The  EC High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism, which is fully independent, was established in October 2011 by  Vice-President Neelie Kroes, and is chaired by the former President of Latvia,  Professor Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. The other members are Professor Herta  Däubler-Gmelin, Professor Luís Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro and Ben Hammersley.

The Commission invited the group to analyse and  provide recommendations on issues such as:

  • limitations to media freedom arising from  political interference (state intervention or national legislation)
  • limitations to media independence arising from private and commercial  interference
  • the question of the concentration of media ownership and its consequence for  media freedom/pluralism and on the independence of journalists
  • existing or potential legal threats to the protection of journalists’ rights  and their profession in Member States
  • the role and independence of regulatory authorities
  • existing or potential measures in favour of quality journalism, ethics and  media accountability, within the respective competences of national, EU and  international authorities.

The  mandate of the group was to draw up a report for the Commission with  recommendations for the respect, protection, support and promotion of pluralism  and freedom of the media in Europe.

Download the full report here.