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FT says Brussels plans to oversee press regulation ‘ring alarm bells’

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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 23, 2013 | 2 min read

The Financial Times has spoken out against tentative plans to hand Brussels greater power over Europe’s media.

It claims that handing the European Commission oversight of media councils would open the door to Brussels interference

In its most recent editorial the paper states: “Proposals published this week by an independent panel charged with examining press freedom ring alarm bells. Though the report carries no legal weight, it has been endorsed by the European Commission as the starting point for discussions that could eventually lead to new regulations.

“The point of contention is not the report’s suggestion that members should have independent media councils with powers to investigate complaints and perhaps even impose fines. Most already have such bodies. It is that these councils should be subject to monitoring by the European Commission to ensure they ‘comply with European values’.

“This newspaper believes that the best way to guarantee both better oversight and press freedom is a voluntary system of self-regulation, albeit one with the enforcement powers necessary to deter abuses.”

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