In a flagrant attack of freedom, a new European Union report demands that Brussels control national media through supervisors with draconian powers to enforce fines or sack journalists. After a European study on freedom and pluralism of Europe’s media, a “high level” EU panel concluded that it was time to introduce new rules to rein in the press.
The new report, euphemistically called a free and pluralistic media to sustain European democracy says, “All EU countries should have independent media councils.” These media councils should have “real enforcement powers” to impose fines, orders for apologies, and removal of “journalistic status.” The report also recommended that the European Commission be placed in overall control of the various countries’ medial councils to make sure they follow European law and uphold European values.
European officials are unhappy with the British press especially because of its way of reporting on EU news. British Prime Minister David Cameron was criticized for not implementing more stringent regulations on the British press.
A UK government spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “We have no intention of allowing Europe to regulate the British press…”
Even though Britain has had its share of media scandals in recent years, many have questioned the controversial proposal for state regulation of the newspapers. The report also sparked anger in Britain.
One MP attacked the report calling it an “extraordinary, and deeply disturbing proposal.” “Having EU officials overseeing our free press – and monitoring newspapers to ensure they comply with ‘European values’ – would be quite simply intolerable,” he said.
“This is the sort of mind-set that I would expect to find in Iran, not the West. This kooky idea tells us little about the future of press regulation. It does suggest that the European project is ultimately incompatible with the notion of a free society.”
Nigel Farage, and UK member of the European Council, compared the proposals to “Orwell’s 1984.” “This is a flagrant attack on press freedom. To hear that unelected bureaucrats in Brussels want the power to fine and suspend journalists is just outrageous,” he said.
Freedom of the press is very important to a free society. If freedom of the press is undermined, other core freedoms will also come under attack. European leaders obviously do not respect freedom and liberty. The Bible predicts that freedom, particularly religious freedom, will be undermined before Jesus comes again.