EU to Safeguard Democracy in Member States". Fanucci worked on Chapter 6 of the report, "Media Capture And Disinformation: The EU’s Role In Preserving Media Freedom And Pluralism", where she came up with the following list of recommendations to safeguard media freedom and pluralism in the EU:

  • The ability of both traditional and new online media to pursue their democratic function by enabling access to information from diverse, independent sources is increasingly under threat within the EU.
  • To foster media freedom and pluralism in its member states, the EU should continue promoting systematic monitoring of the risks to media pluralism and freedom in EU countries on the basis of the Media Pluralism Monitor and integrate this monitoring tool into a broader monitoring procedure assessing the threats to democracy in EU member states.
  • The mandate of the Fundamental Human Rights Agency (FRA) should be extended to provide assistance to the EU institutions and member states in the thematic area of media freedom and pluralism.
  • The European Commission should propose minimum common rules in areas of the single market that affect media freedom and pluralism, as it has done so far with regard to audiovisual services, open access to online information and data protection. In particular, provisions on transparency of state funding and advertising in the media, media ownership, concentration and defamation should be harmonised across the EU.
  • Online platforms and social media companies should have to report to the European Parliament on the measures adopted and implemented to counter the spread of »fake news« and their compatibility with international standards of transparency and freedom of expression. Moreover, the European Commission should fund training projects on digital investigative journalism aimed at non-professional journalists, activists and bloggers.
  • The European Commission should promote research on actual media literacy levels in order to maximize the success of media literacy initiatives.