European Parliament’s vote on the review of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive raises concerns for media pluralism and press freedom

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brussels, 25 April 2017

Today’s vote of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee does not meet the expectations of the European press sector.

Publishers of newspapers and magazines in Europe are concerned that today’s vote in the European Parliament on the proposal for an updated AVMS Directive could seriously undermine media pluralism and press freedom in Europe.

First of all, the European Parliament’s compromises support a large deregulation of the audiovisual advertising market, which is probably neither what consumers want nor certainly what the objective of maintaining a vibrant and pluralistic media landscape requires.

Amongst other things, the Culture Committee voted in favour of a suggestion to make isolated ad spots as admissible as any other advertisements, including during TV prime time, whereas this provision (Article 19) was not part of the initial European Commission’s proposal. Yet, such a change would create an unprecedented situation on the advertising market, largely to the detriment of the press sector.

Similarly, ENPA and EMMA do regret that the Culture Committee did not vote for maintaining an hourly-based limitation of TV advertising (Article 23). Moving away from such a rule does not put press publishers in appropriate conditions to maintain their investments into journalistic content in the long run.

Finally, EMMA and ENPA regret that the concerns expressed in relation to quotas and the possibly broader inclusion of press websites under the scope of the Directive are not adequately addressed in the adopted compromise amendments.


ENPA is an international non-profit organisation representing publishers of newspaper and news media on all platforms. ENPA is working on a number of areas of European policy and legislation which are essential for the effective day-to-day running of operations of local, regional and national newspapers. In a rapidly changing media environment, ENPA supports publishers with the aim of achieving a successful and sustainable future for independent news media in Europe. For more information: www.enpa.eu

EMMA, the European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats. EMMA represents 15.000 publishing houses, publishing 50.000 magazine titles across Europe in print and digital. For more information, visit www.magazinemedia.eu


For further information contact:

Max von Abendroth
Executive Director, EMMA


+32 2 536 06 04


Sophie Scrive
Executive Director, ENPA


+32 2 551 01 97


Press Release (pdf)