A new study released today by the MJRC examines how the EU navigates the delicate balance between protecting its values, fostering a competitive market, and satisfying the diverse needs of its member countries in an ever-evolving digital landscape. 

The EU media policies, including regulation, are an ongoing balancing act between protecting values vis-à-vis promoting a functioning, thriving, and innovative single market within the EU, according to a study released today by the Media and Journalism Research Center (MJRC). Another balancing act relates to the quest for EU-wide harmonization versus the subsidiary clause that reserves a degree of independence to the Member States. The demands of digitization, both its regulation and the policies in the Member States, often result in yet another balancing act between the traditions of sectoral regulation versus the digital realities that may involve national and global actors.

Authored by Minna Aslama Horowitz, the study shows that in spite of these tensions, a broader unifying trend can be seen in the EU discourses framing policy decisions. Policy conversations have in recent years focused explicitly on citizen-centric solutions, especially their communication and digital rights. As for co- and self-regulation, there is no typical European model, but different reiterations of the practices are highly encouraged. 

The EU can offer a set of baselines for formulating media policies and regulations that combine democratic values with sustainable, robust media markets, Aslama Horowitz wrote in the recommendations chapter. For co-regulation to be effective, a widely accepted goal can unify different stakeholders and be supported by the public.

The study is part of a project dedicated to advancing media freedom in Lebanon, hence some of the recommendations are targeted to Lebanese policymakers. The project, entitled “Media Reform to Enhance Freedom of Expression in Lebanon”, is implemented by Maharat Foundation, Legal Agenda and Media and Journalism Research Center (MJRC) with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon.

The study is available here.

Read more on the project page.

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash